At one time or another, many city residents have toyed with the idea of abandoning their cars in favour of a stress-free bus ride to work. This week offers a good excuse to actually try it.

To coincide with Environment Week, the Sierra Club of Canada is holding its 2009 Commuter Challenge.

Through Saturday, residents are encouraged to get to work by cycling, walking, using public transit or carpooling — anything but driving to work alone.

More than 3,800 people in the National Capital Region are expected to participate in this national program, said local Commuter Challenge organizer and national climate change campaigner for the Sierra Club of Canada Mike Buckthought. Canada-wide, 32,000 people will take part.

People in Ottawa should have it easier than residents in many other cities, Buckthought said. “We are very fortunate to have a good public transit system and a lot of bike routes.”

Still, Ottawa could invest more money in public transit and bicycle routes, he said. In Copenhagen, for example, 40 per cent of people bike to work, a number expected to increase to 50 per cent, he said.

Residents can sign up at commuterchallenge.com.

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