MONTREAL, April 27, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - This morning, during a press conference with Pierre Arcand, minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, Hubert Bolduc, chairman of the Board at Earth Day Québec, Pierre Lussier, executive vice-president of Earth Day Québec, Dominique Roy, president and chief executive officer of Diamond Taxi, David Mahfouda, co-founder of Weeels, and several collaborators in attendance, $300,000 in funding from the Government of Québec's Green Fund was announced for Earth Day Québec's taxi-sharing project.
Earth Day Québec has been working since 2008 on a transportation solution that would meet its environmental concerns. "We imagined the taxi-sharing project as a way to improve the sustainable transportation offer on the Island of Montréal and reduce the impact of the taxi industry on the environment-a means of sustainable transportation that complements the existing offer and that would allow people to reduce the environmental footprint of their daily trips," a proud Pierre Lussier, executive vice-president of Earth Day Québec, stated.
The taxi-sharing service will be known as Tous les Jours (tjrs.org) in French and Every Day (everyd.org) in English and will be accessible from a web platform and on smartphones. Essentially, depending on the specific departure and arrival points, users will be able to travel with one, two or even three other taxi service users.
The goal of this matching system is therefore to compete with solo car commuting. The ultimate goal of the project is to reduce the environmental impact of the trips people take, improve public health and help users cut down on their travel costs.
Pierre Arcand, minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, reiterated that the Government supports sustainable transportation projects because they are a means of reaching the goal to reduce GHG emissions by 20% below 1990 levels by 2020. "The Government of Québec is proud to support this initiative which will bring results in the fight against climate change. We encourage the taxi industry to participate massively in the program, since in addition to reducing GHG emissions, it is an opportunity for the industry to play a key role in the sustainable mobility sector," Minister Arcand stated.
The taxi-sharing service will be offered thanks to the involvement of Diamond Taxi, a business partner in the taxi industry. "When the Earth Day Québec team was looking for an active partner, we were the only ones who already had an automated dispatch system in place. What this shows is that we are a forward-looking company and that we see the role of the taxi industry as essential in the intermodal transportation offer. We are very proud to work with Earth Day Québec to implement the first taxi-sharing service in Canada," said Dominique Roy, president and chief executive officer of Diamond Taxi.
Earth Day Québec has also teamed up with Weeels, a young New York company that created the dynamic taxi-sharing software. "We're very excited to be working with a Québec organization in order to put the taxi-sharing service that already works very well in New York into operation in Montréal," explained David Mahfouda, co-founder of Weeels. "It was a golden opportunity to expand our horizons and open up our market, and we seized upon it enthusiastically," he added.
Earth Day Québec plans to make the service accessible on the Island of Montréal in June 2012.
The mission of Earth Day Québec is to encourage individuals, organizations and companies to take positive action for the environment on April 22 and every day! In Québec, Earth Day has been celebrated since 1995. Ever since, the level of voluntary participation and involvement on the part of Quebecers who initiate and engage in activities that address environmental issues hasn't stopped growing. Today, over one billion people in 192 countries take action every year on Earth Day, the largest, most celebrated environmental event worldwide
Many citizens voice their beliefs and present other means of shaping the Québec of the future. Earth Day Québec makes it possible to highlight the hopes of millions of people who aspire to live in a world where respect for self, others and the Earth's ecosystems is a driving force. Celebrating through action, on April 22 and every day.
For further information: Marilyse Paquin, Communications Manager
Earth Day Québec
Tel.: 514 728-0116 or 1 800 424-8758 ext. 223
Sarah Shirley, Press Agent
Office of the Minister of Sustainable Development,
Environment and Parks
Tel.: 418 521-3911