When Cheryle Pompu found out she was number 383 on Saskatoon City Hospital’s infamous parking wait list, she kicked into high gear to find an alternative to parking a car at work. She parks a scooter. And she does it for free!

Cheryle Pompu on the scooter she takes to work every morning.

“By scooting to work, I save huge dollars on fuel, enough to actually cover the plates and insurance for my scooter and fill my tank once a month. The smaller engines make them more environmentally friendly as they consume much less fossil fuel,” says Pompu.

The Region’s sustainability coordinator, Jocelyn Orb says scooters and bicycles can now be parked at SCH and Royal University Hospital in designated bicycle and scooter areas, and St. Paul’s Hospital will have spots added soon. Orb, who either cycles or carpools to work, says there are challenges to these alternative forms of transportation. “For me, when I cycle, traffic is usually a challenge as is the lack of dedicated bicycle lanes. Weather can also be challenging, but riding my bike to work not only gets me there and back cheaply, it also means I’ve gotten my exercise for the day.”

Parking at the Region’s Saskatoon facilities is a test of patience for most staff. Many people have several years to wait to get a parking spot. But the newly created parking lots for bicycles and scooters means people who are willing to try alternative methods of transportation have options to bring their wheels to work.

Erin Christiaens is an advocate of taking the bus to work. “I was worried that it would impact my schedule negatively having to shuttle around, as I work at all three sites and my office is at Corporate,” says Christiaens. “I found the complete opposite to be true. My schedule is more organized due to planned travel time. The shuttle is convenient, but I can also take the bus if I miss a shuttle or walk and get some exercise. The most unexpected benefit I’m finding is that there is no stress in getting to and from work everyday. I can think about what my day will look like on the way there and debrief on the way home without having to worry about lights and traffic and other drivers on the road.”

The Region is offering the City of Saskatoon EcoPass for bus riders. It is a discounted bus pass available for a one year period at about $45 per month. Orb says ideally people who get the EcoPass would take their names off the parking wait list and opt to take public transportation instead. For more information on the EcoPass or on parking bicycles and scooters, contact Orb at 655-0676.