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
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.