6 months of free public transit, credits towards the purchase of bicycles and electric scooters, and car-sharing discounts

Montreal, June 16, 2009 – Residents of the Montreal area who own a 1995 model year or older vehicle can now have it recycled in an environmentally responsible manner and get six months of public transit passes, a credit towards the purchase of a bicycle, an electric bicycle or an electric scooter, and a discount on the Communauto car-sharing service.

Clear The Air!, a partner of the national Retire Your Ride car recycling program, is back. The program will run in the Montreal area until March 31, 2011, thanks to support from the City of Montreal and the main public transit systems in the metropolitan area: Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT), Société de transport de Montreal (STM), Société de transport de Laval (STL), Réseau de transport de Longueuil (RTL) and Association des Conseils intermunicipaux de transport (ACIT).

The Communauto car-sharing service and bicycle and electric scooter retailers are also participating in the program.

Car-owners can register for the program by visiting www.faitesdelair.org or dialling 1 888 819-73301 888 819-7330.

“Six months of free public transit in exchange for a highly polluting vehicle is an offer that should appeal to many Montrealers,” said André Bélisle, President of the Association québécoise de lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique (AQLPA), which is administering the program in Québec. “The support of the City of Montreal, the main public transit systems in the metropolitan area, and the other partners in the Clear The Air! program will make it possible to considerably improve air quality in Montreal, where according to Info-Smog there are an average of 64 days of poor air quality per year.”

Priority #1: Public transit

The current phase of Clear The Air! is Quebec’s contribution to the national Retire Your Ride program, which is funded by the Government of Canada and administered by the Clear Air Foundation. The AQLPA plans to take 20,000 vehicles off Quebec roads by the spring of 2011 and promote increased use of public transit.

“Mass transit reduces air pollution, greenhouse gases, energy waste and urban congestion,” says Jean-Jacques Beldié, President of the Société de transport de Laval and President of the Association du transport urbain du Québec. “With Clear The Air! owners of older vehicles can do their part for the environment while supporting sustainable transportation.”

“The Clear The Air! program is fully consistent with the objectives set out in the City of Montreal’s Transport Plan,” said Monique Worth, Mayor of Pierrefonds-Roxboro Borough and associate councillor responsible for the environment and sustainable development at the City of Montreal. “We must do what it takes to improve the quality of the air we breathe and promote modal transfer from the car to mass transit and people-powered transit. In supporting initiatives of this type, we are taking concrete action to improve our environment.”

Spokesperson: Joëlle Morin

Why target vehicles of model year 1995 or older? “Because they account for 10% of the cars on the road in Quebec but are responsible for half the vehicular pollution,” says actor Joëlle Morin, spokesperson for Clear The Air! “The pre-1995 cars release 19 times more smog-producing pollutants than recent models. Taking them off the roads is a simple and effective way to support the environment and the planet.”

Rewards and partnerships

Participants in Clear The Air! can choose to receive six monthly transit passes (TRAM Zones 1 to 8) plus a discounted subscription to the Communauto car-sharing service (at $8 per month).

In addition, participants can choose from a selection of other rewards:
  • a credit of up to $490 towards the purchase of a bicycle, an electric bicycle or an electric scooter;
  • a $700 credit towards the purchase of an EVT scooter (available from Ecomoto);
  • $300 in cash (instead of the transit passes).
In addition, all participants in the program will be entitled to a discounted subscription to Communauto’s “Le Lièvre” package.

Talks are under way with other potential partners about adding other rewards as the program is rolled out to all regions of Quebec.

Clear The Air! is also developing a network of professional recyclers that subscribe to the National Code of Practice for automotive recyclers.

All components of the old cars that can be recycled will be recycled, and all parts containing toxic products will be disposed of in a safe manner.

A partner recycler in the Montreal area demonstrated the process before invited guests in downtown Montreal, crushing several vehicles with a giant press.

Recycling 20,000 highly polluting vehicles will reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), two primary pollutants that form tropospheric ozone, a respiratory ingredient that is a major component of smog. The program also helps to fight climate change and to increase energy efficiency by reducing energy consumption and the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas.

About Clear The Air! (www.faitesdelair.org) and AQLPA (www.aqlpa.com)

Clear The Air! is a Quebec program for recycling older highly polluting vehicles, launched by AQLPA in 2003. Its goals are to help improve air quality, fight climate change and encourage Quebecers to make more sustainable transportation choices. Clear The Air! has been a partner of the national Retire Your Ride program since the spring of 2009.

The Association québécoise de lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique (AQLPA), founded in 1982, is one of Quebec’s oldest environmental groups. Its mission is to help protect the air we breathe and the atmosphere of the entire planet in order to safeguard both human health and the earth’s ecosystems through awareness-raising, education and targeted actions.

About Retire Your Ride – www.retireyourride.ca

The Government of Canada has committed $92 million over four years to the Retire Your Ride program to help Canadians recycle their older, higher polluting vehicles and make sustainable transportation choices, leading to reduced air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Retire Your Ride is a national program designed to retire 1995 model year and older vehicles in an environmentally responsible manner in an effort to improve air quality, protect the environment and encourage Canadians to use green means of transportation. The national Retire Your Ride program is managed by the Clear Air Foundation, funded by the Government of Canada and supported by a network of experienced local partners across the country as well as a national network of call centres and car recyclers.

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Contact:
Martine Nadeau (514) 238-0568(514) 238-0568mn@pingcommunication.ca
Lucie Kechician (514) 843-4160(514) 843-4160, ext. 221 – lucie@pingcommunication.ca
Photos and press kits available upon request.

Information:
www.faitesdelair.org
www.retireyourride.ca