The phrase,'Unsound Transit', was coined by the Wall Street Journal to describe Seattle where,"Light Rail Madness eats billions that could otherwise be devoted to truly efficient transportation technologies." The Puget Sound's traffic congestion is a growing cancer on the region's prosperity. This website, captures news and expert opinion about ways to address the crisis. This is not a blog, but a knowledge base, which collects the best articles and presents them in a searchable format. My goal is to arm residents with knowledge so they can champion fact-based, rather than emotional, solutions.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Washington State's Commuter Trip Reduction Program

From Clark County Wa Website

Benefits include

* Reducing stress – Finding alternatives to driving alone to work can reduce employee stress and fatigue. Less stress and fatigue translates into better performance at work.
* Increasing employee satisfaction – Trip reduction programs increase employee satisfaction in a number of ways. For instance, having alternative work schedules gives an employee a guilt-free way to visit the doctor or attend a child’s baseball game. Many Benefits Calculatoremployees appreciate reducing the costs of commuting. People who share the ride to work report that camaraderie is an important benefit.
* Improving productivity – Employees who are given flexibility in their schedules feel better about their jobs and this increases productivity. In addition, people are more likely to arrive at work on time if they catch a bus, carpool or vanpool.
* Reduces demand for parking spaces – Fewer cars in your parking lot can free up spaces for customers and avoid the expense of building new parking facilities.
* Expanding labor pool – Not everyone owns a car or can work 8 am to 5 pm. Flexible schedules and support for ridesharing allow more people to apply for jobs and increases the labor pool from which to draw qualified candidates. An excellent telecommuting program can even draw employees from out of state.
* Being recognized as a "good neighbor" – When an organization takes action to reduce traffic congestion and improve the environment, people notice.
* Attracting and keeping the best employees – Trip reduction programs are often viewed by employees as a benefit and organizations can use them as a recruitment tool. Such programs give employers a low-cost method of reducing turnover and improving employee retention.
* Tax Breaks – The IRS allows certain commute trip elements like transit passes to be paid for by an employee using pre-tax income which equates to lower payroll taxes. Tax-free fringe benefits allow employers to offer employees monetary incentives as well. Employers and property managers who also provide commute trip reduction programs incentives to or on behalf of their own or other employees are eligible for a credit against their business and occupation (B&O) tax or public utility tax (PUT) liability.

Program Requirements

The Washington State Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) Law applies to all public (i.e. federal, state and local governments, and military) and private employers that have 100 or more employees reporting to work at a single work site between 6-9am on at least two weekdays each week. Employers in counties with 150,000 or more residents are affected. These counties are Clark, King, Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane, Thurston, Whatcom, and Yakima.

A company may have more than one affected worksite, or may have some worksites that are affected and some that are not.

The CTR law also applies to local jurisdictions (cities and counties) where an affected employer is located, regardless of the number of affected employee at the jurisdiction worksite.

The state law requires employers that meet the definition of "affected employer" to identify themselves to the local city/county within 180 days of either: moving into the boundaries of the jurisdiction; or growing in employment to 100 or more employees (or the employee threshold defined with the local CTR Ordinance).

Is your company affected by the commute trip reduction law?

If you think your company may be affected by the CTR law, please call the CTR office at 360-696-8038 or e-mail

What if my company is not affected by the commute trip reduction law but would like to participate in the commute trip reduction program or start my own program?

Employers in Clark County who are conscientious corporate citizens and want to participate in the Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) as a Voluntary CTR Employer have access to the same tools and services to promote commute alternatives to their employees as the affected CTR employers.

If you would like more information about becoming a Voluntary CTR Employer or starting your own program. please call the CTR office at 360.696.8038 or e-mail

The Washington CTR law and local CTR ordinances state that an affected employer must make a good faith effort to develop and implement a CTR program designed to reduce the number and length of drive-alone commute trips made to the worksite.

This means at minimum, employers are required to do the following

* Designate an Employee Transportation Coordinator (ETC).
* Display the ETC's name and contact information in a prominent location.
* Distribute information to employees about commute alternatives to driving alone.
* Implement a set of measures geared toward achieving the CTR goals.
* Measure employee commute behavior every two years.
* Report annually about progress toward meeting CTR goal

If you would like more information on how you can develop or expand a commute trip reduction program at your site, here are some resources that may be of benefit:

CTR Program Elements
The CTR Law requires affected employers to implement a series of measures, or "program elements," designed to achieve CTR goals. At least one strong program element must be included in the Employer's Annual Report & Program Description.

Elements may include:

Site Amenities
- Loading/unloading facilities for HOV
- Bicycle parking, lockers, showers

Parking Management
- Parking charges for SOVs
- Preferential parking for carpools and vanpools

Financial Incentives, Subsidies or Allowances

Alternate Work Schedules
- Compressed work week schedules
- Flexible work schedules (tied to HOV)

Teleworking or telecommuting program for employees

Rideshare Program (at least two of the following)
- Preferential parking for carpools and vanpools
- Guaranteed Ride Home
- Ridematching
- Other on-site amenities to encourage ridesharing

Fleet Vehicles

Commute trip reduction and transporation demand management resources

Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT)

* CTR Program and Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Program information, documents, and resources
* CTR Program and TDM program staff support.
* Washington State Commute Trip Reduction Board: The Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) Board consists of 15 members appointed by the Governor to represent citizens, business, state agencies, transit agencies, and local jurisdictions. The CTR Board establishes program guidelines for the state's Commute Trip Reduction program and ensures statewide consistency among county and local ordinances.
* Victoria Transport Institute: offers an on-line TDM Encyclopedia that provides a substantial amount of information on different strategies, planning, and evaluation techniques for implementing TDM programs.
* Best Workplace for Commuter: is a federal government program that recognizes employers offering commute programs. Web site offers information on commute programs and how to apply for the program

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