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CTR ordinance for Seattle

A list of mandatory elements and information distribution requirements for commute trip reduction programs in Seattle.

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Requirements for employers

An affected employer is required to make a good faith effort to develop and implement a CTR program that will encourage its employees to reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) per employee and drive alone commute trips. The CTR program must include the mandatory elements as outlined below:

Employee Transportation Coordinator (ETC)

Designation of an employee transportation coordinator to administer the CTR program and to act as a liaison to the Director for one or more worksites of an affected employer. The coordinator's and/or designee's name, location and telephone number must be displayed prominently at each worksite.

Information distribution

Distribution of the CTR program summary to affected employees at least twice a year and to each new affected employee when the new affected employee begins employment. 

Additional program elements

In addition, the employer’s CTR Program shall include additional elements as needed to meet CTR goals. An affected employer’s CTR program shall specifically identify at least two of the following measures to be implemented by the affected employer:

  • Provide bicycle parking facilities and/or lockers, changing areas, and showers for employees who walk or bicycle to work;
  • Provide commuter ride-matching services to facilitate employee ride-sharing for commute trips;
  • Provide subsidies for transit fares;
  • Provide employer vans or third-party vans for vanpooling;
  • Provide subsidy for carpool and vanpool participation;
  • Permit the use of the employer's vehicles for carpool and/or vanpool commute trips;
  • Permit alternative work schedules, such as a compressed workweek, that reduce commute trips by affected employees between six (6:00) a.m. and nine (9:00) a.m. A compressed workweek regularly allows a full-time employee to eliminate at least one (1) workday every two (2) weeks, by working longer hours during the remaining days, resulting in fewer commute trips by the employee;
  • Permit alternative work schedules such as flex-time that reduce commute trips by affected employees between six (6:00) a.m. and nine (9:00) a.m. Flex-time allows individual employees some flexibility in choosing the time, but not the number, of their working hours;
  • Provide preferential parking for high-occupancy vehicles;
  • Provide reduced parking charges for high-occupancy vehicles;
  • Collaborate with transportation providers to provide additional regular or express service to the work site (e.g., a custom bus service arranged specifically to transport employees to work);
  • Construct special loading and unloading facilities for transit, carpool and/or vanpool users;
  • Provide and fund a program of parking incentives such as a cash payment for employees who do not use the parking facilities;
  • Institute or increase parking charges for SOVs;
  • Establish a program to permit employees to telecommute either part- or full-time, where telecommuting is an arrangement that permits an employee to work from home, eliminating a commute trip, or to work from a work center closer to home, reducing the distance traveled in a commute trip by at least half;
  • Provide a shuttle between the employer's worksite and the closest park-and-ride lot, transit center, or principal transit street;
  • Attend at least four meetings of a local transportation management association, transportation management organization, or employer transportation network group each year;
  • Implement other measures designed and demonstrated to facilitate the use of non-SOV commute modes or to reduce vehicle miles traveled that, are agreed upon between the Director and the affected employer.


An affected employer’s initial CTR program shall be approved if the program:

  • satisfies the minimum requirements (listed above); and
  • is likely to achieve the commute trip reduction goals applicable to the affected employer under the City’s CTR plan.

Good faith effort

(RCW 70.94.534) Employers are considered to be making a good faith effort if the following conditions have been met:

  1. The employer implemented the required elements above, and
  2. The employer has notified the jurisdiction of its intent to substantially change or modify its program and has either received the approval of the jurisdiction to do so or has acknowledged that its program may not be approved without additional modifications;
  3. The employer has provided adequate information and documentation of implementation when requested by the City of Seattle; and
  4. The employer is working collaboratively with the City of Seattle to continue its existing program or is developing and implementing program modifications likely to result in improvements to the program over an agreed upon length of time.


The following constitute violations that are subject to Civil Penalties:

  1. Failure to comply with the requirements for initial programs (mandatory program elements);
  2. Failure to comply with the requirements for regular program reporting, distribution of program summary and biennial surveying;
  3. Failure to revise a program that has not met either the Drive Alone or VMT reduction goals.


  1. Amount of Penalty.
    A person who commits any of the violations enumerated in this section is subject to a cumulative civil penalty in an amount not to exceed two hundred and fifty ($250) dollars for each day that the violation continues, beginning on the date for compliance established by a notice of violation issued pursuant to this section
  2. Collection of Penalty.
    • If the violation relates to a requirement imposed by a decision of the Director, and that decision has been appealed to the Hearing Examiner pursuant to Section 25.02.080, no action for civil penalties shall be commenced and no civil penalties may be collected or imposed until the appeal has been resolved.
    • The penalty imposed by this section shall be collected by civil action brought in the name of the City. The Director shall notify the City Attorney in writing of the name of any employer subject to a penalty, and the City Attorney shall, with the assistance of the Director, take appropriate action to collect the penalty.
  3. Burden of Proof.
    In any civil action for a penalty, the City shall have the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the violation enumerated in a notice of violation exists or existed. An unappealed decision of the Director or an unappealed decision of the Hearing Examiner finding that a CTR program or report fails to comply with this chapter is conclusive evidence of a violation.

Appeal of City decisions

An affected employer may appeal any of the following decisions to the Office of the Hearing Examiner:

  1. Decision not to approve a CTR Program
  2. Decision for an exemption or adjustment