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CTR Programs - Commute Trip Reduction

Commute Trip Reduction Programs

Employers subject to Washington State’s Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) law must develop and implement a CTR program. The goal of a CTR program is to encourage employees to find alternatives to driving themselves alone to work. Your program will be designed and run by you, and will reflect your industry, region, and organizational culture.

Creating your CTR program

A CTR program has six main requirements:

  1. Appoint staff to run your program. Your “Employee Transportation Coordinator” (ETC) is the point person for coordination with jurisdictions and with employees. Larger employers often also appoint a Program Manager within their company to develop and oversee the program.
  2. Develop a CTR program. Your program will be a combination of incentives and resources aimed at reducing the number and length of drive-alone commutes to your worksite(s).
  3. Submit your program for approval. Your CTR program must be approved every two years by your jurisdiction representative.
  4. Implement your CTR program. Put your program into practice!
  5. Inform your employees. Tell your employees about your CTR program. See your jurisdiction ordinances for pertinent rules.
  6. Measure progress. Survey your employees every two years on their commute behavior and compare against benchmark goals based on the previous survey’s results.

Some common elements that many CTR programs in the Puget Sound have found successful:

  • Provide free or subsidized ORCA passes through ORCA Business Choice or ORCA Business Passport.
  • Support bike commuting by providing secure bike storage, showers and lockers.
  • Offer WorkSmart programs – allowing employees to work from home or alter their schedules.
  • Charge for parking, offer priority parking for carpools and vanpools.
  • Visit our CTR Success page for more ideas.

Staffing your CTR program

CTR law requires employers to appoint an “Employee Transportation Coordinator” (ETC) to implement, promote and administer your CTR program. In most cases, the ETC is an internal role, not a full-time staff position without other duties. King County offers training and resources for ETC staff.

Successful ETCs are frequently:

  • Interested in environmental issues.
  • Interested in alternative commuting or already commuting by transit, carpool, vanpool, bike or foot.
  • Good communicators with access to employees across the company.
  • In positions that allow the flexibility to implement and promote the program.

The ETC is responsible for:

  • Developing the CTR program and submitting it for review by your jurisdiction.
  • Implementing the CTR program in compliance with your jurisdiction’s CTR laws.
  • Completing the biennial Employer Program Report.
  • Conducting biennial survey of employees’ commute behavior.
  • Promoting use of alternatives to driving alone and other duties specific to your worksite.

Some employers, particularly large organizations or those with more than one CTR-affected worksite, also appoint a “CTR Program Manager.” The Program Manager is commonly tasked with the broader tasks of developing a CTR program and policies that fit within your organization’s culture and then ensuring compliance. A Human Resource or Personnel Manager is often an appropriate CTR Program Manager.

Successful Program Managers generally have:

  • Skills and background necessary to develop and manage an employee program.
  • Policy and budget authority.
  • Access to (or a member of) your management team.
  • An interest in environmental issues.
  • An interest in commute alternatives or someone who already commutes by transit, carpool, vanpool, bike or foot.

Keeping in compliance

Your CTR staff should be knowledgeable about your jurisdiction’s CTR ordinances and familiar with the universal steps involved in managing a CTR program:

  • Conduct a baseline survey within 90 days of becoming affected by CTR law.
  • Distribute information annually about your CTR program to your employees.
  • Submit initial program report to your jurisdiction 90 days after receiving your baseline survey results and every other year thereafter.
  • Survey employees every two years on their commute behavior.

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