Commute Trip Reduction

What is Commute Trip Reduction (CTR)?

In 1991, the State of Washington adopted its Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) Law. The law is focused on reducing traffic congestion and air pollution by shifting drive-alone commutes to other modes. Today, more than 1,000 worksites take part in the CTR program statewide. The program is well known nationally as an example of impactful Transportation Demand Management (TDM). 

The Washington State Commute Trip Reduction Law (Chapter 468-63 WAC) states “an affected employer must make a good faith effort to develop and implement a Commute Trip Reduction program designed to reduce the number and length of drive-alone commute trips made to the worksite.” 

In SW Washington, Clark County, the City of Vancouver, the City of Camas, and the City of Washougal are affected areas. You can review their local CTR Ordinances below:

A CTR-affected worksite is one with 100 or more employees reporting to work between the hours of 6 and 9 am at least two days a week and is located within an affected urban growth area. If that’s you, you’re expected to participate in the Commute Trip Reduction Program.

Complete this Employer Response Form and email it to the CTR Staff to begin the onboarding process. If you have questions, please call 360-487-7939 or e-mail the CTR Staff.

State law requires employers defined as an “affected employer” to identify themselves to the city or 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 by local ordinances). 
  • The Commute Trip Reduction law also applies to business locations in local jurisdictions (cities and counties), regardless of the number of affected employees at the jurisdiction worksite.

If you have more than one worksite, you’ll need to determine which ones are affected. You many have one that is affected by the law and on that isn’t. Contact us with questions.

Yes! You’ll have access to the same promotional tools and services to promote commuting alternatives as affected CTR employers. If you want to become a Voluntary Commute Trip Reduction Employer or to start a program, complete this Employer Response Form and then e-mail the CTR Staff.

 

If you have questions, please call 360-487-7939 or e-mail the CTR Staff.

Program Requirements

If your business has 100 or more full-time employees reporting to work from 6 to 9 am a minimum of twice a week it may be affected by the Washington State Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) Law.

If your company is affected by the Commute Trip Reduction Law at minimum, you’re 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 options other than driving alone
  • Implement a set of program elements geared toward achieving CTR goals
  • Measure employee commute behavior every two years (e.g., Employee Commute Survey)
  • Report progress toward CTR goals biannually (e.g., Employer Program Report)
  • Employers must offer an Emergency Ride Home (ERH) program – FREE through Lyft in SW WA!
  • ETC attendance to meetings and trainings is required

The goal of the statewide program is to reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, and reduce the consumption of fossil fuels so that your business can run smoothly, and your employees stay healthy and productive. Each region, in this case, SW Washington, can adopt their own local goals. Local goals are updated every 4 years and the next update is in 2024.

  1. Increase carpool and vanpool commute rates from 7.85% to 9.85% by 2023
  2. Increase bicycle commute rates from 1.23% to 2.23% by 2023

Program Elements

The Commute Trip Reduction Law requires affected employers to implement a series of measures, or “program elements,” designed to achieve Commute Trip Reduction goals.  The CTR staff can assist you with the development of your worksite’s CTR program. Employer programs must include at least two program elements AND two rideshare program elements.

  1. Loading or unloading facilities for carpools or vanpools
  2. Bicycle parking, lockers, and showers
  1. Parking charges
  2. Preferential parking for carpools and vanpools
  3. Financial incentives, subsidies, or allowances
  • Compressed workweek schedules
  • Flexible work schedules that support employee transit use or carpools
  • Teleworking or telecommuting program for employees
  • Preferential parking for carpools and vanpools
  • Emergency Ride Home Program
  • Ride matching
  • Other on-site amenities to encourage ridesharing
  • Fleet Vehicles

Employee Transportation Coordinator

The right leadership is key to your programs’ success. 

The Employee Transportation Coordinator serves as the point of contact between management and employees to implement, promote, and administer the program. And between the employer and local jurisdiction to report the employer’s progress in meeting the goals and requirements of the program.

  1. Meetings with management to determine program elements
  2. Working with local transportation agencies about transportation services and products
  3. Completing the Employer Annual Report and Program Description
  4. Coordinating the distribution and collection of biennial surveys to the employees
  5. Evaluating the program and survey data to enhance the program and improve results
  6. Assisting employees with ride-matching to form carpools or vanpools
  7. Meeting with employees to talk about the benefits of carpooling, bicycling or riding the bus
  8. Promoting the Commute Trip Reduction program to employees by producing and distributing information
  9. Tracking employees’ participation in program elements
  10. Monitoring employee parking in designated HOV parking spaces
  11. Distributing bus passes and vanpool or carpool incentives to employees
  12. Briefing management on the program’s progress

You can choose anyone within your company that has a passion for alternative commuting, works well with other employees, and can manage the elements of the program. Since many of the functions of the program involve personnel and employee benefits, the Employee Transportation Coordinator typically works within the human resources department.

It’s also crucial that the Employee Transportation Coordinator can attend meetings and training events.

Business Benefits

Employers in the CTR Program get to take advantage of added tax incentives improving their bottom line. Employer-provided commuter benefits typically make employees happier and more productive.

  1. Improves your bottom line by reducing the cost and need to build and maintain parking
  2. Helps you attract and retain the region’s top talent
  3. Gives you “Good Neighbor” recognition by the community
  4. Opens access to tax incentives
  1. Reduces stress
  2. Improves productivity
  3. Increases employee satisfaction
  4. Saves people time AND money

The IRS permits certain employer-provided commute benefits like transit passes to be paid for by an employee using Pre-Tax income, which equates to lower payroll taxes. And tax-free fringe benefits allow employers to offer employees monetary incentives as well. Employers and property managers providing commute trip reduction programs incentives are eligible for a credit on their  (B&O) Tax or Public Utility Tax (PUT) liability.

Employer Resources

Coming soon!

2023 Calendar - SW Washington CTR Program

  • ETC Winter Meet Up: A Fresh Start with Get There SW WA (Date TBD)
  • New Year, New Commute Challenge
  • ETC Spring Meet Up: Try Transit Training

Earth Day Challenge

Bike Everywhere Month w/ Cascade Bicycle Club

  • ETC Basic Training
  • Ride Transit Month w/ Transportation Choices Coalition
  • N/A
  • ETC Summer Meet Up: How to complete the Employer Program Report Requirement
  • Program Requirement: Employer Program Report OPEN 9/1/2023
  • Week Without Driving Challenge w/ Disability Rights Washington
  • Washington State Ridesharing Organization Conference – Scholarships Available!
  • Get There Challenge
  • Program Requirement: Employer Program Report DUE by 11/1/2023

Participating Employers

Coming soon!

Regional Representatives

If you are an employer and you have questions about your local CTR ordinance please contact the applicable jurisdictional representative:

City of Camas

James Carothers

(360) 817-7230

jcarothers@cityofcamas.us

City of Washougal

Mitch Kneipp

(360) 835-8501

mkneipp@ci.washougal.wa.us

City of Vancouver

Olivia Holden

(360) 487-7339

olivia.holden@cityofvancouver.us

Clark County

Gary Albrecht

(564) 397-4318

gary.albrecht@clark.wa.gov