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:
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 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Below outlines the CTR Program Requirements, free events and rewards available to you through the SW Washington Commute Trip Reduction Program. ETCs are required to attend to ETC Trainings, and the campaigns are FREE to share with employees.
If you are an employer and you have questions about your local CTR Ordinance, please contact the applicable jurisdictional representative:
Required Employee Commute Surveys are done every other year. The next Required Employee Commute Survey will be available March 6 to May 26, 2023. Download the Required CTR Survey Questions.
Employees at a CTR-affected employer can use the Emergency Ride Home program through Lyft 3 times per year. Employees may use the ERH to travel from the worksite to their home, the location of their personal vehicle, or their medical provider. Employees can take the ERH up to 50 miles one-way each trip. ETCs at the CTR-affected worksite can request Lyft rides on behalf of employees.
If your company is providing commute trip reduction incentives (whether or not it is affected by the Commute Trip Reduction law), it may be eligible to receive Washington’s Commute Trip Reduction Tax Credit.
More information is available on the Washington State Department of Revenue’s web page.
Washington State Ridesharing Organization (WSRO) is a group of ridesharing professionals in Washington state whose mission is to encourage policy makers, employers and commuters to support the use of transportation alternatives to driving alone.