Commute Trip Reduction

WSDOT’s Public Transportation Division administers the Washington State Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) law to reduce carbon emissions and keep the busiest commute routes flowing. This page contains links to resources for program administrators in jurisdictions, employee transportation coordinators and other stakeholders.

For jurisdiction program administrators

For employer transportation coordinators​

Overview

WSDOT provides technical assistance to jurisdictions and employers implementing the Commute Trip Reduction Law, supporting their efforts to shift commuter behavior to more sustainable modes and improve transportation system efficiency. This page provides an overview of the program’s origin, benefits and the role of WSDOT.

In 1991 the Washington State Legislature passed the Commute Trip Reduction Law. This law engaged many local communities and employers in efforts to address traffic congestion, air pollution and fuel consumption. In 2006, legislators updated this law via the Commute Trip Reduction Efficiency Act. This update supported increased local authority, customization and investment.

In 2017-18, commuters at worksites that participated in commute trip reduction left about 34,500 cars at home every weekday; instead, they opted to commute by bus, vanpool, train, bicycle, foot, or telework. These alternative commute trips reduced almost 13 percent of daily vehicle miles traveled per employee between 2007 & 2018 (from 10.9 to 9.5).

This decrease in vehicle miles traveled means nearly 4 million fewer gallons of fuel used each year, saving commuters about $25 million annually. Collectively, this is an annual reduction of 75,000 metric tons in greenhouse-gas emissions – equal to the amount of carbon sequestered annually by 88,269 acres of forest.

How does commute trip reduction work?

Commute trip reduction laws target worksites with 100 or more full-time employees who commute during peak hours in the nine most populous counties in the state. Worksites develop and manage their own programs based on 1) transportation demand management strategies identified as having the highest impact for their employees, and 2) locally adopted goals for reducing vehicle trips and miles traveled. More than 1,000 worksites and 550,000 commuters participate statewide.

Surveys conducted every other year are used to measure vehicle miles traveled and mode choice at each worksite. WSDOT and jurisdictions use survey results to report on collective progress toward drive-alone and vehicle miles traveled reduction targets.

WSDOT provides technical assistance to jurisdictions and employers, leads performance-focused data analytics, develops statewide policies and practices and supports the Transportation Demand Management Technical Committee and Transportation Demand Management Executive Board.

Members of the Technical Committee fulfill the legislatively-mandated responsibilities of the Commute Trip Reduction Board. In collaboration with the Executive Board, Technical Committee members direct policy to support commute trip reduction strategies at worksites. The groups represent diverse perspectives of citizens, businesses, state agencies, transit agencies and jurisdictions around the state.

Contact

Ricardo Gotla, gotlar@wsdot.wa.gov or 206-716-1114