Commute Trip Reduction - Overview

WSDOT provides technical assistance to jurisdictions and employers implementing the Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) Law, supporting their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by shifting commuter behavior. This page provides an overview of the program’s origin, benefits, and the role of WSDOT.

The Washington State Legislature passed the Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) Law in 1991 to address traffic congestion, air pollution and petroleum fuel consumption. In 2006 legislators passed the CTR Efficiency Act, requiring local governments in urban area with traffic congestion to develop programs that reduce drive-alone trips and vehicle miles traveled per capita.

For two decades, CTR has proven an effective tool for easing congestion and operating our transportation system efficiently. By encouraging people to ride the bus, vanpool, carpool, walk, bike, work from home or compress their work week; CTR makes transportation better for the entire state.

What is CTR doing for us?

By 2009 three years after the programs started, people at CTR worksites across the statehad reduced their weekday morning trips by about 30,000. CTR cut traffic delays by 8 percent in the Central Puget Sound Region, and rush-hour commuters saved about $59 each that year in fuel and time.

CTR reduces greenhouse gas emissions

Vehicle emissions account for nearly half the harmful greenhouse gas released in our state. By driving 154 million fewer miles since 2007, CTR participants have prevented about 69,000 metric tons of GHG from entering the atmosphere each year. That's about the weight of eight Space Needles.

CTR participants also conserved about 3 million gallons of gasoline in the 2009-2010 biennium, which saved them together about $30 million each month.

How does CTR work?

State and local governments, transit agencies, regional transportation planning organizations and employers collaborate to make CTR programs convenient, efficient and rewarding. These partnerships develop meaningful transportation solutions that support local and state goals and leverage the state's investment.For every taxpayer dollar that goes into the program, businesses invest $18.

CTR targets workplaces with 100 or more full-time employees in the most congested areas of the state. Employers develop and manage their own programs based on locally adopted goals for reducing vehicle trips and miles traveled.

More than 1,050 worksites and 530,000 commuters statewide participate in the CTR program. Employers regularly report on their programs, and jurisdictions report on progress toward meeting drive-alone and VMT reduction targets, as well as their use of state CTR funds.

What is WSDOT's role?

WSDOT provides technical assistance to jurisdictions and employers to get their programs up and running. WSDOT maintains 17 years of CTR data that jurisdictions and other agencies use for planning. WSDOT also staffs the TDM Technical Committee.

What is the role of the TDM Technical Committee?

The governor-appointed TDM Technical Committee directs overall policy and funding for the program and reports to the Legislature every two years on how the program is working. The board represents diverse perspectives of citizens, businesses, state agencies, transit agencies and jurisdictions around the state.


Ricardo Gotla
Transportation Demand Management Program Supervisor