In 1993, Spokane County implemented the Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) Law (RCW 70.94.521-5 5 1) to reduce traffic congestion, air pollution and petroleum consumption through employer-based programs that reduce the number and distance of commute trips in single occupant vehicles (SOV). In 2006 the Legislature unanimously adopted changes to the CTR law to make the program more effective, efficient and targeted. Implementation of the Commute Trip Reduction Efficiency Act began and baseline surveys were conducted in April 2007.
On a two-year measurement cycle, all employers surveyed in April of 2009 toward a 10 percent reduction in drive alone trips and 13% in vehicle miles traveled. In 2011 worksites conducted their goal measurement surveys towards the same goals and the results were impressive. Out of 113 worksites that surveyed in 2011, 30 worksites made the drive alone and/or VMT goals. 27 worksites made at least a 50% or more progress toward the goals and another 15 made some progress. An overwhelming total of 64% of our worksites made progress!
- Drive Alone Trips - reduced by 4.0% from the 2007 baseline
- Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) - reduced by 3.4% from the 2007 baseline
- Greenhouse Gas Emissions - reduced by 3.4% from the 2007 baseline
Washington State commuters are increasing their use of alternatives to driving alone. A number of factors influence individual choices in commuting, including the CTR Program. However, the significantly higher use of commute alternatives at CTR worksites compared with other worksites in the same areas makes it clear the CTR Program is working.
CTR’s continued performance benefits our economy, communities and environment. Through its network of strong public-private partnerships, the program leverages resources and aligns investments focused on common goals. CTR is good for Spokane County’s economy, efficiently getting people to work and helping employers to grow. It helps commuters and their families save money. It makes transportation work better and reduces energy consumption and air pollution.
In Spokane County, the CTR Program removes over 6,400 vehicle trips each day on Spokane County streets. To help put this into perspective, if the 6,400 vehicles removed in the Spokane County area each morning were lined up bumper to bumper, they would fill one lane of traffic beginning at Division Street and I-90 and continuing to the city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, approximately 33 miles. Each year, the commute trip reduction program prevents 338 tons of carbon monoxide, 325 tons of carbon dioxide and 9,238 tons of greenhouse gases from being emitted in Spokane’s Air. According to AAA driving cost figures, the savings to Spokane employees equates to $9.8 million dollars a year.
CTR is a good investment
Each dollar the state invests in CTR leverages more than eighteen dollars in investments from its private sector partners, a 10 percent increase compared to 2000. Employers invest in CTR because it makes good business sense and because they are supported by a strong and active countywide program. More than 1,070 worksites participate in the CTR Program statewide. In Spokane County, 132 worksites are part of the CTR program, including 32 worksites participating voluntarily.
CTR will become even more valuable
With population growth in Spokane County projected to grow by over 20% in the next 20 years, the importance of the CTR Program for managing demand on the transportation system has greatly increased.
For more information, contact the Spokane County CTR Office at 477-7650.