Commute Trip Reduction: You Can Measure the Difference

Our Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) program recently featured some of the city’s champions when it comes to the best workplace commute programs. The City of Seattle also does well in reducing commuter trips thanks to a comprehensive employee commute options program, and its dedication to using modes other than driving alone whenever possible.

Snapshot of how City employees get to work

The City’s Central Business District (CBD) includes the Seattle Municipal Tower, Justice Center, and City Hall. There are approximately 7,000 employees in this district and 5,500 of them arrive during the peak commuting times of 6-9 a.m. Out of these employees, only 15.9% reported driving alone to work, including motorcyclists – well below the downtown average of 20% for large employers. This figure has decreased from 17.0% in 2007.

To ensure all City employees know about their commute options, a City Employee Transportation Coordinator (ETC) provides a detailed employee orientation about ORCA cards, bike parking, emergency rides home, and many other elements of their commute options program.

City of Seattle invests in ORCA Business Passport in order to provide a 100% employer-covered transit commuting pass to its employees. More than 80% of employees who commute during peak hours to the CBD sign up for this ORCA benefit. The City also provides discounted parking for carpools and vanpools, which more than 245 commuters take advantage of.

Finally, employees who bike to work have access to a weekly, on-site bike mechanic and one discounted tune-up per year, shower and locker facilities, secure indoor bike parking, and more. More than 300 employees take advantage of the bike program at the CBD.

Other transportation options the City encourages 

  • Rideshare online and internal ride matching
  • Guaranteed free ride home in case of family or medical emergency
  • Access to employer cars and bikes for offsite business
  • Telework / telecommute options and flex schedules
  • Allows employees to set aside pre-tax payroll deduction for transit and carpool

Companies looking for ways to offer more commute options to their employees can use these examples of what the City does downtown, or get in touch with Seattle’s CTR program for further details!