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Tripping is More Fun with Friends

You may have seen the Seattle Times article about how local employers are getting their employees to making other transportation choices instead of driving to work alone. Here at SDOT, we have a name for that – it’s our Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) program! Housed in our Transit & Mobility division, we’ve worked hard to achieve success with CTR. We contract with Commute Seattle to provide CTR programming in Seattle.


We’ve given a little CTR history before, but just to refresh your memory: in 1991, the State legislature passed the Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) Act, requiring that large employers (100+ employees) encourage their employees not to drive alone in order to help reduce carbon emissions and keep people moving. SDOT connects employers with transportation resources and services that enhance these programs.


CTR employers are required to complete an employee survey every two years and submit a program report detailing what their transportation program includes. This is a vital source of data for SDOT and the state, allowing us to track program performance as well as better understand the mode split and behavior of Seattle commuters. Seattle assigns a goal Drive Alone Rate (DAR) to 8 neighborhoods around the city so employers know how they are performing relative to their peers. CTR employers:

  • Appoint an Employee Transportation Coordinator (ETC) to be the primary contact between the employer and the City to administer and promote the employer’s CTR program.
  • Develop and promote a program that helps employees reduce drive-alone commute trips.
  • Exercise a good faith effort by collaborating with the City in its administration and implementation of the law.


There are many types of benefits employers offer to help make your commute easier and cheaper!

  • ORCA Cards
  • Bike Rooms
  • Bike Fleets
  • Carsharing Memberships
  • Carpool or Vanpool Program
  • and many more!

Measuring Success 

Since 2011-12 to 2015-16, our citywide DAR (Drive Along Rate, remember?) fell from 35.93% to 34.18%. That may not seem like much, but every percentage point counts! That’s despite more and more CTR commuters and trips into our rapidly growing city.With your help we’ll continue to make considerable progress towards our goal of 10% DAR reduction!

Numbers from Commute Seattle’s Modeshare Study  show how the system is accommodating new residents and workers. From 2010-2016, downtown Seattle added approximately 45,000 jobs, but 95% of the gain in net commute trips was absorbed by non-drive alone modes. How will you get to work?