An evaluation of United States employer trip reduction programs: Urban transportation planning and policy implications
In 1991, the federal government of the United States officially subscribed to a policy requiring severe and extreme ozone nonattainment areas and serious carbon monoxide nonattainment areas to establish programs targeted at reducing employee commute trips to the worksites of area large employers. This requirement was codified in the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (CAAA). The dissertation aims to establish the background of this policy that lead to its inclusion as a provision in the Act and subsequent responses from various state, regional, and local agencies. Based on historical and comparative evidence, the test hypothesis is that both mandatory and voluntary trip reduction programs, as a stand-alone measure, are inadequate for reducing the number of vehicle arrivals by employees to their respective worksites. This work focuses on the principal elements of mandatory and voluntary employee trip reduction programs, both formal and informal, that have been established in various areas around the country reviewing the procedural aspects, operational issues, cost/benefits, characteristics, and attributes of these Employee Commute Option plans and their attempt to reduce the worksite's average passenger occupancy rate. The unit of analyses is employers' trip reduction plans at various worksites as reflected in the employees' commuting habits. A 24-month Pilot Project was also conducted by the author on a group of Dallas-Ft. Worth area employers measuring the vehicle arrival rate of change on the cohort of alternative commuters. The outcome of the project is discussed along with the U.S. experience with an array of employer-based travel reduction programs and the implications of the results with regard to urban transportation planning issues. The primary contribution of the research is a compilation of employer trip reduction experiences as a deployed policy aimed at large employers in an effort to reduce regional congestion, improve air quality, diminish the growth of vehicle miles traveled, and significantly lower the drive alone rate during the peak commuting periods. Institutional gaps that exist with regional authorities for guiding, monitoring, and sustaining reductions in drive alone rates are examined, as well as identified deficits in management support, incentives, legal constraints, etc. Employer trip reduction programs under the original scenario created by the CAAA and subsequently abandoned via political fallout, would face a significant uphill battle if the strategy was resurrected in the future. However, mandatory employer trip reduction through ordinance or otherwise, remains an intriguing policy of potential benefits at a comparatively low implementation cost. Whether mandatory or voluntary employer trip reduction will ever attain the significance or relevance that it theoretically possesses, is a remaining question which may not ever be answered.
|Year of publication:||
|Authors:||Tehan, Brian John|
|Type of publication:||Other|
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