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Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) Basics

Commute trip reduction refers to employer programs that encourage employees to reduce driving and solo commuting. State law requires large companies to have CTR programs and local governments to assist companies in developing and monitoring their programs. The City of Seattle works with over 250 employers who employ a total of over 156,000 employees.

In 1991 the Washington State Legislature adopted the Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) Law, RCW 70.94.521-527, requiring certain jurisdictions and employers to adopt plans and programs that help reduce drive-alone commutes. Consistent with the state’s requirements, the City of Seattle adopted its first commute trip reduction plan in 1992, Seattle Municipal Code Chapter 25.02. By law each jurisdiction must review its plan each year and determine if and how to change it. Seattle adopted its most recent CTR Plan in 2008 by ordinance 122825, requiring major employers to develop, implement and promote programs that help employees reduce drive alone commutes.

Basic Requirements for Employers: An employer with 100 or more employees who report to work at a single site between 6 and 9 a.m. is subject to the law. The employer must:

  • Appoint and maintain an individual to act as an Employee Transportation Coordinator for employees and to be the primary contact with the City.
  • Develop and promote a program that helps employees reduce drive-alone commute trips.
  • Submit the program to the City for review and approval once every two years. Use the Guide to Completing the CTR Program Report and Program Summary to answer your questions.
  • Exercise a good faith effort by collaborating with the City in its administration and implementation of the law.
  • Conduct a commuter survey once every two years to measure employees’ drive alone rates.

With over 10,000 employees, the City of Seattle is a CTR-affected employer. The City’s employee CTR program contains many of the suggested elements listed in the State requirements. An important component of Seattle’s program is the transit subsidy and the guaranteed ride home program for employees. City employees can find out about their program by visiting the inweb and clicking on “CTR – bus pass.”



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