Vancouver’s Employee Trip Reduction Program

Vancouver’s Employee Trip Reduction Program was launched by the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) to reduce single-occupant vehicle commuter travel among its employees, promoting alternative modes of transport instead, including carpool, public transport, walking, cycling, and telecommuting. Background research for the program included an internal employee survey to assess patterns, behaviors, and attitudes related to modes of travel and a literature review of other employer trip reduction programs. This data was used to develop program strategies and a full-time coordinator was hired to implement the program during its first year. A major component of this program was phasing out a subsidy available for employee parking, removing an existing incentive to drive. To register for the program, employees filled out a form stating their commitment to using an alternative mode of transport at least one day a week. The Employee Trip Reduction Program consisted of different initiatives designed to help employees overcome barriers identified in initial baseline surveys. These initiatives included a carpool ride-matching program, vanpool empty seat insurance, cycling safety workshops and worksite facility upgrades, guaranteed ride home service, flextime, and a subsidized transit program. The program was predominantly promoted through electronic mail and posters that highlighted the benefits of alternative modes of transportation. A monthly employee newsletter and clearly marked, designated carpool parking spots also helped to make the program more visible. Additional program information could be obtained by calling a hotline staffed by an Employee Transportation Coordinator or by visiting one of three staffed Commuter Information Centers. A survey was conducted one year after program implementation to assess whether the program was achieving its objectives and a monitoring system for participation was also used. Results included the elimination of 42 single-occupant vehicle trips per day or 210 per week.

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