TransLink's TravelSmart Program

Designed to serve residents of Metro Vancouver, TransLink’s TravelSmart program helps businesses and individuals reduce the number of trips made in single-occupant vehicles by promoting and encouraging the use of “smart” travel choices. Guided by the results of employee surveys and additional market research, program developers designed the TravelSmart program to help individuals overcome two main barriers connected to alternative modes of transport – time and money constraints. Transportation programs developed and offered under the TravelSmart umbrella included an employer transit pass program, an online ride-sharing match service, a corporate car sharing program, 22 park and ride sites, and a guaranteed emergency ride home initiative for employees utilizing a sustainable mode of transportation. Cycling skills workshops and region-wide events such as Bike to Work Week and Bike Month were promoted as opportunities to try cycling to work and celebrate cycling as a travel choice. TransLink also helped businesses to make infrastructure changes that would support sustainable modes of transport like secure bike parking, preferential parking for employees who rideshared, converting free parking to paid parking, the installation of on-site showers, and equitable transportation allowances. Additionally, TransLink worked with participating businesses to develop teleworking programs that allowed employees to avoid their daily commute to work altogether. Program promotion was achieved through the utilization of a variety of pathways such as e-mail blasts, mailed information packages, presentations, lunch and learn sessions, transportation fairs, and trade shows. Ads were also placed in business papers and magazines, local newspapers, digital screens in building elevators and SkyTrain stations, and on-line platforms. After experiencing several years of success working directly with businesses, TransLink piloted an individualized marketing program targeted at six unique neighborhoods in the Metro Vancouver area. Households interested in increasing the number of trips made by walking, cycling or transit received a combination of generic and customized information, incentives, and rewards to assist them in meeting their goal. Both iterations of TransLink’s TravelSmart program were evaluated via trip diaries, surveys, customer comments on the program’s web portal, ride-share statistics, and updates from car sharing companies on new clients. Ultimately, both versions of the program led to reductions in the number of drive-alone trips, with a 14% decrease achieved by participants of the employer pass program and an 8% decrease achieved via participation in the individualized marketing pilot.

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