An Analysis of Factors Accounting for Successes and Failures in the Acceptance and Utilization of Employer TDM Programs by Employers

Washington State's Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) legislation was created to reduce traffic congestion, energy consumption, and air pollution. Among other actions, it requires certain businesses to develop programs that will meet single-occupancy vehicle and vehicle miles traveled reduction goals. Many companies will attempt to reach these goals through transportation demand management (TDM) programs.

Before the passage of this legislation, a number of large employers around the country had created and implemented TDM programs. However, little detailed information existed about these companies' efforts. Although some limited studies had documented the types of incentives they offered to workers, they had not included any information concerning the reasons that some organizations' TDM efforts had succeeded while others had failed.

This project studied a select population of employers in a tri-county area (King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties) in order 1) to gain a detailed understanding of what other TDM programs have done, 2) to uncover the factors that help determine a program's effectiveness and its utilization by an organization's employees, and 3) to give direction to research and planning as the state's legislated TDM efforts begin and develop.

The findings of this study led to several conclusions and recommendations regarding the ways that TDM policies can be reformulated to better accomplish their desired goals. Six specific recommendations arose from a combination of survey, interview, and program review findings: 1) jurisdictions and organizations must first identify all policies that relate to the targeted behavioral changes and then make those policies consistent in their support of the change goals; 2) the primary means of communication about an organization's TDM program efforts should be informational sessions provided in work group settings; 3) extensive, specific "how-to" information on selecting and utilizing HOV commute modes should be provided to all employees; 4) behavioral change goals should be graduated and public; 5) program efforts should include public monitoring and specific feedback regarding behavioral change goal attainment; and 6) supervisors and managers should be encouraged or required to model and reinforce the importance of HOV commuting by doing so themselves.


Publication Date: 
Wednesday, March 1, 1995
Publication Number: 
WA-RD 359.1
Last modified: 
10/12/2016 - 15:42
Craig Jesus Poulenez-Donovan, Cy Ulberg.
Washington State Transportation Center (TRAC)
Number of Pages: 
Attitudes, Behavior, Commuter service, Commuting, Employee participation, Employer sponsored transportation, Employers, Feedback control, High occupancy vehicles, Legislation, Monitoring, Policy, Traffic congestion, Travel demand management.