Commute Trip Reduction Explained

Greater Efficiency Through Alternative Transportation


The Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) Efficiency Act encourages getting to work by alternative commute transportation options (other than driving alone) through employer-based programs.

Washington's population is growing by 100,000 people each year, at the same time the number of miles we drive each year is increasing. With an increase in vehicles miles traveled, we also experience an increase in air pollution, traffic congestion and fuel consumption. Over 50% of air pollution is caused by motor vehicles.

Cost To Fuel Motor Vehicles


Each year, Washington citizens spend $2 billion to fuel motor vehicles, the largest single use of petroleum in the state. All this driving means Puget Sound's I-5 corridor has been rated one of the worst congestion points in the nation.

Commute Trip Reduction Law


In 1991, the Washington State Legislature recognized a need to do something about these increasing problems and adopted Washington State's Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) Law. The CTR Law was incorporated into the Washington Clean Air Act as RCW 70.94.521-551.

Removing Vehicles & Reducing Emissions


The CTR Program removes 20,700 vehicles from the state's roadways every morning. Each year, CTR commuters reduce emissions of nearly 3,700 tons of air pollution through the choices they make. They also reduce petroleum consumption by about 5.8 million gallons, saving them over $13.7 million in fuel costs.

The drive alone rate among targeted employers has been reduced from 81.8% in 1993 to 72.5% in 2001. The most popular alternative to solo commuting, carpooling, has seen the largest increase in usage from 10.5% of trips in 1993 to 14.4% of trips in 2001.

Investment in Infrastructure


CTR helps preserve the capacity we have by saving space on existing roadways. The state and local jurisdictions also benefit from consistent evaluation and measurement of CTR's impacts on congestion and the environment.

CTR Promotes Partnerships


Since 1991, CTR has brought business and government to the table working together to solve transportation challenges. In 2004, the latest year for which data is available, employers invested about $49 million in their CTR programs, which was $18 for every $1 invested by the state.

Get Involved


To find out more about your ridesharing alternatives visit the Pierce Trips website for information on carpooling, vanpooling and bus routes or call Pierce Transit at (253) 581-8000.

Employers Affected By The CTR Law


The CTR law applies to both public and private employers that have 100 or more employees who work at a single worksite, and who are scheduled to begin their work between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. on two or more weekdays for at least 12 continuous months. This applies only to worksites in counties with the most congested state highways. Those counties are currently Clark, King, Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane, Thurston, Whatcom and Yakima. The law also includes the city government where an affected employer is located, regardless of their employee count.

To learn if your worksite is CTR-affected or for more information on the CTR Law please contact us.
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