United States;
                   Environmental Protection
                                        Air and Radiation
                                           July 1998
                   Office of Mobile Sources
TRAQ Technical  Overview
 Transportation Air Quality Center
                   Transportation Control Measures:
                   Trip Fleducation Ordinances
                   ERA's main strategy for addressing the contributions of motor vehicles
                   to our air quality problems has been to cut the tailpipe emissions for
                   every mile a vehicle travels. Air quality can also be improved by
                   changing the way motor vehicles are used—reducing totaj vehicle miles
                   traveled at the critical times and places, and reducing the use of highly
                   polluting operating modes. These alternative approaches, usually
                   termed Transportation Control Measures (TCMs), have an important
                   role as both mandatory arid optional elements of state plans for
                   attaining the air quality goals specified in the Clean Air Act. TCMs
                   encompass a wide variety of goals and methods, from incentives for
                   increasing vehicle occupancy to shifts in the timing of commuting trips.
                   This document is one of a series that provides overviews of individual
                   TCM types, discussing their advantages, disadvantages, and the issues
                   involved in their implementation.
                                                            > Printed on Recycled Paper

             Trip Reduction  Ordinances

O Background
© Costs and Benefits
® Implementation
O Equity Issues
© Recent Examples
® On-line Resource
                              Trip Reduction Ordinances (TROs) differ from many other
                              Transportation Control Measures (TCMs) in that they do not
                           directly control transportation in a specific way. Rather, TROs
                           are regulatory mechanisms that require or provide incentives or
                           disincentives to promote the use of various TCMs. A TRO is
                           defined as a municipal, county, regional, or state regulation that
                           usually involves the participation of developers and/or employers
                           in trip demand management. These regulations attempt to
                           mitigate social and environmental impacts of personal travel
                           decisions through incentive and disincentive r  grams. Various
                           groups may be affected by a TRO, including employers,
                           employees, and developers.
                                            that require the participation of
                                            developers and/oremployers to
                                            change transportation choices. TROs
                                            were first implemented in the 1970s.
1.    Background

TROs have existed for well over a decade, with
most early examples appearing in California.
Their use began accelerating even before the
Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (CAAA), a
prominent example being southern California's
1987 Regulation XV. In 1987, the California's
Air Resources Board identified TROs as a
reasonably available approach for meeting
California state air quality standards.  When Proposition 111 was passed by California voters in
June 1990, congestion management plans were required in many urban counties; the state then
mandated the use of TROs in these plans, and set aside a portion of fuel tax revenues for
jurisdictions that complied with locally adopted congestion management plans. The CAAA
included a requirement that severe and extreme nonattainment areas establish employer-based
trip reduction programs. In 1995, the CAAA was amended to make the trip reduction
requirement a voluntary option for states to adopt, if they so chose. Prior to the amendment, 11
states had passed laws to meet the Employee Commute Options (ECO) requirement. These
programs provided significant impetus to several large nonattainment areas to develop employer-
based programs and, especially in California, many of these were TROs. Because of its history
of congestion and air quality problems, its own legislative actions, and the interaction of CAAA
requirements with the nonattainment status of its major urban areas, California continues to have
the most significant experience with TROs.

Trip Reduction Ordinances
Page 2
2.     Costs and Benefits

       TROs require people and organizations to develop specific plans, programs, and
infrastructure.  Companies must often appoint someone to oversee their compliance with TRO
requirements. Employers are sometimes required to have an employee transportation coordinator
(ETC) as part of the ordinance requirement. Even if a full-time employee is not needed,
companies may be required to hire an ETC to ensure compliance with the regulation.  Physical
improvements to company facilities, such as carpool and vanpool parking, may also be required.
Typically a TRO requires that employees must be provided with information (pamphlets,
booklets, seminars) to encourage the use of travel options such as ridesharing, transit, walking
and bicycling, and telecommuting where appropriate.  Employees are most likely to participate if
they can see how such travel options can benefit them at the individual level. Ordinances may
require companies to commit resources to establish and maintain transportation amenities that
may become perceived as an important employee benefit over time.

       Developers of residential and commercial properties are regulated by many TRO
measures. It is possible that some developers may choose not to build in an area subject to a
restrictive TRO. If a developer does decide to build, infrastructure improvements such as park-
and-ride lots may be required. The developer may also have to submit a plan detailing how it
will comply with TRO measures.

       Benefits of TROs include reduced traffic
congestion, reduced  energy use, and improved;
quality, any one of which may be: the stated goal for a
specific ordinance. These benefits can be        ,^.
interdependent (i.e.,  reduced traffic congestion will^'
generally yield improved air quality). TROs may
encourage people to use a non-polluting method of
commuting, which may benefit employee health. For example, some TROs require employers to
set up secured bike parking for employee use. Employees may find that biking to work provides
them with exercise that improves their health.
 3.    Implementation

       TROs are applicable in large metropolitan areas and surrounding suburbs.  Most measures
 are geared toward companies or developments of a minimum size.  This size restriction reduces
 hardships on small companies and limits enforcement costs for the jurisdiction. The criterion
 often used for companies is the number of employees at a location. A TRO usually specifies that
 if a company has greater than the threshold number of employees (e.g.,  more than 50), they must
 begin complying with measures of the local TRO.  In some jurisdictions, multiple thresholds
 exist. For example, a company with 50 employees might only have to provide preferred parking

Trip Reduction Ordinances	Page 3

for carpools, while a company with 500 employees would be expected to provide a shuttle to the
local subway station.  Developers of residential, commercial, or mixed-use properties may be
forced to adopt a series of measures, depending on the size of the facility. For example, a
developer may need to provide vanpool parking if the office complex being built exceeds a
certain size (e.g., 25,000 square feet), or if it will house greater than a given number of workers.
                                            Some TROs are purely voluntary,
                                            relying on business leaders* good will in
                                            achieving trip-reduction goals. In areas
                                            were compulsory l^Qs have been.
                                            enacted, compliance Is unavoidable for
                                            employers and developers.,,
       By affecting employers and
developers of residential and commercial
properties, many TROs attempt to create an
infrastructure that achieves their stated goal.
Consider, for example, an engineer who
commutes in a vanpool from a townhouse
complex in the suburbs. Under the local
TRO, the developer was required to provide a
vanpool park-and-ride facility because more
than 100 people live in the complex. The employee rides in the vanpool because he found out
about its benefits at work, through an information seminar mandated by the same TRO.  The van
drops the employee at the company's designated vanpool parking area, which was  required
because the employer has greater than 500 employees on-site. The eight people riding in the van
used to drive to work individually, so the vanpool reduces by a large fraction the congestion,
energy use, and emissions that had been generated by the eight commuters.

       Enforcement is another aspect of TRO's that needs to be taken into consideration. Some
TROs are purely voluntary, relying on business leaders' good will in achieving trip-reduction
goals. In areas where compulsory TROs have been enacted, compliance is unavoidable for
employers and developers. Some TROs specify no penalties for noncompliance, but the majority
of programs specify fines for a given period of noncompliance. Fines in one TRO study varied
from S500 per month to $25,000 per day. In Sacramento County California, noncompliance may
be treated as a criminal misdemeanor. However, failing to fully implement TRO measures is
rarely treated as a violation. This is especially true for first-time offenders, or if the TRO has
been recently implemented. Enforcement and punishment are usually reserved for organizations
that display willful disregard toward the measure.  The 'spirit' of most TROs encourages
participation, rather than punishing laggards.

        Maryland's Montgomery County has demonstrated a unique implementation method for
 its TRO regulations. Although the regulations are spelled out much like other TROs, the county
 has negotiated several 'customized' agreements with developers and employers.  These
 agreements are designed to mitigate traffic congestion, while providing relief to developers. This
 yields a more flexible and individualized TRO implementation.  Although an initial effort must
 be made to reach an agreement, enforcement will likely be much easier in such an environment.

Trip Reduction Ordinances_
                                            Page 4
4.     Equity Issues

       Size is almost always used as the criterion for determining the applicability of a TRO to
an organization. Larger numbers of employees, or large surface area of usable space trigger TRO
applicability. This means that smaller businesses often feel no effects from such regulations,
while larger organizations sometimes hire professionals to ensure effective compliance.

       Some TRO measures affect only new developments/businesses. This leads to older
businesses feeling no effects from a regulation, while similar organizations that are new to a
community are faced with regulatory compliance efforts.  Most TRO regulations, by their nature,
affect businesses equally in the community. In most cases, good-faith compliance efforts by
most organizations provide the important groundwork to achieve the desired environmental and
social benefits, without placing undue burden on any one  segment of the economy.
5.     Recent Examples

       A 1990 study found that
67 percent of TROs were
concentrated in California.  The
majority of TROs in the study
(65 percent) cited traffic
congestion mitigation as the
primary goal. Other TROs  (13
percent) targeted future traffic
congestion mitigation. Some
programs (15 percent) have
more comprehensive goals  such
as improving air quality and
reducing energy consumption.
         Goals of existing TROs
|H Traffic Congestion i \
\                  • \
|H Future Congestion! !
j  Mitigation        • j
                  f I
D Improve Overall Airi i
  Quality          I |
6.     On-line Resource

       The Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Mobile Sources has established the
TCM Program Information Directory to provide commuters, the transportation industry, state and
local governments, and the public with information about TCM programs that are now operating
across the country. This document and additional information on other TCMs and TCM
programs implemented nationwide can be found at: