Last item for navigation
Commute Trip Reduction

In 1991, the State of Washington adopted its Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) law. The law's intent is to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution by shifting drive-alone commutes to other modes. Today, more than 1,000 worksites take part in the CTR program statewide and the program is well known nationally as an example of impactful Transportation Demand Management (TDM).

The law requires local jurisdictions to adopt ordinances detailing requirements for employers to implement employee commute trip reduction programs that encourage the reduction of the number of trips and miles people drive alone to work. In 2010, City of Auburn adopted Ordinance 6218, codified by Auburn City Code Chapter 10.02, which provides these requirements for employers within the City limits.

Who Are Affected Employers?

Any public or private employer who is subject to the CTR law is known as an “affected employer”. The CTR law and Auburn City Code defines an affected employer as any employer who has 100 or more “affected employees”. An affected employee is defined as:

  • Full-time (35+ hours per week) employee,
  • Scheduled to begin work at a single worksite between 6:00 AM and 9:00 AM, inclusive,
  • Works at least two or more weekdays per week, and
  • Is in a position intended for twelve consecutive months.

A “single worksite” is a building or group of buildings on physically contiguous parcels of land or on parcels separated solely by private or public roadways or rights-of-way.

Per State policy, CTR-affected employees include those employees who are working remotely.

Employer Requirements

Affected employers are required to develop a CTR program that will encourage its employees to reduce drive-alone commute trips. Additionally affected employers must provide biennial program reports and biennial measurements of employee commute behavior.

CTR Program Requirements

Each affected employer’s CTR program must include the following elements:

  1. Employee Transportation Coordinator. Employers must appoint and maintain an individual to act as an Employee Transportation Coordinator (ETC) to be the primary contact between the employer and the City and to administer and promote the employer’s CTR program. The contact information of the ETC must be prominently displayed at each worksite, either physically or on a company intranet.
  2. Information Distribution. Information about alternatives to drive-alone commuting must be provided to employees at least once a year. At a minimum, this must include a summary of the employer’s CTR program, including the ETC name and contact information. A summary of the CTR program must also be provided to new employees at the time of hire.
  3. Description of Employer’s CTR Program. The CTR program description presents the strategies to be undertaken by the employer to lower their drive-alone commute rate. Employers should consider strategies and elements that will best suit their location, site characteristics, business type, and employees’ commute needs. At a minimum, the CTR program description must include:
    • General description of each employment site location within the city limits, including transportation characteristics, surrounding service, and unique conditions experienced by the employer or its employees;
    • The number of employees affected by the CTR program and the total number of employees at the worksite;
    • Documentation of compliance with the mandatory CTR program elements;
    • Description of the additional elements included in the CTR program; and
    • Schedule of implementation, assignment of responsibilities, and commitment to provide appropriate resources to carry out the CTR program.

Biennial Program Report

Affected employers must review their programs and submit a program report to the City every other year, alternating with the measure of employee commute behavior. The City will provide each employer with the format for the report. At a minimum, the employer’s program report must include:

  1. A general description of the employment site location, transportation characteristics, employee parking availability, on-site amenities, and surrounding services;
  2. The number of employees affected by the CTR program and the total number of employees at the site;
  3. Documentation of compliance with the mandatory CTR elements;
  4. Description of any additional elements included in the employer’s CTR program; and
  5. A statement of organizational commitment to provide appropriate resources to the program to meet the employer’s established goals.

Biennial Measure of Employee Commute Behavior

Every other year, alternating with the program report, affected employers must conduct a survey of its employees to measure their commute behavior and to determine progress in decreasing drive-alone rates. The survey will be administered in partner with the City.

CTR Tactics to Consider

There are a variety of ways that employers can encourage their employees to commute to work using a method other than driving alone. While not all methods or incentives will work for every employer or worksite, the below list are some potential CTR tactics employers can consider.


  • Switch from free parking to monthly or even daily rates.
  • Allow employees who commit to taking an alternative mode into work the ability to park for free 3-5 days a month, giving them flexibility needed to commit to their alternative mode.
  • Provide designated – or free – parking spaces close to the building for carpooling or van-pooling vehicles to encourage those modes.


In Auburn, transit includes bus and train.

  • Think of using transit programs as a recruitment and retention tool, and to save money as an alternative to investing in parking infrastructure.
  • Allow your employees to utilize pre-tax commuter benefits.
  • Consider investing in ORCA Business Passport or ORCA Business Choice.
  • Engage employees at multiple times and levels: while onboarding a new employee, during infrastructure changes (for example, any road closures), via email, during all-staff meetings, etc.
  • Ensure HR policies don’t penalize employees who take transit.

Vanpool, Carpool, and Shuttle Service

For employees who lack direct or frequent transit service, vanpool, carpool, or a company shuttle may be a great option.

  • Employees can easily sign up for an account at and search for existing Vanpools and carpools that fit their schedule.
  • If an existing route doesn’t work, co-workers can form a group to start a new Vanpool or carpool.
  • Consider setting up an internal notification and new vanpool tracking system, making it easier for co-workers to find one another and build worksite-specific vanpools or carpools.

Active Commuting

Biking, walking, running, and scooting (and more) are cost effective and healthy ways to get around.

  • Providing showers and lockers is important to make active commuting viable.
  • Ensure employees have access to visible, secure bike racks or bike cages.
  • Ensure instructions are clear for how to access these facilities.
  • Identify employees who would like to act as a bike or active commute team captain, answering questions and concerns of new active commuters.

Flex and Remote Work

A number of strategies help employees avoid peak commutes and shift their schedules.

  • Offer flexible schedules. Allow employees to come to work during non-peak hours of traffic, making their commute quicker and less stressful while reducing traffic congestion for everyone.
  • Allow compressed work weeks. Allow employees to work the same hours each week but longer hours each day, allowing a day off each week or every other week.
  • Identify teams and departments who could benefit from remote work or compressed schedules.
  • Listen to and work with executives who may be skeptical.
  • Ensure managers know and support flexible schedules.

Commute Resources

In addition to the resources listed below, the City’s Public Transit page provides information and links for taking transit to, from, and around Auburn.

King County Metro

Pierce Transit

Sound Transit

Bike Maps