The legislature established the trip reduction performance program (TRPP) in 2003 to create cost-effective projects that increase the capacity of the transportation system by providing financial incentives to commuters to reduce the number of vehicle commute trips and commute vehicle miles traveled (VMT). WSDOT awards TRPP funds to cost-effective trip reduction projects based on the projected cost per annualized vehicle commute trip and commute VMT reduced during the project period. WSDOT will provide new projects up to fifty percent of the award amount as start up funds on a reimbursable basis. WSDOT will determine the remaining award amount, as well as any bonus funds, based on the actual number of vehicle commute trips and commute VMT reduced.
(1) What are trip reduction performance projects? WSDOT awards funds on a competitive basis to organizations that create cost-effective projects designed to reduce vehicle commute trips and commute VMT. The organization will receive funds based on the price associated with each vehicle commute trip and commute VMT reduced and overall project performance. The TRPP is available to entrepreneurs, private employers, public agencies, nonprofit organizations, developers, and property managers who implement sustainable ways to reduce the number of vehicle commute trips and commute VMT, and who provide financial incentives to their own or other employees for ridesharing, public transportation, nonmotorized transportation, telework, and alternative work schedules.
(2) Definitions. For purposes of the implementation of TRPP projects, the following definitions apply.
(a) A financial incentive is defined as a policy, procedure, capital investment or payment intended to provide commuters a financial gain if they use commute options other than by driving alone. The eligible incentives may include, but are not limited to: Providing a free or reduced cost of transit pass, free or reduced parking charge for rideshare vehicles and initiating parking charges for commuter vehicles to discourage drive-alone commuting, paying the membership fee for a car sharing program, providing commuters with alternative work schedules, providing a direct cash payment, reducing the insurance rate for commuters who reduce the use of their vehicle for commuting, or reducing the distance a commuter travels to work by reassigning their work location to a worksite closer to their home.
(b) Car sharing means a membership program intended to offer an alternative to car ownership. An individual or organization member is permitted to use vehicles from a fleet on an hourly basis.
(c) Telework means a program where a commuter performs work functions that are normally performed at a traditional worksite, but does so instead at the commuter's home, or at a telework center that is located closer to the commuter's home than to the commuter's worksite, for at least one day a week in an effort to reduce the number of trips to the commuter's worksite.
(d) A person-trip is a one-way commute trip made by one person to get to work. A trip avoided because the commuter teleworks, or because the commuter works an alternative work schedule, is also considered a person-trip.
(e) A mode is the means of transportation a commuter took to work. Driving alone, carpooling, working an alternative work schedule, teleworking, bicycling, etc., are examples of modes.
(f) A measurement records the number of person-trips made by commuters commuting to work during a period such as a week or month, using each specific transportation mode. A measurement also records the distance each commuter commutes to work; the type of work schedule or alternative work schedules that each commuter works; and the number of persons in the commuter's carpool or vanpool if the commuter uses one of these modes. WSDOT may require that a measurement record additional information necessary to evaluate the project performance.
(g) Mode share is the percentage of person-trips made by a population of commuters commuting to work using specific modes of transportation. For example, if twenty-three percent of the person-trips made in commuting to a worksite are by carpool, the carpool mode share for that worksite is twenty-three percent.
(h) A mode split is the set of mode shares for a population of commuters commuting to a worksite. The sum of the mode shares for the population is one hundred percent. When calculating mode shares and mode split from measurement data, WSDOT makes adjustments as necessary for missing data, days reported by commuters as not worked, inconsistency between commute mode and vehicle occupancy data, and reported use of alternative work schedules. When making these adjustments, WSDOT follows CTR board guidelines when these are available, and makes reasonable adjustments otherwise.
(i) Vehicle commute trip is the number of vehicle trips made to bring commuters to work at a worksite or specified collection of worksites on an average weekday morning, using the mode split from a measurement. WSDOT will provide information to applicants on calculating commute vehicle trips.
Calculation: WSDOT calculates a vehicle commute trip by dividing a person-trip by the number of persons in the vehicle. For passenger cars, trucks, vans, and motorcycles, WSDOT calculates the vehicle occupancy from measurement data using CTR board guidelines, or from equivalent data as agreed by WSDOT and the applicant. For buses, WSDOT assumes an average occupancy of twenty-five persons. If the CTR board issues guidelines for using bus occupancy, WSDOT will follow the board's guidelines in subsequent projects. A person-trip made by bicycling, walking, or other nonmotorized means of transportation; by riding a train; or avoided either because the commuter teleworks or because the commuter works an alternative work schedule, is not considered as using a motor vehicle under this definition. If commuters at a worksite work at jobs that last less than a full year, WSDOT annualizes the vehicle commute trip. For example, if the jobs at a worksite last for only nine months, then WSDOT will annualize the vehicle commute trip as three quarters of the vehicle commute trip that would be calculated if the commuters worked for a full year. WSDOT then will use the annualized values in determining project performance and payments.
(j) Reduced vehicle commute trip is the reduction in the number of vehicle commute trips between a baseline measurement and a performance measurement. WSDOT will provide information to applicants on calculating reduced vehicle commute trips.
Calculation: WSDOT calculates reduced vehicle commute trips by subtracting the number of vehicle commute trips made by the commuters in the performance measurement, from the number of vehicle trips the same number of commuters would have made if they had commuted using the mode split from the baseline measurement.
(k) Commute VMT per person is the average daily vehicle commute trips each commuter makes in a motorized vehicle, multiplied by the commuter's one-way distance to work, summed for all commuters, and the sum then divided by the number of commuters.
(l) Reduced commute VMT is the reduction in the number of commute VMT per person between a baseline measurement and a performance measurement. WSDOT calculates reduced commute VMT by subtracting the commute VMT per person in the performance measurement, from the commute VMT in the baseline measurement.
(m) A project goal is the total number of vehicle commute trips and commute VMT that a project proposes to reduce when it applies for TRPP funding.
(n) Performance is defined as progress toward meeting the project goal to reduce vehicle commute trips and commute VMT.
(o) Agent is an organization or individual who represents the private employer, public agency, nonprofit organization, developer, or property manager and is charged with managing the TRPP project or providing the commuter the financial incentive.
(p) The price per trip (or trip price) is the amount that WSDOT agrees to pay for each annualized vehicle commute trip reduced by a TRPP project, up to the number of trips proposed in the project goal.
(q) A cost-effective project is one that defines a project that will reduce vehicle commute trips and commute VMT at less than the cost of providing new highway capacity and reduce traffic congestion in the project area.
(r) The award amount for a project is the amount WSDOT awards to a project. It will be based on the proposed cost per vehicle commute trip and commute VMT reduced, as well as program funding levels and the project's scoring in the application process.
(s) Project partnership is a relationship between two or more organizations that is characterized by mutual cooperation, responsibility for the development and implementation of a project.
(3) Who can apply? TRPP funds are available on a statewide competitive basis for entrepreneurs, private employers, public agencies, nonprofit organizations, developers, and property managers or their agents who create cost-effective trip reduction projects. To be eligible for TRPP funds, the applicant must provide financial incentives to their own or other commuters for ridesharing, using public transportation, car sharing, nonmotorized commuting, telework, and/or alternative work schedules.
(4) What kinds of projects will be funded? To receive funds, applicants must fully complete a TRPP proposal form provided by WSDOT and submit the form to WSDOT within the timeline set forth in the call for projects.
(5) How much money will be awarded to individual projects? WSDOT awards funds based on the estimated vehicle commute trip and commute VMT that the project proposes to reduce. The applicant will provide an estimate of the anticipated performance in reducing vehicle commute trips and commute VMT, and the price per trip that the applicant will charge WSDOT for reducing a commute vehicle trip. Once the selection committee ranks the projects, WSDOT will award funds based on committee ranking until half of the program funds are awarded in each fiscal year or all cost effective projects are funded. A project for a single worksite may not receive more than one hundred thousand dollars per fiscal year.
(6) How much money can be awarded to projects with multiple partners? Each organization (agency or employer) on the proposal may receive up to one hundred thousand dollars with the total amount not to exceed two hundred fifty thousand dollars per project proposal, per fiscal year. WSDOT may exceed this organization maximum award at their discretion if the legislature appropriates additional funds for this program.
(7) Who can apply for a partnership? An agent or organization on behalf of agencies or employers provides the financial incentive to the commuter can submit a project partnership proposal and be the prime recipient for the project. Project partnership proposals must include a description of each partner's roles, responsibilities and assurances for the project.
(8) How does the applicant apply for the TRPP funds? WSDOT will notify eligible applicants of the open period for proposals. WSDOT may open more than one call for TRPP proposals per year depending on TRPP funding availability. To apply for TRPP funds, applicants must complete a TRPP proposal form during the call for TRPP proposals period. The TRPP proposal form is available upon request from WSDOT. WSDOT recommends that applicants within a CTR affected area notify the jurisdictional authority, e.g., regional transportation planning organization (RTPO), county, city, or transit agency, so that they can coordinate the project with local trip reduction strategies and plans. This provides an opportunity for project coordination and potential partnership.
(a) Applicants may submit more than one project proposal for consideration; however, the combined sum of all the project costs cannot exceed what the applicant is eligible to receive.
(b) All projects must have a baseline measurement and a performance measurement. All applicants must describe how they will measure performance for their project. Projects may be rated based on the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed measurement method. WSDOT may require projects to conform to WSDOT-approved measurement tools and methods.
(c) All applicants must fully and accurately complete a TRPP proposal form provided by WSDOT.
(9) Can a project be renewed? WSDOT may approve renewal for a project that performs well; however, the applicant must complete a TRPP proposal for the project. If the proposals review and selection committee approves the project, WSDOT may require the applicant to conduct a new baseline measurement for the project. Renewal proposals may include a proposed adjustment to the trip price and/or project goal. Adjustments to the trip price or goal are subject to WSDOT. All projects are subject to termination if the project is not performing according to expectations or is not continuing to work towards the reduction of commute trips.
(10) How will the proposal be reviewed? WSDOT staff will review all proposals and make recommendations to the selection committee comprised of members invited by the chair of the CTR board. The committee will be comprised of between six and nine members, which include at least one member from the CTR board, one member from Central Puget Sound, one member from the rest of the state, one employer representative, one transit agency representative, one city government representative, one member from the CTR technical advisory group, and one regional transportation planning organization representative. To maintain the integrity of the proposals review and selection process, no project applicants may serve on the proposals review and selection committee. The committee will review and select projects based on staff review and the criteria established by WSDOT and communicated in project application guidance. WSDOT will make the final decision on which projects to fund and at what level.
(11) Project implementation and penalties: All contractors must implement their projects within three months (first quarter) after signing the contract in order to receive one hundred percent of the awarded funds. If the project is not implemented until the second quarter, only seventy-five percent of the awarded funds will be available; fifty percent if implementation does not occur until the third quarter; and twenty-five percent if implementation does not occur until the fourth quarter. A project is subject to termination if it has not been implemented by the fifth quarter. Project implementation or start of the project is defined as the completion of the project baseline measurement.
(12) What happens if a project does not perform? All projects are subject to termination at WSDOT's discretion if the project is not performing or demonstrating progress toward achieving its goals.
(13) What is the performance payment schedule? Every project must have a baseline measurement, and the baseline measurement must begin before the contractors can receive reimbursement for start-up costs. The contractor must submit a project final performance measurement by the date specified by WSDOT in order to receive performance payment.
(14) How are projects that overlap treated? No applicant may claim full reduction in commuter vehicle commute trip or commute VMT that are claimed as part of another project. WSDOT will make an initial screening of awarded projects to determine whether projects overlap. If WSDOT finds that projects being considered for selection are likely to overlap, WSDOT will notify the applicants, and provide them with the opportunity to form partnerships to be considered as one project for funding, or adjust their projects to avoid overlap. WSDOT will require funded overlapping projects to use the WSDOT-approved measurement tool that helps to eliminate the potential of paying for overlap. WSDOT may reject proposals that insufficiently address overlap.