WSR 04-06-087

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION


[ Filed March 3, 2004, 11:42 a.m. ]

Date of Adoption: February 25, 2004.

Purpose: To create the commute trip reduction (CTR) performance grant program.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 70.94.996.

Other Authority: RCW 70.94.534, 70.94.541.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 04-03-112 on January 21, 2004.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.

February 25, 2004

John F. Conrad

Assistant Secretary

Engineering and Regional Operations

OTS-6820.1

Chapter 468-60 WAC

CTR PERFORMANCE GRANT PROGRAM


NEW SECTION
WAC 468-60-010   Commute trip reduction performance grants.   The Washington state department of transportation (WSDOT) will develop, together with the commute trip reduction task force (CTR), and administer a CTR performance grant program designed to reduce the number of commute vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and commute vehicle trips by employees. The 2003 legislature created this grant to provide financial incentives or compensation to organizations that increase the capacity of the transportation system by reducing the number of vehicle trips and miles traveled for commute purposes. The amounts granted will be based on the projected number of annual commute vehicle trips and commute VMT reduced during the grant period. The amount of funds provided to the grantee will be determined based on the actual performance of their project. If necessary, WSDOT will revise these rules following the first grant round to create a more effective and efficient grant program.

(1) What are CTR performance grants? Grants are awarded on a competitive basis to organizations for reducing commute vehicle trips and commute vehicle miles traveled. The grantee will receive funds based on the value to the transportation system of the project performance. The performance grant program is available to private employers, public agencies, nonprofit organizations, developers, and property managers who provide financial incentives to their own or other employees for ridesharing, public transportation, nonmotorized transportation, telework, and alternative work schedules, and that reduce the number of vehicle trips and miles traveled for commuting.

(2) Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply.

(a) Financial incentives is defined as a policy, procedure, capital investment or payment intended to provide employees a financial gain if they commute in ways other than by driving alone. For example, the eligible incentives may include, but are not limited to: Providing a free transit pass, reducing the parking charge for rideshare vehicles, initiating parking charges for employee vehicles, reducing the cost of a transportation service such as a transit pass, paying the membership fee for a car sharing program, providing employees alternative work week schedules, providing a direct cash payment, reducing the insurance rate for employees who reduce the use of their vehicle for commuting, or reducing the distance an employee 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 under which persons or entities that become members are permitted to use vehicles from a fleet on an hourly basis.

(c) Telework means a program where work functions that are normally performed at a traditional workplace are instead performed by an employee at his or her home at least one day a week for the purpose of reducing the number of trips to the employee's workplace.

(d) Commute vehicle trips is defined as the number of vehicle trips made to bring employees to work at a worksite or specified collection of worksites each morning.

(e) Reduced commute vehicle trips is defined as the change in the number of vehicle trips made to bring a consistent number of employees to a worksite or collection of worksites. Reduced vehicle trips can be calculated using two separate surveys that measure the number of vehicles arriving at the specified worksite(s) and making an adjustment for the change in employee responses for the two surveys. Subsection (16) of this section describes in detail the process used by WSDOT to calculate reduced commute vehicle trips.

(f) Commute vehicle miles traveled (VMT) is the average distance employees travel to work (one way) in a motor vehicle, divided by the vehicle occupancy. For passenger cars, trucks, vans, and motorcycles, WSDOT will calculate the vehicle occupancy from survey data using CTR task force guidelines, or from equivalent data as agreed by WSDOT and the applicant. For buses, WSDOT will assume an average occupancy of twenty-five persons. Bicycling, walking, train ridership, and the avoidance of commute vehicle trips via telework and use of compressed workweeks, will not be considered as using motor vehicles.

(g) Reduced VMT is defined as the measured change in the number of vehicle miles traveled per employee. Reduced VMT can be calculated from two separate surveys that measure the commute distance per employee and the way they commute to work.

(h) Performance is defined as the reduction in the number of commute vehicle trips to the work location and the reduction in the commute vehicle miles traveled by employees at the specified work location(s).

(i) Eligible trips are defined in this section as the commute trips taken by employees at the targeted worksite(s) established in the applications and measured in the proposed measurement methodology. To be considered an eligible reduced trip and VMT, the involved employee must benefit from the program implemented by the applicant.

(j) 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 grant program or providing the employee the financial service.

(k) A cost effective application is one that defines a project that will reduce commute vehicle trips and commute vehicle miles traveled at a cost less than the defined roadway capacity cost. This cost will vary by year and will be clearly identified on the grant application form.

(l) Mode split is the percentage of employees traveling to work using various means of transportation (known as modes). For example, if the drive alone mode split for a worksite is seventy-three percent, then seventy-three percent of the employees arriving at that site drove alone.

(m) Commute mode is the means of transportation an employee took to work. For example, their commute mode may be by driving alone, carpooling, alternative work schedule, teleworking, etc.

(3) Who can apply? These statewide grants are available on a competitive basis for private employers, public agencies, nonprofit organizations, developers, and property managers or their agents who provide financial incentives to their own or other employees for ridesharing, public transportation, nonmotorized transportation, telework, and compressed work weeks.

(4) What kinds of projects will be funded? To receive funds, the project must meet the review criteria and rank highly in the competitive review. The applicant determines the actual scope and design of the project. New and existing projects are eligible to receive a grant.

(5) How much money is available? The amount of funds made available for this program is set in the state transportation budget. For the 2003-2005 biennium, one million five hundred thousand dollars is budgeted for the grants. No more than seven hundred fifty thousand dollars will be available for each fiscal year (July-June).

(6) How will the grant funds be distributed? A minimum amount of the grant funds is guaranteed to be available in each of three funding zones: Ten percent of available funds for Central Puget Sound (CPS) (King, Pierce, Snohomish counties), ten percent of available funds for non-Central Puget Sound applications, and ten percent of available funds for statewide applications (applications with worksites in the CPS and outside the CPS). The remaining grant funds will be awarded based on the project's ranking and available funds.

(7) How much money will be awarded to individual grants? Funds will be allocated based on the estimated commute vehicle trips and miles traveled reduced for the project. The applicant will provide an estimate of the anticipated performance and the amount of funds they request. Once the selection committee ranks the projects, WSDOT will award the grants based on committee ranking until seven hundred fifty thousand dollars is awarded in each fiscal year or all cost effective projects are funded. No one employer, etc., may receive more than one hundred thousand dollars per fiscal year.

(8) How much money can be awarded to applications with multiple employer partners? The total amount of funds that can be provided to a partnership application is the sum of the total amount eligible per employer up to two hundred fifty thousand dollars per application. No single application or project will be awarded a grant in excess of two hundred fifty thousand dollars per fiscal year.

(9) How does the applicant apply for the grant? This subsection describes the application procedures used in the performance grant program. WSDOT will notify eligible applicants of the open period for grant applications. WSDOT may open more than one grant period per year depending on whether all funds are awarded. Applicants apply for this grant by submitting a completed "Performance Grant Application" form during an open grant period. The "Performance Grant Application" form is available on request from the Washington state department of transportation and is available to be downloaded from the WSDOT website at: http://wsdot.wa.gov/TDM/performancegrant/.

(a) No private employer, public agency, nonprofit organization, developer, or property manager is eligible for grants under this section in excess of one hundred thousand dollars in any fiscal year.

(b) Eligible applicants may submit more than one application. However, no applicant may request more grant funds than they are eligible to receive.

(c) Applicants may, and are encouraged to, submit a grant application that will cover two years. Applications covering two years must estimate the number of vehicle trips and VMT reduced for each of the two fiscal years. Only one base measurement will be required for a two-year application. Recipients of two-year grants may receive the start-up portion of their award in the first year and the performance portion in the second year. In this situation, funding for the trips and VMT reduced will be assumed to have occurred in the second year of the project.

(d) The grant funds must be received by the grantee by the end of the fiscal year in which the application was received.

(e) No grants will be awarded to an applicant requesting compensation at a rate higher than the annualized cost of providing new roadway capacity. The annualized cost of providing new capacity will be provided by WSDOT as part of the application document.

(f) For purposes of distributing awarded funds, one trip is assumed to equal 13.07 VMT (the average commute distance measured as part of the CTR program) or the average one-way commute distance for the employees covered by the project. The applicant may, through documentation in the applications, provide a different trip to VMT ratio that is specific to employees in their proposal.

(g) An agent "who will provide the financial incentive to the employee" can submit a partnership grant application and be the prime grantee for the project. All procedures in this section will apply to the agent for this type of partnership grant.

(h) No applicant may claim a reduction in employee commute vehicle trips or commute VMT that is claimed as part of another application.

(10) How will the application be reviewed? An award committee comprised of between six and nine members will be selected by the chair of the CTR task force and will include at least two members of the commute trip reduction task force, at least one member from Central Puget Sound and one from the rest of the state, at least one employer, at least one transit member and at least one city government representative. Grants will be awarded based on the criteria as defined in subsection (11) of this section.

(11) What are the review criteria? The applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria.

(a) Applicant provides incentives: To be eligible for the grant, the applicant must provide financial incentives to their own or other employees for ridesharing, using public transportation, car sharing, or nonmotorized commuting.

(b) Project predictability: Are the estimates of employee participation and overall trip and VMT reduction likely to be achieved based on the assessment of the review committee?

(c) Measurability: The performance of the project must be measurable. If the applicant submits their own measurement approach, the measurement plan submitted must be as accurate an estimate of the trips reduced as would be generated if the applicant made use of the WSDOT-developed measurement tool (subsection (16) of this section).

(d) Cost effectiveness: Does the project have a high likelihood of achieving its benefits at a relatively low expenditure of performance grant funds? Are the projected benefits achievable at a cost less than providing the equivalent roadway capacity?

(e) Sustainability: If this project is funded, will its benefits continue after the grant-funded element of the project has been completed? Do the project design and partnerships indicate a high probability for continuing the project after all grant funds are used?

(f) Thoroughness: Has the project been thoroughly researched and carefully thought out? Are adequate details presented?

(g) Redundancy: Does the project propose to provide services that are already available for the employees?

(12) How will the recipient receive the money? Once the projects have been reviewed, prioritized and selected, the applicant will enter into a contract with the Washington state department of transportation for implementation of the project. This contract will establish the amount of money the grantee can receive for the project, the timelines and performance expectations. The funds will be provided to the grantee through three approaches: Start-up, performance and performance bonus.

(a) Start-up: The grantee may request up to fifty percent of awarded funds after project startup. Start-up funding will be provided dollar for dollar on a cost-reimbursable basis, but in no circumstances will this amount exceed fifty percent of the total project award.

(b) Grant performance: The remaining funds will be available to the grantee following the performance measurement. The grantee has the option to measure their performance halfway through the project and at the end of the year. If the grantee conducts a midterm measurement, they will be eligible to receive half of the performance funding following this measurement with the balance available after the second measurement survey. If the grantee elects to measure only at the end of the project, all of the remaining funds will be available, depending on the performance they achieved through their project. No performance funds will be available for any project that fails to perform.

(c) Performance bonus: The grantee will be eligible to receive up to twenty percent additional funds if the performance of their project exceeds their anticipated performance. These funds will only be provided at the end of the contract period and the grantee will receive the funds for additional performance based on the same award rate per trip reduced and same award rate per VMT reduced as identified in their application and subsequent contract. Note: No one employer, etc., may receive more than one hundred thousand dollars in a FY. The performance bonus portion of the funding will only be available if funds are remaining in the grant account.

(13) Project timeline: To receive all eligible grant funds for the fiscal year, the grantee must provide measured data on their project's performance to WSDOT by June 15th.

(14) Receipt of grant funds: The grantee must submit a grant fund disbursement form provided by WSDOT in order to receive their grant funds. On this form the grantee will identify the funds requested and documentation of performance or expenditures (if required). For the performance portion of the grant award, no funds will be made available without documentation of actual employee reductions in VMT and vehicle trips.

(15) Performance documentation: The applicant must, as part of the application, indicate how they will provide evidence of the performance made during the year. WSDOT will make available a survey instrument that can be used to measure performance at employer worksites. The grantee may elect to provide performance data in an alternative format approved by WSDOT. The measurement approach used by the applicant must clearly demonstrate how changes are calculated and adjustments made for changes in employee population.

(16) Measurement of VMT and commute trips reduced: Measurement of performance must provide actual counts of vehicle trips and VMT made by the employees in the program, preceding and following the grant period. The performance measurement must adjust for changes in employee populations during the grant period. WSDOT will use the following methodology to calculate changes in the number of commute trips and commute VMT at a project worksite(s):

(a) Baseline survey. At the beginning of the program, the worksite(s) will survey their employees about their commuting behavior using the standard WSDOT commute trip reduction employee survey form. This initial survey is called the baseline survey. WSDOT will calculate a baseline mode split, based on results from the baseline survey. In calculating this mode split, and those from subsequent surveys, WSDOT will calculate assumptions to adjust for missing data, days reported by employees as not worked, inconsistency between commute mode and vehicle occupancy data, and reported use of compressed workweeks as specified in the CTR guidelines published by WSDOT and available on the Internet http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/tdm/tripreduction/CTRguide/SEC3.cfm.

(b) Performance measurement survey. The grantee will survey the eligible project employees a second time by June 15th. This second survey is called the performance measurement survey.

(c) WSDOT will calculate the mode split based on the results of the performance measurement survey. Using the number of employees at the site during the first measurement survey and the mode split from the first measurement survey, WSDOT will calculate the average number of vehicle trips that employees took per day, during the first measurement survey period. Using this same number of employees, WSDOT also will calculate the average number of trips the employees would have taken per day during the first measurement survey if they had the mode split calculated from the baseline survey.

(d) The difference between the two numbers calculated under subsection (2)(b) of this section is the change in the average number of trips per day at the site between the two surveys. These calculations take into consideration changes in employment at the site; the employer will not be entitled to increased payments due to a reduction in force or be penalized because of an increase in employment.

(e) WSDOT will calculate the average one-way distance for trips made by each mode in the performance measurement survey, and multiply this by the change in the average number of trips by that mode per day. The sum of these values for motorized commuting modes is the change in VMT.

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