WSR 05-16-121

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION


[ Filed August 3, 2005, 9:30 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 05-10-056.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Chapter 468-60 WAC, Trip reduction performance program (formerly CTR performance grant program).

Hearing Location(s): Transportation Building, Commission Board Room, 310 Maple Park Avenue S.E., Olympia, WA 98504, on September 13, 2005, at 3:00 p.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: September 13, 2005.

Submit Written Comments to: Robinson Hartsell, 310 Maple Park Avenue S.E., Olympia, WA, e-mail hartser@wsdot.wa.gov, fax (360) 705-6862, by September 1, 2005.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Jessica Alexander, TTY (360) 705-7760 or (360) 705-6808.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: Updating the rules will clarify the program and the parameters for participation by private employers, public agencies, nonprofit organizations, developers, and property managers.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The revised rule would allow for better understanding and implementation for the program participants.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 70.94.996.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 70.94.996.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Name of Proponent: WSDOT Public Transportation and Rail Division, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting and Implementation: Robinson Hartsell, Public Transportation and Rail Division, (360) 705-7508.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The trip reduction performance program is a voluntary program that does not impact small businesses.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. There [is] no additional cost or revenue associated with the implementation of this rule.

August 1, 2005

John Conrad

Assistant Secretary for

Engineering and Regional Operations

OTS-8248.2

Chapter 468-60 WAC

((CTR)) TRIP REDUCTION PERFORMANCE ((GRANT)) PROGRAM


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 04-06-087, filed 3/3/04, effective 4/3/04)

WAC 468-60-010   ((Commute)) Trip reduction performance ((grants)) program.   The Washington state department of transportation (WSDOT) ((will develop)), together with the commute trip reduction (CTR) task force (((CTR))), ((and)) will administer ((a CTR performance grant program designed to reduce the number of commute vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and commute vehicle trips by employees)) the trip reduction performance program (TRPP). This program is designed to create cost-effective trip reduction projects that reduce the number of commute vehicle trips and commute vehicle miles traveled (VMT). The 2003 legislature created this ((grant)) program to provide financial incentives or compensation to organizations that implement and administer cost-effective projects that increase the capacity of the transportation system by reducing the number of vehicle trips and miles traveled for commute purposes. The amounts ((granted)) awarded will be based on the estimated cost to reduce an annualized trip, and the projected number of annual commute vehicle trips and commute VMT reduced during the ((grant)) project period (the project goal). Up to half of the award amount is available through reimbursement for start-up costs. The remaining award amount ((of funds provided to the grantee)), as well as any bonus funds, will be determined based on the actual performance of their project in meeting or exceeding their goal. If necessary, WSDOT will revise these rules ((following the first grant round)) periodically to create a more ((effective and)) efficient ((grant)), cost-effective, trip reduction program.

(1) What are ((CTR performance grants)) trip reduction performance projects? ((Grants)) Funds are awarded on a competitive basis to organizations ((for reducing)) that create cost-effective projects designed to reduce commute vehicle trips and commute ((vehicle miles traveled)) VMT (based on the morning commute). The ((grantee)) organization will receive funds based on the value ((to the transportation system of the)) associated with each trip and overall project performance. The ((performance grant program)) TRPP is available to private employers, public agencies, nonprofit organizations, developers, and property managers who find new (to the area), sustainable ways to reduce the number of vehicle trips and vehicle miles traveled per person for commuting, or 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)) a baseline survey((s)) that measure the number of vehicles arriving at the specified worksite(s) ((and making)) and the mode split, and a subsequent survey measuring the same audience, mode split, with an adjustment made for the change in the number of employee responses for the two surveys. The difference between the two surveys will show an increase or reduction in commute vehicle trips. Subsection (((16))) (15) of this section describes in detail the process used by WSDOT to calculate reduced commute vehicle trips.

(f) Commute vehicle miles traveled per person (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)) using 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)) TRPP 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)) TRPP 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)) The statewide ((grants)) funds are available on a competitive basis for private employers, public agencies, nonprofit organizations, developers, and property managers or their agents who ((provide)) create new, sustainable trip reduction projects, and 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)) program requirements 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)) for selection. The primary focus of the review committee will be to select sustainable, cost-effective trip reduction projects, and if they are new or innovative, they will be given additional consideration.

(5) How much money is available for the program? The amount of funds made available for this program is set in the state transportation budget. For the ((2003-))2005-2007 biennium, one million five hundred thousand dollars is budgeted for the ((grants)) projects. ((No more than seven hundred fifty thousand dollars will be available for each fiscal year (July-June).))

(6) How will the ((grant)) TRPP funds be distributed? A minimum amount of the ((grant)) TRPP funds is ((guaranteed)) to be available ((in)) for 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. WSDOT is bound to this distribution only if there are applications that fit the program structure and are viable, cost-effective trip reduction projects.

(7) How much money will be awarded to individual ((grants)) projects? 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 (their goal), and the amount of funds they request. Once the selection committee ranks the projects, WSDOT will award ((the grants)) funds 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? Each organization (agency or employer) on the application may receive up to one hundred thousand dollars with 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)) not to exceed two hundred fifty thousand dollars per application, per fiscal year.

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

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

(b) ((Eligible)) Applicants may submit more than one ((application.)) project application for consideration; however, ((no applicant may request more grant funds than they are)) when the sum of all the project costs are combined, they cannot exceed what the individual applicant is eligible to receive.

(c) Applicants may((, and are encouraged to,)) submit ((a grant)) an application that will cover one or two years (basic project) and are encouraged to apply for projects that cover three to five years (multi-year projects).

(d) For basic projects, applications ((covering two years)) must estimate the number of vehicle trips and VMT reduced for each ((of the two)) fiscal year((s)), and must specify their target audience. Only one ((base)) baseline measurement will be required for a ((two-year application)) basic project. A final measurement will be required to determine the project's performance. A two-year basic project can receive the start-up portion of their award in the first year, and the performance portion in the second year. If a basic project is granted a renewal, the applicant may be required to conduct another baseline measurement. Renewal applications may include a proposed adjustment to the trip price and/or goal. Adjustments to the trip price or goal are subject to approval by WSDOT. All basic 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. ((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)) In the case of multi-year projects (three to five years), applicants must estimate the number of vehicle trips and VMT reduced for each biennium, as well as a project total, and must specify their target audience. Only one baseline measurement will be required for multi-year projects, unless otherwise stated in the scope of work. An interim measurement must be conducted prior to the end of each biennium, and a final measurement at the end of the project. Interim and final performance funds, as well as bonus funds will be based on these measurements. Recipients will be able to receive start-up funds that are phased throughout the life of the project (see subsection (12) of this section for details on start-up fund disbursement). Performance funds will be available at the end of each biennium (interim performance funds) and again at the end of the project. The interim and final performance measurements and requests for funds must be received by WSDOT by June 15th. Projects may apply for an adjustment to the trip price and/or their goal at the end of each biennium. Trip price and goal adjustments will be subject to review and approval by WSDOT. All multi-year 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. Payments for multi-year projects are contingent upon the provision of legislative funding in future biennia.

(f) No TRPP funds will be awarded to an applicant requesting compensation at a rate higher than the estimated annualized cost of providing new roadway capacity (maximum per trip cost) adopted for this program. The ((annualized cost of providing new capacity)) maximum per trip cost will be provided by WSDOT as part of the application document.

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

(((h))) (i) No applicant may claim ((a)) full reduction in employee commute vehicle trips or commute VMT that ((is)) are claimed as part of another ((application)) project. If the initial screening determines that project overlap will occur, WSDOT will notify the applicants, and will provide them with the opportunity to adjust their trip prices and goals. The payout for areas where WSDOT can determine the overlap will be adjusted by dividing the amount per trip by the number of TRPP projects involved in the overlap.

(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)) Projects will be ((awarded)) selected 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?)) Cost effectiveness: Does the project have a high likelihood of achieving its benefits at a relatively low expenditure of TRPP funds? Are the projected benefits achievable at a cost less than providing the equivalent roadway capacity?

(b) Sustainability: If this project is funded, will its benefits continue after the funding element of the project has been completed? Do the project design and partnerships indicate a high probability for continuing the project after all TRPP funds are used? Can the reduction in trips be sustained over a "multi-year project" timeline?

(c) Innovation: Is the proposed project a new idea, or something that's been done before but is new to the area? Does the project propose unique cost-effective ways to reduce trips?

(d) Measurability: The performance of the project must be measurable. If an applicant proposes to use their own measurement approach, a detailed measurement plan will be submitted as a part of the application and must be approved by WSDOT. The measurement approach 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 (15) of this section). Deviations from the approved measurement plan will be subject to review and approval by WSDOT. WSDOT may terminate the contract if the measurement deviation is not approved.

(e) Project implementation: What is the timeline for implementation of the project? When and how will the project be advertised to the target audience? All projects must conduct a baseline survey at the beginning of the project prior to implementation of the project. The applicant must indicate the implementation timeline, proposed measurement methods and measurement schedule in the application. If the nature of the project does not allow for a single baseline survey, the applicant must indicate the proposed measurement methodology as a part of the application. All projects must be implemented within three months after signing the contract.

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

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

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

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

(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)) award recipient can receive for the project, the timelines and performance expectations. The funds will be provided to the ((grantee)) recipient through three approaches: Start-up, performance and performance bonus. A draft contract will be made available by WSDOT prior to project selection.

(a) Start-up funds: The ((grantee)) basic project award recipient may request up to fifty percent of the awarded ((funds)) amount after ((project start-up)) a baseline measurement is completed or accepted. Start-up funds can be requested in the first year of the project. Multi-year project award recipients are eligible for start-up funds through a phased payment approach. To calculate the start-up fund disbursement for multi-year projects, multiply the total project amount by 0.5, then divide that number by the number of years in the project. Start-up funding will be provided on a dollar for dollar ((on a)), cost-reimbursable basis, but ((in no circumstances)) will ((this amount)) not exceed fifty percent of the total project award for the duration of the project. The remaining award amount is considered performance funds.

(b) ((Grant)) Performance funds: The remaining funds will be available to the ((grantee)) recipient following the performance measurement. For basic projects, the ((grantee)) recipient has the option to measure their performance at the halfway ((through the project and at the end of the year)) point (interim measurement), but is required to measure at the end of their project. If the ((grantee)) recipient conducts ((a midterm)) an interim measurement, they will be eligible to receive half of the performance funding following this measurement with the balance available after the ((second)) final measurement survey. If the ((grantee)) recipient elects to ((measure only at the end of the project)) forego an interim measurement, all of the remaining funds will be available after the final measurement, ((depending on)) and will be determined by the performance ((they achieved through)) of their project. ((No performance funds will be available for any project that fails to perform.)) For multi-year projects, the recipient must measure their performance at the end of each biennium (by June 15th), and at the end of the project. All projects must reduce trips to be eligible for performance funds.

(c) Performance bonus funds: These funds will only be provided at the end of the contract period and the recipient 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 contract. The ((grantee)) recipient will be eligible to receive additional bonus funds up to one hundred twenty percent ((additional funds if the performance of their project)) or up to the maximum per trip cost (whichever is less) for every trip that exceeds their anticipated performance (the projected number of trips reduced). ((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)) TRPP 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)) TRPP funds: To receive all eligible TRPP funds for the fiscal year, the recipient must provide measured data on their project's performance (baseline, interim and final surveys) to WSDOT by June 15th. The ((grantee)) recipient must submit a ((grant)) TRPP fund disbursement form provided by WSDOT in order to ((receive their grant)) request funds. On this form the ((grantee)) recipient will identify the funds requested and provide documentation of performance or expenditures (((if required))) for reimbursement of start-up costs. For the performance portion of the ((grant)) TRPP award, no funds will be made available without documentation of actual employee reductions in VMT and vehicle trips. Applications for multi-year projects must demonstrate the organization's ability to accept payments for performance, as well as bonus funds, through the end of the project time frame.

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

(((16))) (15) 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)) project period. The performance measurement must adjust for changes in employee populations during the ((grant)) project 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)) project, 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 at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/tdm/tripreduction/CTRguide/SEC3.cfm. Any start-up costs are contingent upon completion or acceptance of the baseline survey.

(b) Performance measurement survey. For basic projects (one- to two-year), the ((grantee)) recipient will have the option to survey the eligible project employees ((a second time by June 15th. This second survey is called the performance measurement survey)) midway through the project (by June 15th if it is a two-year project), and is required to survey at the end of the project. For multi-year projects (three to five years), the recipient will be required to survey the eligible project employees at the beginning of the project, each biennium (by June 15th), and at the end of the project.

(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)) baseline 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)) took per day during the ((first)) performance measurement survey ((if they had)) (interim or final) and compare it to 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 morning commute 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.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 70.94.996, 70.94.534, 70.94.541. 04-06-087, 468-60-010, filed 3/3/04, effective 4/3/04.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office