WSR 08-03-136

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION


[ Filed January 23, 2008, 9:19 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 07-22-009.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Chapter 468-60 WAC, Trip reduction performance program.

Hearing Location(s): Washington State Department of Transportation, Commission Board Room 1D2, 310 Maple Park Avenue S.E., Olympia, WA 98504, on March 3, 2008, at 11:30 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: March 3, 2007 [2008].

Submit Written Comments to: Hiep Tran, P.O. Box 47387, Olympia, WA 98504-7387, e-mail tranh@wsdot.wa.gov, fax (360) 705-6862, by February 26, 2007 [2008].

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Hiep Tran by February 29, 2007 [2008], TTY (360) 705-7000 or (360) 705-7760.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: Updating this chapter of the Washington Administrative Code will clarify the intent and requirements of the trip reduction performance program.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The revisions will clarify the program payments for projects.

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: Washington state department of transportation, public transportation and rail division, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting and Implementation: Hiep Tran, Public Transportation Division, (360) 705-7806.

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

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. There is no additional financial impact related to the implementation of this rule.

January 18, 2008

Steve Reinmuth

Chief of Staff

OTS-1152.2


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 07-05-064, filed 2/20/07, effective 3/23/07)

WAC 468-60-010   Trip reduction performance program.   The Washington state department of transportation (WSDOT), together with the commute trip reduction (CTR) board, will administer 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 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. WSDOT awards funds for cost-effective trip reduction projects, based on a price that the project charges WSDOT to reduce an annualized trip, and the projected number of annual commute vehicle trips and commute VMT reduced during the project period (the project goal). Up to half of the award amount is available through reimbursement for start-up costs. WSDOT will determine the remaining award amount, as well as any bonus funds, based on the actual performance of the project in meeting or exceeding the goal. As necessary, WSDOT will revise these rules periodically to create a more efficient, cost-effective, trip reduction program.

(1) What are trip reduction performance projects? WSDOT awards funds on a competitive basis to organizations that create cost-effective projects designed to reduce commute vehicle trips and commute VMT (based on the morning commute). The organization will receive funds based on the price associated with each trip and overall project performance. The 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, 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 this section, the following definitions apply.

(a) A financial incentive 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 an employee performs work functions that are normally performed at a traditional workplace, but does so instead at the employee's home, or at a work center that is located closer to the employee's home than to the employee's workplace, for at least one day a week with the effect of reducing the number of trips to the employee's workplace.

(d) A person-trip is one one-way commute trip made by one person to get to work. A trip avoided because the employee teleworks, or because the employee works a compressed work week schedule, is also considered a person-trip.

(e) A mode is the means of transportation an employee 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 employees commuting to work during a period such as a week or month, using each specific transportation mode. A measurement also records the distance each employee commutes to work; the type of work schedule or compressed work week that each employee works; and the number of persons in the employee's carpool or vanpool if the employee uses one of these modes. WSDOT may require that a measurement record additional information.

(g) Mode share is the percentage of person-trips made by a population of employees 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 employees, such as those 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 employees as not worked, inconsistency between commute mode and vehicle occupancy data, and reported use of compressed work weeks. When making these adjustments, WSDOT follows CTR board guidelines when these are available, and makes reasonable adjustments otherwise.

(i) Commute vehicle trips is the number of vehicle trips made to bring employees 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 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 employee teleworks or because the employee works a compressed work week schedule, is not considered as using a motor vehicle under this definition. If employees at a worksite work at jobs that last less than a full year, WSDOT annualizes the commute vehicle trips. For example, if the jobs at a worksite last for only nine months, then WSDOT will annualize the commute vehicle trips as three quarters of the commute vehicle trips that would be calculated if the employees worked for a full year. WSDOT then will use the annualized values in determining project performance and payments.

(j) Reduced commute vehicle trips is the reduction in the number of commute vehicle trips between a baseline measurement and a subsequent measurement. WSDOT will provide information to applicants on calculating reduced commute vehicle trips.

Calculation: WSDOT calculates reduced commute vehicle trips by subtracting the number of commute vehicle trips made by the employees in the subsequent measurement, from the number of vehicle trips the same number of employees would have made if they had commuted using the mode split from the baseline measurement.

(k) Commute vehicle-miles traveled per person (VMT) is the average daily vehicle trips each employee makes in a motorized vehicle, multiplied by the employee's one-way distance to work, summed for all employees, and the sum then divided by the number of employees.

(l) Reduced VMT is the reduction in the number of commute vehicle-miles traveled per person between a baseline measurement and a subsequent measurement. WSDOT calculates reduced VMT by subtracting the commute vehicle-miles traveled per person in the subsequent measurement, from the commute vehicle-miles traveled in the baseline measurement.

(m) A project goal is the total number of commute vehicle trips that a TRPP project proposes to reduce when it applies for TRPP funding.

(n) An interim goal is the number of commute vehicle trips that a TRPP project proposes to reduce for specified periods shorter than the project's entire duration. Payments for interim goals are subject to WSDOT approval.

(o) Performance is defined as the reduction in the number of commute vehicle trips to work locations in the TRPP project, with credit given for reductions in the commute vehicle miles traveled by employees to those work locations. WSDOT will provide directions for calculating this credit as part of the materials used when applying for TRPP funds.

(p) 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 or providing the employee the financial incentive.

(q) The price per trip (or trip price) is the amount that WSDOT agrees to pay for each annualized commute vehicle trip reduced by a TRPP project, up to the number of trips proposed in the project goal. WSDOT will set a maximum price per trip that it is willing to pay, that does not exceed the estimated annualized cost of providing new roadway capacity. WSDOT may vary the maximum cost by year. WSDOT will provide the maximum cost per trip as part of the documents for applying for TRPP funds.

(r) A cost-effective application is one that defines a project that will reduce commute vehicle trips and commute vehicle miles traveled at a price equal to or less than WSDOT's maximum price per trip.

(s) A basic project is a project that lasts up to two years.

(t) A multi-year project is a project that lasts from three to five years.

(u) The award amount for a project is equal to the price per trip multiplied by the project goal.

(3) Who can apply? 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, nonmotorized commuting, telework, and/or compressed work weeks. The statewide funds are available on a competitive basis for private employers, public agencies, nonprofit organizations, developers, and property managers or their agents who create cost-effective trip reduction projects.

(4) What kinds of projects will be funded? To receive funds, the project must meet the 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 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 are the program funds appropriated? The Revised Code of Washington, RCW 70.94.996 authorizes the legislature to appropriate funding for this program.

(6) Are any of the TRPP funds set aside for specific use? Any funds appropriated to TRPP beyond the initial program level of seven hundred fifty thousand dollars per year may be used for projects within growth and transportation efficiency centers (GTEC) and for performance of local jurisdictions.

(a) Up to eighty-five percent of any appropriated funds in excess of the initial program level will be available for GTEC projects.

(b) GTEC projects will be subject to the same competitive processes and rules as projects funded with initial program funds.

(c) Fifteen percent of any appropriated funds in excess of the initial program funds will be made available for CTR affected jurisdictions as local jurisdiction performance funds.

(d) Appropriated funds in excess of the initial program funds will be made available to proposals outside of GTECs if there are funds remaining after all proposals within GTECs that fit the program structure for viable, cost-effective, trip reduction projects have been funded.

(e) Any appropriated funds in excess of the initial program funds and any initial program funds that remain after start-up funds, performance funds, and performance bonuses are paid will be used for local jurisdiction performance funds.

(f) WSDOT will determine the jurisdiction performance levels, and payments to the jurisdictions for performance will not exceed the maximum price per trip allowed by WSDOT.

(7) How will the TRPP funds be distributed? A minimum amount of the TRPP funds is to be available 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 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. This applies to all current and future funds.

(8) How much money will be awarded to individual 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 price per trip that the project 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.

(9) How much money can be awarded to applications with multiple partners? Each organization (agency or employer) on the application may receive up to one hundred thousand dollars with the total amount not to exceed two hundred fifty thousand dollars per application, per fiscal year as identified in RCW 70.94.996. If additional funds are appropriated by the legislature for this program, WSDOT may exceed this organization maximum award at their discretion.

(10) Who can apply for a "partnership"? An agent "who will provide the financial incentive to the employee" can submit a project partnership application and be the prime recipient for the project.

(11) How does the applicant apply for the TRPP funds? WSDOT will notify eligible applicants of the open period for applications. WSDOT may open more than one application period per year depending on whether all funds are awarded. Applicants apply by submitting a completed "TRPP" application form during an open application period. The "TRPP" application 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, that they are submitting an application for TRPP funds.

(a) Applicants may submit more than one project application for consideration; however, when the sum of all the project costs are combined, they cannot exceed what the applicant is eligible to receive.

(b) Applicants may submit an application that will cover one or two years (basic project) or apply for projects that cover three to five years (multi-year projects).

(c) All applicants must describe how they will measure performance for their project. Every project must have a baseline measurement and a final measurement. Additional measurements are required for multi-year projects, and interim measurements are optional for all projects.

(d) All applicants must describe how and when they will implement their project.

(e) For basic projects, applicants must estimate the number of vehicle trips and VMT reduced for each fiscal year as well as the project total.

(f) In the case of multi-year projects, applicants must estimate the number of vehicle trips and VMT reduced for each year, as well as a project total.

(12) Can a basic project be renewed? A basic project that performs well may be approved for a renewal; however, the contractor must reapply. If the renewal is approved by the selection committee, 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.

(13) How will the application be reviewed? The chair of the CTR board will select a committee comprised of between six and nine members will review the applications and selection. The project selection committee will include at least one member of the CTR board, 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. The committee will include at least one member from the CTR technical advisory group (TAG), a member of WSDOT familiar with performance measurement, and an RTPO representative. The award committee will select projects based on the criteria as defined in subsection (12) of this section.

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

(a) 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 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 must 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. Deviations from the approved measurement plan will be subject to review and approval by WSDOT. WSDOT may reject an application or 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 population? All projects must conduct a baseline measurement of all individual participants as they begin taking part in the project. If a project targets an entire worksite, the project must identify the worksite, and all employees must participate in the measurement, or the total number of employees at the worksite must be indicated in the baseline and performance measurements. The applicant must indicate the implementation timeline, proposed measurement methods (if other than WSDOT measurement tool) and measurement schedule in the application.

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

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

(15) 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 award recipient can receive for the project, the timelines, performance expectations, and the project's measurement plan. The recipient must submit a TRPP fund disbursement form provided by WSDOT in order to request funds. On this form the recipient will identify the funds requested and provide documentation of performance or expenditures for reimbursement of start-up costs. 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. WSDOT will provide funds to the recipient through three approaches: Start-up, performance and performance bonus.

(a) Start-up funds: WSDOT will provide start-up funding on a dollar for dollar, cost-reimbursable basis, but will not exceed fifty percent of the total project award for the duration of the project. The recipient of basic project award may request start-up funds after the baseline measurement has begun. The recipient can request start-up funds throughout the project or until the final performance funds are paid. The recipient of a multi-year project award is 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. This is the amount that will be available as start-up funds each year.

(b) Performance funds: The remaining award amount will be available to the recipient following performance measurement(s) for the project, based on the project's performance. All basic projects are required to measure at the end of the project and deliver the measurement data to WSDOT by June 1st. Projects that conduct interim measurements will be eligible to receive a prorated portion of the performance funding following each measurement, with the balance available after the final measurement. Projects that do not conduct interim measurements will receive their remaining performance funds after the final measurement. For multi-year projects, the recipient must measure the project's performance at the end of each biennium (and deliver the measurement data to WSDOT by June 1st) at a minimum, and at the end of the project. The amount of performance funds paid will be calculated from the project's price per trip and performance. Projects must reduce trips to be eligible for any performance funds. The project application must describe the measurement schedule for the project, and the contract for the project will include a measurement schedule.

(c) Performance bonus funds: WSDOT will provide performance bonus funds only at the end of the contract period. The recipient will receive the funds for additional performance above the award amount based on the same price per trip reduced, including credit for VMT reduced, as identified in their contract. The recipient will be eligible to receive additional bonus funds up to one hundred twenty percent of the contracted price per trip, or up to the maximum price per trip allowed (whichever is less), for every trip that exceeds the project goal. WSDOT will make performance bonus funds available only if funds are remaining in the TRPP account.

(d) Implementation penalties: All award recipients 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.

(16) What is the measurement/payment schedule? Every project must have a baseline measurement, and the baseline measurement must begin before WSDOT will make payments to reimburse start-up costs. Interim measurements can be conducted monthly or quarterly, and must be completed in order to request interim payments. Submission of interim measurements to receive interim payments is subject to prior WSDOT approval. Every project must submit a final performance measurement at the end of the project in order to receive final payment. WSDOT must receive the final performance measurements and request for funds by June 1st of the contract closure year.

(17) What are interim measurements and payments? When applicable and when approved in advance by WSDOT, recipients may request monthly and/or quarterly payments for trip and VMT reductions. WSDOT will prorate payments based on the project timeline and the interim performance measurement. The sum of all performance payments will not exceed the total funds awarded to the project. Recipients will also be able to receive start-up funds that are phased throughout the life of the project (see subsection (15)(a) of this section for details on start-up fund disbursement).

(18) Can the price per trip be adjusted? Multi-year projects and basic projects seeking a renewal may apply for an adjustment to the trip price and/or their goal at the end of each biennium. Adjustments to trip price and goal for the project will be subject to review and approval by WSDOT. Payments for multi-year projects are contingent upon the provision of legislative funding in future biennia.

(19) What happens if a project does not perform? 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. Projects must reduce trips to be eligible for any performance funds.

(20) How are projects that overlap treated? No applicant may claim full reduction in employee commute vehicle trips 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 will provide them with the opportunity to adjust their trip prices and goals. If projects are selected that overlap, WSDOT will ask the applicants to propose a solution to the overlap. If a solution cannot be agreed upon by the applicants, WSDOT will adjust the payments for areas where it can determine overlap occurs, by dividing the amount per trip by the number of TRPP projects involved in the overlap. WSDOT will use the lower price per trip in the overlapped projects to calculate payment.

(21) Performance documentation: The applicant must, as part of the TRPP application, describe how the project will measure performance. WSDOT will make measurement instruments available to the project. The applicant may propose alternative ways to measure the project, but must provide a description of the alternative as part of the application. Use of any measurement instrument is subject to approval by WSDOT. WSDOT will incorporate language describing the project's measurement into the contract documents for the project. WSDOT will calculate the reduction in commute vehicle trips for the project, along with any credit for reduction in vehicle miles traveled. At its discretion, WSDOT may make software available to TRPP recipients to calculate the reductions directly.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 70.94.996. 07-05-064, 468-60-010, filed 2/20/07, effective 3/23/07; 05-19-042, 468-60-010, filed 9/14/05, effective 10/15/05. 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