Transportation demand management strategies that reduce the number of vehicles on Washington state's highways, roads, and streets, and provide attractive and effective alternatives to single-occupancy travel, can improve ambient air quality, conserve fossil fuels, and forestall the need for capital improvements to the state's transportation system. The legislature has required many public and private employers in the state's largest counties to implement transportation demand management programs to reduce the number of single-occupant vehicle travelers during the morning and evening rush hours, and has provided substantial funding for the University of Washington's UPASS program, which has been immensely successful in its first two years of implementation. The legislature finds that additional transportation demand management strategies are required to mitigate the adverse social, environmental, and economic effects of auto dependency and traffic congestion. While expensive capital improvements, including dedicated busways and commuter rail systems, may be necessary to improve the region's mobility, they are only part of the solution. All public and private entities that attract single-occupant vehicle drivers must develop imaginative and cost-effective ways to encourage walking, bicycling, carpooling, vanpooling, bus riding, and telecommuting. It is the intent of the legislature to revise those portions of state law that inhibit the application of imaginative solutions to the state's transportation mobility problems, and to encourage many more public and private institutions of higher learning to adopt effective transportation demand management strategies.
The legislature finds further that many of the institutions of higher education in the state's largest counties are responsible for significant numbers of single-occupant vehicle trips to and from their campuses. These single-occupant vehicle trips are not only contributing to the degradation of the state's environment and deterioration of its transportation system, but are also usurping parking spaces from surrounding residential communities because existing parking facilities cannot accommodate students' current demand. Therefore, it is the intent of the legislature to permit these institutions to develop and fund transportation demand management programs that reduce single-occupant vehicle travel and promote alternatives to single-occupant vehicle driving. The legislature encourages institutions of higher education to include faculty and staff in their transportation demand management programs.