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save time by choosing an alternative mode (because buses or carpools travel the same con- gested roads as SOVs) or cost (cars are given free parking whereas transit users must pay a fare), it is difficult to persuade the commuter that it makes economic sense to not drive. Hence, any strategies that help even out this competitive disadvantage--management of the supply or price of employee parking, priority access or routing for buses or car/vanpools, or modal subsidies--make an alternative mode easier to promote. Strategies must be appropriate to the travel environment in which they are applied; for exam- ple, widespread offering of transit subsidies may not mean much if the level or quality of tran- sit service is poor. The effect of individual strategies is enhanced if they are combined with other strategies which are known to be "synergistic." For example, providing transportation services is likely to have greater impact if the offering is paired with financial incentives such as user subsidies, and pro- viding carpool matching services and HOV reserved spaces is more likely to be effective if employees driving to the worksite are not guaranteed free parking. The synergy of employer commitment and engagement has a key role to play as well. "Employment-based programs work when a party accountable for performance . . . is expe- riencing a critical problem (parking, congestion, regulation) that demand management can solve, puts resources into solutions, follows through on implementation, changes activities and resources based on actual performance, and demands results" (Valk, 2007). Alternative work hours/schedules may have conflicting effects. Evidence suggests that a pol- icy of flexible work hours can be an important incentive for employees who rideshare or use transit, as it allows them greater latitude to deal with the scheduling demands of those modes. On the other hand, strategies like CWW and telecommuting appear to be more neutral and-- although more research is needed--may even detract from the use of alternative modes. Attractive combinations within the 82-program sample occur when the privilege of a modified work schedule is tied to the use of alternative modes. Informed program design and development is obviously crucial. Efforts to enhance the TDM pro- gram development process, largely in the hands of employers, are covered in the next two subsec- tions in particular. Program Development Outreach and Support The success of TDM programs clearly depends on the level of information and assistance that is made available to the individual employers. Employers faced with a requirement or need to reduce vehicle trips are placed into unfamiliar territory, where they must somehow identify a set of actions that not only will help meet their trip reduction goal, but also be affordable and compati- ble with the type of business activity in which they are engaged. Whether motivation to reduce employee vehicle use is caused by regulation or a desire to either reduce demand for scarce park- ing or to provide helpful alternatives for employees stuck in traffic, employers are typically ill- equipped to design and implement effective programs. They are also constrained by an underlying concern of not wanting to frustrate employees or impose an action that will threaten their compet- itive advantage in finding and retaining workers/staff. Agencies such as the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), which was charged with administering the requirements of Regulation XV in Southern California, have employed a 19-104

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variety of methods to provide guidance and technical assistance to affected employers. SCAQMD developed a range of tools to help employers learn how to develop a trip reduction plan, and increasingly (as more information became available) provided technical support for selection of strategies. Consultant expertise increased as well. Ultimately, SCAQMD, with help from CARB, undertook development of a Travel Demand Management Program to provide improved guidance on selection of strategies capable of achieving trip-reduction goals. This information was made available to employers in the form of software and also a hard-copy manual. A description of this research is provided in the next subsection, "Modeling Studies." Other, less formal approaches to sharing information, building support, and shaping effective programs than those of the regulatory agencies are evident in the marketing and outreach pro- grams of local and regional governments, transportation agencies, and transportation manage- ment associations (TMAs). Most metropolitan planning agencies actively support employer TDM efforts, often in support of efforts to attain or maintain federally mandated air quality standards. For example, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments operates an ambitious suite of programs, termed Commuter Connections, through which it provides a range of information, out- reach, and technical assistance in support of TDM (LDA Consulting, 1999). Commuter Connections operates an employer outreach program to encourage large, private sector employers to volun- tarily implement TDM strategies to reduce vehicle trips by employees. It offers an integrated rideshare program that provides regional rideshare matching as well as information on other alternative modes to all who receive a matchlist, a guaranteed ride home program in which it runs a regional emergency ride service for participating employers across the region, a telework resource center through which it provides information and assistance to commuters and employers to fur- ther in-home and satellite center telework programs, and a network of information kiosks in many locations to provide transit route and schedule information, maps, and rideshare information. Sometimes TDM program development information and technical assistance is provided by the public transit agency, through a special regional ridesharing organization, or through TMAs. Many transit agencies actively work with employers to provide better information to employees on transit alternatives, to assist in selling commuter passes on-site, and to encourage employers to subsidize their employees' transit costs through programs like TransitChek in New York and Philadelphia and Snap Pass/PASSport in Portland, Oregon, both of which have been discussed earlier in this chapter. At one time, regional ridesharing agencies were popular fixtures in many urban areas, such as Commuter Transportation Services in Los Angeles and Commuter Computer in Pittsburgh. These organizations eventually broadened their scope to promote alternative modes other than just ridesharing or vanpooling. A number were assimilated into the corresponding Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) when air quality became an important driver for pro- moting alternative modes, following the passage of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, and the introduction of transportation conformity legislation in several states and jurisdictions. A highly innovative program was conceived and implemented by Seattle Metro, now King County Metro, the public transportation agency for Seattle/King County, in the mid-to-late 1980s. Beginning with the development of its 1990 Transit Plan in 1981, the agency realized that it needed to broaden its base of products and services beyond simply fixed-route transit service. Proliferation of signif- icant new activity centers outside the Seattle CBD posed an entirely different set of travel needs than those served by traditional CBD-oriented bus service. In January 1986, Metro undertook a restructuring that reflected a shift to a market-oriented approach, emphasizing different products and services for the new developing markets. One element of this shift was to incorporate Commuter Pool, the regional carpool and vanpool agency, into Metro. Another element was the establishment of a Research and Market Strategy 19-105