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Purpose.

(1) Background and purpose. This section describes the background of the commute trip reduction (CTR) law (RCW 70.94.521 through 70.94.555) and the purpose of these rules.
(a) Program history and goals. Washington state's laws relating to commute trip reduction (CTR law) were adopted in 1991 and incorporated into the Washington Clean Air Act as RCW 70.94.521 through 70.94.551. The intent of the CTR law is to reduce automobile-related air pollution, traffic congestion, and energy use through employer-based programs that encourage the use of alternatives to the single-occupant vehicle traveling during peak traffic periods for the commute trip. Strategies such as these that encourage travelers to use the transportation system more efficiently are generally known as transportation demand management (TDM). In 2006, the Legislature amended the CTR law to make the program more efficient and effective.
(b) Purpose of rules. These rules are intended to ensure consistency in CTR plans and goals among jurisdictions while fairly taking into account differences in employment and housing density, employer size, existing and anticipated levels of transit service, special employer circumstances, and other factors the board determines to be relevant.
(2) Program overview. This section describes some general considerations for affected jurisdictions and employers.
(a) Existing CTR programs. Those jurisdictions with an existing CTR ordinance as of March 1, 2007, and the employers within those jurisdictions, shall continue to operate their existing CTR programs as necessary to comply with the requirements of the existing CTR ordinance, until the time that the jurisdiction adopts changes to its CTR ordinance to respond to changes in the CTR law and the planning requirements in these rules.
(b) Relation to other transportation demand management requirements. The state encourages local jurisdictions to make existing transportation demand management (TDM) requirements compatible with the requirements of RCW 70.94.521 through 70.94.555 and these rules. Several jurisdictions have implemented TDM requirements for employers or developers through the permitting of new facilities under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), or through development requirements under the Growth Management Act (GMA). The state recognizes that jurisdictions may use TDM to satisfy different goals than those in the CTR law because of other considerations. The state encourages jurisdictions to review existing and proposed TDM requirements that are based on SEPA and GMA and make them compatible with the CTR law where feasible. The state intends for property owners to be treated equitably and that, wherever possible, jurisdictions reduce the conflict, duplication and higher cost of separate or conflicting TDM requirements at the same major employer worksite. To this end, the state recommends that TDM development requirements be measured using the same instruments, methodologies, and reporting requirements used for employers subject to the jurisdiction's CTR ordinance.
(c) Interjurisdictional cooperation. The state intends that, to the extent possible, jurisdictions in affected urban growth areas enter into cooperative arrangements for the implementation of their CTR plans. Such arrangements may be made with the county, other cities, transit agencies, regional transportation planning organizations, or other entities, as appropriate. The arrangements may be entered into through interlocal agreements or contracts. The advantages of such arrangements include stretching the limited resources available for implementing CTR plans and facilitating consistent treatment of employers across jurisdictional boundaries.
(d) Cooperation among affected employers. The state encourages affected major employers to enter into cooperative arrangements with other affected major employers in their immediate vicinity for the development and implementation of CTR programs. These arrangements could be through the formation of transportation management associations (TMAs), or they could be less formal. The advantages of such cooperation include economies of scale, the potential for sharing resources, and the formation of a larger grouping of employees, making ridesharing arrangements or special transit services easier.
(e) State agency leadership. RCW 70.94.547 recognizes the state's crucial leadership role in establishing and implementing effective commute trip reduction programs, and intends for the department of general administration and other state agencies, including institutions of higher education, to aggressively develop substantive programs to reduce commute trips by state employees. The interagency board created in RCW 70.94.551 is responsible for developing policies and guidelines to promote consistency among state agency commute trip reduction programs and for developing the state's leadership role.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 70.94.537. WSR 07-05-065, ยง 468-63-010, filed 2/20/07, effective 3/23/07.]
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