What, Why & How
Are you trying to squeeze too many cars into too few parking spaces?
Are you trying to attract and retain skilled employees who live far from your worksite?
Would you like to reduce company health insurance costs?
Would you like your business to be recognized for helping the community?
Smart Trips Employer Partners
We can help you establish a worksite program that addresses these challenges by encouraging employees to leave their cars at home and to make Smart Trips. The Whatcom Smart Trips office offers free services to Smart Trips Employer Partners.
In exchange for these services, we only ask that you designate a worksite transportation coordinator and that you allow that person 1-2 hours per month to administer your program. (Programs for large worksites will take more administration time.)
In addition to the business benefits of running a Smart Trips employer program, you'll also make important contributions to our community, such as:
- Reducing traffic congestion
- Supporting a transportation system that's more efficient and less costly to maintain
- Providing health benefits to individuals
- Strengthening social connections
- Creating a more vibrant local business community
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other types of air and water pollution
Sharing Best Practices
Smart Trips employer partners know they’re making important contributions to the community and benefitting their own company. If you’re doing something because you believe in it, you want to know that you’re doing the best job you can. Here’s what we’ve learned from the many excellent companies and organizations in our community.
- Has company executives who:
- Communicate about Smart Trips at least once a year to all employees
- Make and record Smart Trips at least once a month
- Has a worksite coordinator who:
- Makes and records Smart Trips at least once a month
- Participates in Smart Trips meetings
- Has completed transit training
- Has completed bicycle skills training
- Participates in Smart Trips employer events
- Promotes First Time Rider bus passes
- Uses employee transportation maps to promote Smart Trips to employees
- Displays and distributes Smart Trips promotional materials
- Includes Smart Trips information in new hire packets and training sessions
- Invests in worksite incentives and commuting assistance at a minimum level of $1/employee/year:
- Bus passes
- Reimbursements for bicycling commuting costs
- Participation prizes for Smart Trips events
- Daily incentive for not driving to work
- Milestone incentives for employees who have recorded a set number of trips
- Provides covered, secure bike parking
Some larger employers are required to follow particular program guidelines established by the state's Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) law. The purpose of the law is to create partnerships between local government and large employers to reduce traffic congestion, fuel consumption and air pollution. Your worksite is affected by this law if you have 100 or more full-time employees at a single worksite who are scheduled to:
- begin their regular work day between 6:00am and 9:00am,
- work two or more weekdays, and
- work for at least 12 consecutive months
Worksites that meet these criteria, and don't already participate in CTR, must notify us.
In 2015, Whatcom County’s CTR Plan was updated to reflect our community’s investment in the Smart Trips program. Accordingly, Whatcom County CTR employers have fewer administrative requirements and are instead expected to participate in the Smart Trips program, including the following specific expectations:
- Appoint an Employee Transportation Coordinator (ETC)
- Implement 60% or more of Smart Trips employer partner best practices
The Whatcom Smart Trips office provides materials and services to help CTR employers meet these expectations.