US 36 Master EcoPass Pilot Program and local employers team together to reduce drive alone trips

LOUISVILLE, Colo.—The US 36 corridor’s recent multi-modal transformation provides an array of travel options, and through a two-year US 36 Master EcoPass Pilot Program, local employers are benefiting from the new transit system being a viable commute option for their employees. The US 36 Master EcoPass Pilot Program was launched in 2015 by 36 Commuting Solutions to provide free RTD EcoPasses to businesses located within walking distance of RTD’s McCaslin, Broomfield and Sheridan transit stations.

A mid-program analysis indicates that with 919 EcoPasses available at 20 businesses, an estimated 63,356 annual vehicle trips were reduced. 36 Commuting Solutions Executive Director Audrey DeBarros points out, “The annual vehicle miles traveled reduced (VMTR) by this group is estimated to be 1,710,601.” DeBarros adds, “This reduction is equivalent to about 69 trips around the earth’s equator.”

The 2015 program results are encouraging and point to significant transportation impacts for the US 36 corridor. In the pre- and post-survey analysis, 36 Commuting Solutions found that once commuters receive their EcoPass, they are reporting 19 percent fewer drive alone trips, compared to before they had the pass; and they are reporting a 111 percent increase in transit trips.

Employers such as Return Path, who participated in both 2015 and 2016, found the RTD EcoPass to be a valuable benefit for employees. Return Path Office Manager Angela Fitzgerald explains, “The EcoPass has proven to be an exceptional benefit for our employees, and provides a transportation option that fosters a lively and thriving environment. When employees are less worried about the time, cost and environmental impacts of getting to and from work, a happier and more productive atmosphere emerges. Our employees have taken full advantage of the EcoPass, and Return Path is excited to partner with 36 Commuting Solutions to provide the pass in 2016 for our 230 employees.”

Eight of the organizations who participated in 2015, representing 360 employees, have continued with the program for 2016. These eight organizations are paying 25 percent of the cost, while grants provided to 36 Commuting Solutions cover the remaining 75 percent. Twelve new organizations, representing 370 employees have joined the 2016 program. 2016 will be the final year of the subsidized US 36 Master EcoPass Pilot Program, as the grant funding this program was awarded to coincide with and introduce commuters to the benefits of the new and improved US 36 corridor.

About 36 Commuting Solutions:
36 Commuting Solutions is dedicated to delivering innovative transportation options that connect commuters to their workplaces, businesses to their employees, and residents to their communities. Through advocacy for infrastructure and transportation improvements, partnerships and education, we create progressive, flexible transportation solutions. Be part of the progress along US 36, visit 36commutingsolutions.org.

Innovative US 36 Congestion Mitigation Program offers incentives to keep commuters moving

Louisville, Colo.—As the US 36 Express Lanes Project nears completion, travel along the corridor is already showing significant improvement. Based on post-survey results from 36 Commuting Solutions’ US 36 Congestion Mitigation Program, a two-year social marketing campaign designed to reduce traffic congestion and raise public awareness about commute options, more US 36 commuters are opting out of driving solo. 36 Commuting Solutions Executive Director, Audrey DeBarros, explains, “To date, the program has contributed to a 40 percent reduction in drive alone trips by those who participated in the program, and vehicle miles traveled (VMT) have been reduced by 12,500. This is more than three times the VMT reduction that had been anticipated over the life of the program.” DeBarros adds, “To put it in perspective, there are about 500 fewer vehicles traveling the corridor each day.”

36 Commuting Solutions, in partnership with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE), offers eligible commuters incentives to change commute behavior. US 36 Express Lanes Project Director, Scott Rees, says, “From bike to bus to van or car, now is a great time to try a new way of commuting on the US 36 Express Lanes.” Those who want to try RTD are eligible to receive a 10-ride Regional Ticket Book, valued at $40. New vanpool and carpool applicants are eligible to receive a $75 incentive. Funding for these incentives is available through the end of 2016. Incentive program details and the application are available at 36commutingsolutions.org.

Additionally, as a part of a US 36 Master EcoPass Pilot Program, 919 EcoPasses were distributed in 2015 and 733 have been distributed in 2016. An analysis of the 2015 EcoPass program indicates that the annual number of vehicle trips reduced by this group is 63,000 and the annual VMT reduction is estimated at 1,710,000. An analysis of first-year EcoPass participants indicates that drive alone trips were reduced by 19 percent, and transit use increased by 111 percent.

“We are thrilled to see more commuters taking advantage of the incentives program and altering their commuting behaviors. With the US 36 Express Lanes Project nearly complete, 36 Commuting Solutions remains focused on inspiring commute behavior change to maximize use of the new transportation system on US 36,” says Audrey DeBarros.

About 36 Commuting Solutions:
36 Commuting Solutions is dedicated to delivering innovative transportation options that connect commuters to their workplaces, businesses to their employees, and residents to their communities. Through advocacy for infrastructure and transportation improvements, partnerships and education, we create progressive, flexible transportation solutions. Be part of the progress along US 36, visit 36commutingsolutions.org.