Assess Site Factors That Affect Employee Commuting Options for Greenhouse Gas Profile
After establishing an employee commuting behavior baseline for evaluating a greenhouse gas (GHG) profile, analyze the specific characteristics of the agency's major worksites to help determine which alternative commute methods and work arrangements are viable and what types of strategies may be most effective for promoting those alternatives. It is recommended that worksite-level data collection focus on worksites with the:
- Largest number of employees, or clusters of worksites with large employee populations in an area with diverse commuting infrastructure options (e.g., Washington, DC, metropolitan area)
- Greatest proportion of total commute emissions
- Highest commuting emissions per person than agency average.
While large numbers of employees and emissions often align, it is helpful to look at both to determine which sites are particularly commute-emissions intensive. These sites may have greater opportunity to benefit from incremental commute behavior changes. Furthermore, for agencies in leased spaces, the expiration of leases at such sites may present the opportunity to relocate to sites with improved commuting options, if cost and mission considerations also support such a move.
To illustrate how an agency might identify worksites for more detailed data collection, see Figure 1. Agency ABC has a national presence but 88% of its employees work at four primary locations. Together these employees also contribute 88% of the agency's commute-related emissions. The agency will focus its detailed analysis on those four worksites initially, and apply some default assumptions about available alternatives to the remaining worksites (e.g., that only carpooling and teleworking are viable at those sites).
Once priority worksites are identified, the data elements outlined in Table 1 below will provide a better understanding of viable commute options and support needs at those worksites. The ETC may be the best person to conduct the worksite analyses and update them periodically.
Table 1. Data to Help Characterize Worksites
|Data Element||Examples||How it Supports Planning|
|Existing transportation programs/ incentives and participation levels||
||Help assess impact of existing programs on adoption|
|Existing mass transit services and proximity to worksite||
||Focus site-specific communications and incentives on commute methods that are relevant to the worksite|
|Transportation programs of other nearby employers||Neighboring business has ride-share matching program||Expand network of potential riders and leverage an existing resource for carpooling|
|Highway access including HOV lanes||Access from freeway with HOV lanes||Determine whether commute time benefits of ridesharing can be promoted|
|Number, price, location, supply vs. demand, and assignment of parking spaces||
||Determine whether certain parking management and travel allowance strategies (i.e., payments provided to employees instead of a parking subsidy) may be relevant|
|Existing bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and environment||
||Determine need for infrastructure improvements. Assess walkability of potential new facilities.|
|On-site transportation need and availability||
||Determine when on-site transit would reduce need for personal vehicle access during workday|
|Availability of on-site or nearby services||
||Determine need to provide space for services or encourage businesses to locate in the vicinity|
|Current alternative work arrangement policies at the worksite||Telework option available to all employees except hourly employees||Determine need to establish new policy or promote existing policy.|
When a detailed site-level analysis is not feasible, general assumptions may be used to characterize alternatives available to employees at those locations:
- Availability of transit rail - This option is limited to about 50 U.S. metropolitan areas. A current list may be found on Wikipedia.
- Availability of bus - A current list of cities with bus service may be found on Wikipedia.
- Availability of carpool/vanpool - Carpools and vanpools can be organized by an employer at any worksite, and may be facilitated by existing regional transit authority program. A number of web-based resources can help employers determine existence of rideshare programs.
The CommuterChoice.com program-sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Transportation, and Transportation Demand Management Institute–also provides detailed information on commute resources for several major metropolitan areas.
For evaluating a GHG emissions profile for employee commuting, also learn how to:
- Survey employees
- Establish commute behavior baseline
- Identify clusters of employees with common commute characteristics
- Assess awareness of alternatives and trip reduction programs
- Understand attitudes about commuting alternatives
- Determine incentives to adopt alternatives and barriers to overcome
- Step 1
Assess Agency Size Changes
- Step 2
Evaluate Emissions Profile
- Step 3
Evaluate Reduction Strategies
- Step 4
Estimate Implementation Costs
- Step 5
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