Vehicle Trip Reduction

More Telework Means Major Savings, Increased Productivity

Using a robustly-researched, fine-tuned “telework savings calculator” developed by the Telework Research Network, Seattle Times workplace blogger Michelle Goodman highlighted what this region’s employers and workers could save in various costs and gain in improved productivity if the 40 percent of regular, salaried non-government office workers who could work from home, but don’t, did — just half the time.
The upshot: There are billions of dollars in potential benefits from telework being left on the table in the Seattle region alone.
Kate Lister (pictured at right), co-author of “Undress For Success – The Naked Truth About Making Money At Home” and principal researcher of Telework Research Network, shared with me today her latest data about the robust national impact of 40 percent of the regular, full-time, non-government, in-office workforce working at home half the time. Maybe your company would like a piece of this action.

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Microsoft’s Rob Bernard On “Zero, Shared, And Efficient Miles”

We’ve now got a full transcript (at bottom, here) of the address given by Microsoft’s Chief Environmental Strategist Rob Bernard last month at Cascadia Center’s “Beyond Oil: Transforming Transportation” conference. Stressing the growing potential of information technology to shape decisions about commuting and travel, Bernard outlined what might be called a hierarchy of mobility preferences. Or, as he put it, the best miles are zero miles, followed by shared miles and then efficient miles. So, zero miles….how do I leverage the information in my calendar to keep me from coming to the office? Because if I can stay home I can get a lot of work done. So by literally looking at the blocks of time, and there’s color-coding options Read More ›

Telework: An Employee Retention Tool

With funding from the Washington State Department of Transportation and advice from 75 employers, the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council will develop common standards for telework. Derek Sheppard of the Kitsap Sun has more: Often, the idea of telework comes with some reservations. Will companies and employees miss out on the spontaneous creativity that trickles down next to the water cooler? What about slackers? Who will middle managers manage if there’s no one around? The focus, (Poulsbo City Council Member and telework advocate Ed) Stern said, is finding the right employees who can produce “deliverables,” so there’s a definable product they can show for their time at home. And the idea isn’t proposing wholesale abandonment of a company’s workplace. Stern hopes Read More ›

Beyond “Roads Versus Transit”

Seattle Times editorial columnist Lynne Varner (below, right) is a resident of suburban Sammamish, a growing community north of Issaquah, and Interstate 90. Today she warns against the gleeful predictions of some commentators that commuting by vehicle, and the whole suburban lifestyle are heading toward the end stages because of spiking gasoline prices. The New York Times recently published essays from writers expressing the national angst over skyrocketing gas prices. The mood was funereal. One was titled “Goodbye to the Great American Road Trip,” and needs no further explanation. “Ghosts of the Cul-de-sac” announced, a tad gleefully, a mass exodus from the suburbs and exurbs as people escape their cars for city living. Blog postings on the subject ranged from Read More ›

Bike-sharing, again

We talked here recently about Velib, the Parisian bike-sharing service, and how excellent it would be to have something similar in Seattle environs. Apparently I’m not the only person to think of this… Michele, at the Washington State Department of Transportation, informed me that the University of Washington is launching a similar on-campus program with automated rentals of electric bikes, in partnership with Scootabella Incorporated and Intrago Mobility Corp. of Boulder, Colorado. First in the nation. We are so cutting-edge. AND it’s electric. Sure, you can strap your own bike to the Metro bus, or just ride it hither and yon. But while some Huskies may not mind getting all fragrantly sweaty, many cubicle dwellers may. And that’s where the Read More ›

Flexcar is *so* passe

Car-sharing just got a one-up. Enter Velib, the Parisian bike-sharing program. Zipcar (or should I say Flexcar?!) is so last year. The latest and greatest is bike-swapping — better for your health, the environment, cheaper and vastly more flexible. With the expansion of the Burke-Gilman Trail and Bike Master Plan approval, maybe Seattle is the place to start the trend, State-side? It works like car-sharing… you pay roughly $30 for a year membership, but unlike its carbon-depended cousin, you get 30 minutes free for every trip using Velib. It is then incrementally a dollar (roughly) an hour–$1 for the first hour, $2 for the second hour– the idea is to avoid permanent “check-outs”. Bikes are available every 300 meters (few Read More ›

Can Better Carpooling Help Fix Our Traffic Mess?

A recent proposal under Washington State DOT’s Trip Reduction Performance Program would utilize a “Flexible Carpooling” strategy in a pilot project for Sea-Tac Airport employees, removing 100 commuter round trips per work day. Trip Convergence Ltd. is seeking a WSDOT grant of $86,000 over two years to help launch a five-year “proof of concept” test of its user-friendly form of carpooling – described in this YouTube video. (Full disclosure: Cascadia Center is one of several regional entities serving in an advisory capacity to Trip Convergence Ltd. with respect to the above-referenced pilot project). According to Trip Convergence’s grant application to WSDOT, members would drive to a Park and Ride location near Interstate 5 and State Route 18 in Federal Way, Read More ›

Slow But Steady “Telework Revolution” Eyed

The nation and major urban regions within the West Coast Corridor of Cascadia and California – namely Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego – continue to grapple with costly road and transit projects and the threat of global warming. These stem in part from workforce and population increases. Against this backdrop, common-sense trip reduction strategies such as telecommuting deserve more attention. Adopted on a broader scale, increased telecommuting can: help control road congestion and future transportation infrastructure costs; and help limit man-made greenhouse gas emissions and vehicle-related air pollution. A recently-released study by Tiax LLC of Cambridge, Mass. for the Consumer Electronics Association calculates that telecommuting – or to use a much better phrase, telework – Read More ›

Research Compendium

Last updated August 25, 2008 The research, it just keeps coming. On this page, we’ll compile links to key studies and reports on innovation in transportation. MANAGING, PLANNING & FUNDING TRANSPORTATION Cascadia Center Reports “Lessons In Public-Private Partnerships & Climate Change: What British Columbia Taught California, And What Washington Can Still Learn,” 10/07. “A Tale Of Three Cities: How San Diego, Denver and Vancouver, B.C. Raised Major Regional Funds For Transportation,” Doug Hurley, Cascadia Center For Regional Development, 9/06. “Travel Value Pricing: Better Traffic Operations Management & New Revenue For The Puget Sound Region,” John S. Niles, for Cascadia Center, 4/06. “Transportation Working Group Recommendations,” Transportation Working Group, Cascadia Center For Regional Development, 2/15/05. Transportation Working Group background, members, and Read More ›