Seattle Commute Survey 2024

by | Jul 16, 2024 | Commute Trip Reduction, Property Managers

Seattle Commute Surveys are live, Tuesday, October 8, 2024, and will close on Friday, November 1, 2024. Read on to learn more about this year's commute survey.

The commute survey is a requirement for CTR sites via the Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) program. The Ordinance (SMC 25.02) is mandated by the State’s CTR Law (RCW 70.94.521-551), a part of Washington’s Clean Air Act. Furthermore, the commute survey is a key requirement defined in the Transportation Management Program (TMP) for affected buildings.

CTR and TMP sites received a notification of this requirement from both City of Seattle and Commute Seattle.  The City of Seattle contracts with Commute Seattle to help sites administer the survey and offer survey support. This year, the survey will be administered through a partnership between Commute Seattle and the Mobility Innovation Center at the University of Washington with integral support from the City of Seattle. 

Background on Survey

Why survey?  

Collecting data on a city-wide level allows us to better understand mobility patterns. Don’t miss this chance to give your organization a voice in Seattle’s transportation future!  

What is the survey? 

Large employers (100+ employees) and buildings with a TMP requirement in Seattle are required to administer a survey of their employees and tenants every two years to understand employee commute behavior’s impact on traffic mitigation, air quality, and fossil fuel consumption.

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) measures commute behavior in two ways:  

  • Vehicle miles traveled per person (VMT) and  
  • Proportion of drive-alone trips. This year’s survey will help the City set its new goals in a post-pandemic commute reality.

Tracking commute behavior provides valuable data for employers and properties, including:  

  • Current employee/tenant commute behavior  
  • Emissions generated by trips to/from a worksite
  • Insight into employee/tenant travel needs to better tailor programs and offerings 

    Who is required to take the survey? 

    FOR CTR: The CTR Law affects Seattle worksites with 100 or more full-time employees. The law defines a “full-time employee” (FTE) as those who, 

    • work 35+ hours/week, and  
    • begin work between 6am-9am on 2 or more weekdays, and
    • anticipate being employed for at least 12 continuous months 

      Employees who telework full-time, part-time, or occasionally are CTR-affected. Remote workers are not CTR-affected if they meet all four of the following requirements:   

      • work from home or a site near home, and
      • come to the worksite once per year or less, and
      • live more than 150 miles from their worksites, and
      • do not work at a state agency in Lacey, Olympia, or Tumwater.

      What if employees are required to drive for work? Exemptions to taking the survey are available by request for people required to drive for work. On-call workers may also be exempt from the survey. Contact us to learn more about exemptions. 

      FOR TMP: Generally, property management staff, all commercial or residential tenants, and tenant employees are required to participate in the survey. However, some TMPs have a specific population defined within the master use permit agreement (e.g., office tenants only). If you need assistance identifying your TMP survey population, please reach out tmp@commuteseattle.com. 

      How will I administer the survey?  

      This year, Commute Seattle will email ETCs and BTCs a link to the survey, which will be completed using the Qualtrics platform. ETCs and BTCs will distribute the survey to their individual sites using the link provided. Link coming soon! 

      What are the survey questions?  

      A preview of the questions will be available in September 2024.  

      What is the minimum survey response rate?  

      The City of Seattle requires that worksites achieve a 50% response rate. Sites that do not achieve their response rate will be required to re-survey. As an ETC/BTC, you are responsible for ensuring an adequate response rate; Commute Seattle will provide tools, best practices, and recommendations for increasing the response rate at your site.

      What You Can Expect Next

      1. Commute Seattle will send a presurvey set up form to ETCs and BTCs the week of August 26, 2024. Your response will be due on September 13, 2024. The presurvey set up form will take 3-5 minutes to complete.       

        • For ETCs, please be prepared to provide total employees that report to your worksite (in person and remote) and total CTR-affected employees that report to your worksite (in person and remote employees that begin work between 6am-9am and work 35+ hours per week).
        • For BTCs, please be prepared to provide total number of facility and tenant employees (remote and in person) that report to your worksite.

      2. Prior to the survey going live, Commute Seattle will provide training on the survey tool and a communications toolkit to help promote the survey to your individual worksites.

      3. Plan for time to administer the survey between October 8, 2024, and November 1, 2024. We strongly encourage collecting responses within 1-2 weeks for more consistent data. However, prolonging the survey window beyond 2 weeks to reach the response rate requirement will still provide good quality results.

      4. Collect as many responses as you can and meet the response rate requirement by the deadline. 

      5. Expect your results and analysis reports in Spring 2025. 

      How We Can Help

      Commute Seattle has a team of experts to help you administer the 2024 Seattle Commute Survey to employees. Schedule a free consultation for 1:1 support, preview the survey questions below, and advertise the survey with our marketing toolkit.

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