TREC co-hosted this webinar in partnership with Leidos Consulting and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
Miss the presentation or want a look back at the slides? View the slides here.
The vast majority of employers provide their employees free parking at work, which encourages employees to drive alone. Multiple strategies exist to level the playing field between travel modes and allow employees to select the travel option most beneficial to them without suffering a financial penalty. The U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration sponsored a study to understand the effect parking cash out, pre-tax commuter benefits, and parking surtaxes can have on congestion, emissions, and other driving-related externalities. The study is part of the Administration’s ongoing efforts to increase awareness of solutions to address the transportation issues affecting communities in the United States. The research was conducted in coordination with a peer review group made up of representatives from academic institutions and the public sector who provided guidance throughout the study process.
Cash-out programs have the potential to substantially reduce the rate at which people drive alone to work. But, they have not been implemented broadly. California and Rhode Island have parking cash-out laws, but they apply only to a small percentage of parking, and no city (outside of California) has a parking cash-out requirement. Recently, however, several cities, including Washington, DC, New York, and San Francisco have implemented ordinances requiring employers over a specific size to offer pre-tax transit benefits, and similar city-level ordinances related to parking cash out could be considered. This study conducts a city-level analysis to assess the potential impacts of six ordinances:
- (1) a requirement for employers that offer free parking to offer parking cash-out;
- (2) a requirement for employers that offer free parking to offer a tax-exempt commuter benefit (e.g., a transit, vanpool, or bicycle benefit);
- (3) an incentive to offer cash out on a daily basis;
- (4) a requirement for all employers to offer their employees the option to pay for transit and bicycle costs with pre-tax dollars;
- (5) a tax credit incentive for employers to drop the free parking benefit entirely and to offer an alternative tax-exempt commuter benefit; and
- (6) a tax on parking fees for peak-hour commuters.
The study suggests that these policies could result in notable reductions in employee vehicle travel, traffic congestion, and emissions. The webinar will include resources for individuals interested in determining the impact these strategies could have in their own cities/communities.
James Choe, ICF Strategic Consulting
Allen Greenberg, FHWA
Sonika Sethi, Leidos Consulting
Colleen Stoll, City of Santa Monica
This 60-minute webinar is eligible for 1 hour of professional development credit for AICP (see our provider summary). We can provide an electronic attendance certificate for other types of certification maintenance.
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