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467202-1 Report Abstract

An Examination of the Effectiveness of Voluntary Trip Reduction Programs

Carol A. Lewis, Texas Southern University, November 2000, 68 pp. (467202-1)

Employee Trip Reduction (ETR) in Texas gained prominence between 1991 and 1992 as one method to address air quality problems in major urban areas. ETR was a requirement in the federal Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 requiring pollution reduction plans in non-attainment areas. Houston, then and now, registered the most severe air pollution in the state and was under mandatory trip reduction according to guidelines administered by the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission (TNRCC), the agency charged with air quality compliance in Texas. Although Dallas, Beaumont, and El Paso were also found to be outside of compliance, the ratings for those cities were less severe and mandatory trip reduction was not required. From the program’s onset, employers responded negatively to the requirements and began lobbying elected officials and others to repeal the mandatory trip reduction program. The principal objections centered on the cost of implementing the program, stringent record keeping requirements, and doubtful benefits. By the mid-1990s, political support for the mandatory programs began to wane and elected officials rescinded the mandatory program. TNRCC, then, structured a voluntary trip reduction program for the state. The purpose of this work is to examine trip reduction in its voluntary form and assess its effectiveness. Specifically, this study reviews the experience of companies that have voluntary trip reduction programs. It seeks to answer the question of what conditions seem to attract the greatest participation.

Keywords: Clean Air Act, Employee Trip Reduction Programs, Air Quality

ENTIRE REPORT (Adobe Acrobat File – 185KBytes)