US 36 Congestion Mitigation Program Targets Carpools and Vanpools

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June 25, 2015

Louisville, Colorado—Commuting Solutions is sharpening its social marketing campaign to focus on new carpools and vanpools. In partnership with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE), Commuting Solutions is continuing efforts with its US 36 Congestion Mitigation Program with the primary purpose of easing traffic congestion on the corridor by reducing the number of solo drivers. As a result of the initial program from September 2014 to May 2015, 700 participants reduced their drive alone trips by 33 percent. Commuting Solutions expects to exceed the program goal of 833 participants as the US 36 Express Lanes Project nears completion in early 2016.

“We want to thank Commuting Solutions and the local partners whose efforts helped provide options to the traveling public during the construction impacts of the first phase of the US 36 Express Lanes project.” CDOT Project Director Mark Gosselin said. “The marketing program and education to the public helped to reduce the number of solo drivers on the corridor, which makes it safer for my construction crews to do their jobs,” says CDOT Project Director Mark Gosselin.

While CDOT outlines the choices available to all travelers on the corridor, Commuting Solutions will inspire commuters to share rides in the US 36 Express Lanes. The social marketing campaign offers incentives for a faster commute to those who form new carpools, vanpools and take the bus.

Those who apply for the carpool option will receive a $15 rebate on the Switchable High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Pass that is needed to travel for free in the US 36 Express Lanes. Currently two people are required to be in a vehicle to count as HOV, and no later than January 2017 the requirement will increase to three people in the vehicle. Commuting Solutions is teaming up with the Denver Regional Council of Governments to offer free HOV Passes to new Way to Go vanpools on the corridor. The program is also pioneering Master EcoPass contracts for 24 employers and their 900+ employees located within ¼ mile of the McCaslin, Broomfield and Sheridan Stations. These organizations already received free EcoPass contracts for one year and they can get a 70 percent discount on their EcoPass contracts in 2016. Commuting Solutions is seeking new employers to enroll in the program for 2016.

“This is an exciting time for Commuting Solutions and those who have partnered with us for years to bring innovation and progress to US 36. As the infrastructure transforms to accommodate travel by modes other than driving solo, we’re changing the commuting culture to be more supportive of active transportation,” says Commuting Solutions Executive Director Audrey DeBarros.

The marketing program will also educate commuters about the multi-modal options coming to the Northwest region during and after the completion of the US 36 Express Lanes Project in early 2016. Commuting Solutions is working with the Regional Transportation District (RTD) in an advocacy and educational role to introduce US 36 Bus Rapid Transit, which includes producing a video about the service. RTD’s new service, the Flatiron Flyer, will hit the road in 2016 and serve residents and employees at the six transit stations along the corridor. An 11-mile segment of the US 36 Bikeway will open Wednesday from Westminster to Louisville, giving commuters another innovative way to travel along the corridor. The remaining 7 miles of this “highway for bicyclists” will extend to Table Mesa Station in early 2016.

The marketing campaign will primarily target young professionals ages 25-45 due to their propensity for sharing a ride, their leadership of social trends and their strong ballot support for RTD FasTracks expansion. The secondary target audience includes anyone driving a Single Occupant Vehicle (SOV) during peak travel times.

Commuting Solutions will leverage connections with the 76 members in its coalition including local governments, environmental organizations and employers along the corridor to accomplish program goals. The geographic area being targeted includes 18 miles along US 36 and contains six RTD Stations. To learn more about the US 36 Congestion Mitigation Program, please visit the campaign page or the application page on commutingsolutions.org. Together we cruise!

About Commuting Solutions:
Commuting Solutions is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to enhance the mobility of commuters along the US 36 corridor. Our public-private coalition consists of 76 private sector members, nine public sector members between Westminster, Boulder and Longmont, and nine individual members. We understand the challenges and difficulties associated with the daily commute and offer real-life solutions to Northwest-area commuters.

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