Commute Trip Reduction Policy (Policy-Procedure)

Policy Approve By
Dr. Dean O. Stenehjem, Superintendent
Policy Date (original policy date)
Policy Prepared By
Janet Merz, Executive Assistant
Policy Category

SUBJECT: Commute Trip Reduction Policy


This policy is intended to promote and provide a positive climate for a Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) Program to encourage employees to consider commute alternatives such as public transit, carpools, vanpools, compressed work weeks, flexible work schedules and telecommuting.  Alternative work schedules and telecommuting must be approved by the supervisor and meet the business needs. 


Carpooling is one of the most flexible, affordable and convenient ways for employees to commute.  A carpool is a privately owned vehicle occupied by 2 to 6 people sharing the ride to work. (Washington State CTR Guidelines)


Because they keep more vehicles off the road than carpools, vanpools are an even more efficient way to commute.  A vanpool is a vehicle provided by a transit agency or a privately owned van, certified by a transit agency as a vanpool, and occupied by 7–15 people sharing the ride to and from work. (Washington State CTR Guidelines)


Public transit is a multiple-occupant vehicle operated on a for-hire or shared ride basis, including but not limited to buses and commuter trains.      


There are three types of Alternative Work Schedules: flextime, staggered hours and compressed workweek.

Flex Time:  Allows employees, within certain guidelines, to select their starting and ending times each day.  All employees are usually required to be present during a core period of time during the day.  Allowing some flexibility in the work schedules of eligible employees makes it easier for them to form carpools, vanpools, use the bus, or use other alternative commute options.  Also, by allowing employees to select their own start times, peak arrival times will be spread out, reducing local congestion. The key to flex time is that employees, with their supervisor’s approval, select their own schedule.

Staggered Hours: This is similar to the concept above, except that the agency will set the start and end times of employees.

Compressed Work Week: This is the only alternative work schedule that actually eliminates a work trip.  The compressed work week is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways of reducing drive-alone trips.  Schedules could include the following examples:

  • Four ten-hour work days between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.  Days worked must be consistent and not subject to change unless authorized in advance.
  • Four nine-hour days and one four-hour day each week.
  • One week consisting of four nine-hour days and one eight-hour day followed by the next week with four nine-hour days and a day off.  Days worked must be consistent and not subject to change unless authorized in advance.

A compressed workweek is an alternative work schedule that reduces the number of days an employee works within a given period while working longer hours during the remaining workdays.  This completely eliminates at least one trip every two weeks.  (Washington State CTR Guidelines).


Telecommuting allows employees to reduce or eliminate commute trips by working at home or a satellite office, usually one to two days a week. Telecommuting involves the use of telephones, computers or other technology to allow an employee to work from home, eliminating a work trip, or from a workplace closer to home, reducing the distance traveled(by at least half to be considered under the CTR Law). (Washington State CTR Guidelines)

Please note:

  1. Employees must be available for all mandatory training sessions and/or all staff meetings.  The supervisor will approve adjusted hours, when required, in advance.
  2. When a holiday falls on a day that a full time employee is scheduled to work four, nine, or ten hours, the employee will be credited with four, nine, or ten hours paid holiday time.  If a holiday falls on a scheduled day off, the full time employee and supervisor will agree to allow the employee to take a work day off immediately before or after the holiday.  Part-time employees will be compensated for Holiday pay and cannot take alternative time off.
  3. Approved work schedule changes may be rescinded based on workload demands, the employee's performance, service needs, or abuse of the flexible work schedule arrangement.


As long as alternate work schedules meet federal and state laws and the Collective Bargaining Agreement, employees may request a change to their work schedules.  These requests will be approved by their supervisor, except as provided below, subject to business and customer service needs.

Supervisors may disapprove requests if there are performance or attendance concerns. Previously approved alternate work schedules may be rescinded if business and customer service needs are no longer being met, or if performance or attendance concerns occur. Not all positions may qualify for a flexible schedule. 

Employee-Requested Schedule Changes

Employees’ workweeks and work schedules may be changed at the employee’s request, with their supervisor’s approval, provided business and customer needs are met and no overtime expense is incurred.

An employee must have worked for the Agency for at least six (6) continuous months before they can request an alternate work schedule.




1. Complete Work Schedule Change Notice form and give to supervisor for approval. 


2.  Determines the business needs and, if approved, signs and sends to Human Resources.  If the request is not approved, the supervisor informs employee within 5 working days.

Human Resources

3.  Puts original in Personnel File

Commute Trip Reduction Policy Form (pdf)