UrbanTrans is providing on-going assistance to support the implementation and evaluation of MassRIDES, a state-wide TDM program managed by MassDOT. MassRIDES helps almost 600,000 employees “move smarter” through the provision of hands-on worksite assistance, ridematching services, and marketing and outreach events.
Until recently, MassRIDES staff relied on data from their online trip tracking tool to estimate the impact of their efforts on vehicle travel. Only some of their program participants were reporting trip data, which meant all of the benefits associated with the program were not being captured. UrbanTrans undertook multiple steps to identify a better way of tracking program impacts:
We reviewed the trip-tracking data reported by commuters and the methodology used to estimate vehicle trip reduction and made recommendations to improve the methodology.
We modeled broad program impacts using TRIMMS to determine the likely benefits associated with all of MassRIDES’ efforts.
We conducted a survey of MassRIDES participants to learn more about how they travel and how their travel has changed since participating in the MassRIDES program.
The survey results were analyzed using a model that accounted for work location, race, and income. The survey and model results indicated that program impacts had been underreported in the past.
Given the findings, UrbanTrans worked with MassRIDES to determine a better methodology for tracking and estimating program impacts. Five government implemented TDM programs were reviewed to identify best practices in program measurement and obtain information on what impacts other government agencies were tracking (e.g., health benefits, cost savings, vehicle trip reductions). The results were used to develop recommendations for on-going program tracking. Because survey data was determined to be most accurate evaluation methodology, MassRIDES will now survey employees at a sample of participating employer sites prior to implementing new employer programs. Follow up surveys will be used to determine how MassRIDES efforts impact employee commute behavior. These recommendations, along with our other findings, were summarized in a report that detailed program impacts on travel behavior, commute spending and carbon emissions.
UrbanTrans is now assisting MassRIDES with the implementation and analysis of employer surveys. Our work includes the development of survey questions and instruments, assistance with survey distribution and analysis of survey data. Additionally, UrbanTrans is developing a model using survey data and information on employer programs to estimate the unique impacts of the various programs and strategies MassRIDES implements. The data will be used to prioritize program delivery and investments.