GOALS & REQUIREMENTS
The basic function of the employee survey is to measure the commute choices made by employees. For more information about the survey, check WSDOT's website:
Affected employers, the Legislature, state agencies, and local governments all benefit from consistent, accurate, timely, and valid data about the CTR program. Accurate information is needed for use in decision making, resource allocation, program development, evaluation and other purposes.
The state-provided CTR employee survey is the primary tool to measure the program's success. There are two basic indicators of success: vehicle miles traveled (VMT) per employee and drive alone rate for the employee population surveyed. Surveys are the most appropriate tool for this type of measurement because:
- Surveys can measure the impact of CTR programs by measuring commute behavior at an employer's worksite(s) before it starts its CTR program. The data from the goal years can be compared to the baseline measurements to assess progress.
- Surveys can assist in determining cause-and-effect relationships in employer's CTR programs and can increase understanding about which program elements are most effective.
- Surveys are valid, reliable and provide ETCs and management with site-specific data and preferences on which to make program choices and investments.
Getting the Best Response
The minimum target response rate for the survey is 70 percent from the employee population affected by the CTR law.
If the response rate falls below 70 percent, "fill-in" data will be used. This means the employees who failed to respond?between your actual response rate and 70 percent will be assumed to be SOV commuters. The use of fill-in data will increase the number of SOVs reported at your worksite, and could potentially make is more difficult to meet your worksite goal. Therefore, it's in your best interest to meet the 70 percent target.
The single most important factor in achieving the high response rate is management commitment to the survey project. You should also inform employees that a survey will be conducted, when it will be done, why it will be done, and the importance of responding. This can be accomplished through company newsletters, electronic mail, special mailings, or any method of reaching out to employees.
Incentives for returning the survey also can boost the response. These incentives need not be expensive. Incentives make participation more fun and underscore the importance management places on the survey.
Successful measurement of your CTR program is critical. Be sure to allow ample time to plan your survey process, gain management support and promote employee participation. Talk to Thurston Regional Planning Council about the survey process and handling procedures before you begin and find out if a workshop will be held to educate employers about this critical process.