ACCS Making an Impact FY2010

SUMMARY OF COMMUNITY BENEFITS

On the average workday in FY 2010, Arlington County Commuter Services (ACCS) reduced traffic in Arlington by 39,600 trips by helping people switch from driving alone to taking transit, carpooling, vanpooling, walking, or biking. Considering that the average lane of interstate highway carries approximately 4,000 – 6,000 vehicles in the rush period, this illustrates the magnitude of community benefit produced by ACCS. This methodology is documented at the end of this report.

Past research has shown that reducing traffic congestion significantly increases residents’ perception of their quality of life. It also boosts the attractiveness of Arlington as a location for businesses by preserving the quality of access to employees and customers for which Arlington is highly rated by business leaders.

Eliminating 39,600 trips also eliminates over 638,000 miles of travel each business day, which means a savings of approximately 26,500 gallons of fuel daily. This saves over 6.8 million gallons of fuel annually, thus helping Arlington reach its energy reduction goals and contributing to our nation’s goal of energy independence.

Less fuel consumed, also means less air pollution. On an annual basis ACCS reduces over 72,000 tons of climate changing greenhouse gases (Carbon Dioxide C)2), as well as 144,000 pounds of Nitrogen Oxide (NOx)and 81,000 of Volitile Organic Compounds (VOC) which form lung-damaging ground level Ozone.

COMMUTER SERVICES: SALES, MARKETING, INFORMATION AND ENCOURAGEMENT PROGRAMS

ACCS reached a major milestone with a consolidation of separated and overcrowded offices into an efficient, single-floor space at 1501 Wilson Boulevard in Rosslyn. This newly renovate 11,000 space houses the offices of Arlington Transportation Partners and the Commuter Information Center, the two largest sections of ACCS, and allows more efficient operations as well as room for expansion. This newly renovated space is a LEED-certified Silver facility.

Highlights of accomplishments during the year by each ACCS program are summarized below.

Arlington Transportation Partners – Employer-Residential-Development Services

  • Record market penetration rates with 637 (up from 613) employers representing 130,393 employees representing 66% of the market. 433 employers provide a transit benefit to their employees – the highest rate in the DC region.
  • 313 residential clients representing 65,108 units or 98% of the market. Added 127 potential employer prospects to the database.
  • 42 hotel clients of 42 major hotels – 100% of the market.
  • Conducted 56 Redefine Your Commute campaign events, reaching 7,225 employees/commuters.
  • Produced and distributed 180 customized transportation options tool kits to employer key contacts.
  • Attended 43 transportation fairs reaching 3,245 commuters.
  • 57 employers requested Personalized Commute Planners for their employees; 326 were distributed.
  • Assisted 10 site plan properties with TDM compliance requirements.
  • Quarterly Solutions newsletters distributed to 43,000 and e-Solutions electronic newsletter distributed to 1,276 key employer contacts.
  • ACCS Employer Services program (ATP) replicated in the District of Columbia with the launch of goDCgo, an urban core TDM initiative between Arlington County and the DC Department of Transportation.

Transportation Information Display Deployment. Transportation Information Display Units now at 48 site plan properties, 13 wall mounted units were placed in other commercial building units and 241 small Lucite units distributed to Arlington retail partners.

Distribution, Logistics and Bus Stop Information. Distributed 600,000 timetables and brochures to individuals, companies and information displays. Installed map and schedule information at 425 ART and 55 Pike Ride bus stops. Installed ART RealTime decals on every ART bus stop flag. Repaired or replaced over 100 ART bus stops due to vandalism, storms or accidents.

The Commuter Store®. Record sales of $8,921,132 and 200,000 customers through the doors at all our retail stores located in Ballston, Rosslyn, Crystal City, Shirlington and the Mobile Commuter Store.

Commuter Information Center – CIC (CommuterDirect.com).The Center responded to 20,670 phone calls and sold $20,580,758 in fare media sales, a 51% increase over the previous year’s record of $13,636,372. Processed 128,888 individual transactions and 1086 corporate transactions.

  • CommuterDirect.com took over MARC’s Ticket by Mail program.
  • Enhanced MARC batching process to improve ticket processing efficiency. CIC MARC sales = $11,460,997. CIC VRE sales = $5,052,416.
  • Continued to grow electronic SmartBenefits program at record pace- 300% increase in SmartBenefits in FY10 ($10,981,619 compared to $3,652,887 in FY09).

Marketing Program. Continued Arlington’s Car-Free Diet umbrella campaign to promote alternatives to driving alone with articles and brochures in The Citizen newsletter, 2-sheet ads in Metro stations, point-of-purchase displays, addition of over 100 private sector partners, e-newsletters, website updates and enhancements, blog, Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as YouTube videos. As part of the campaign, ACCS launched the “Car-Free Diet Skeptics Challenge” which challenged Arlington residents to go car free for 30 days. Six contestants entered their online videos to explain why they were skeptics and why they would be willing to go car free. Two finalists were selected to compete in the 30-day car free challenge. Each finalist blogged, used Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and FourSquare to document their experiences going car free.

  • Skeptic campaign elements included a special Car-Free Diet website section, Facebook and Twitter pages, YouTube videos, blogs, flyers, posters, web banner ads, public relations efforts, and street team outreach.
  • Redesigned all ACCS program logos.
  • Street Team outreach efforts at county events, farmer’s markets, and shopping centers.
  • Produced new timetables, web and bus stop panels for ART 41, 42, 51, 52, 87, 61, 62, 77 and 75. Produced 4 quarterly ART Forum newsletters.
  • Redesigned the ART website with enhanced features including an interactive route map.
  • Promoted ART RealTime which provides real-time bus arrivals.
  • Created ads and inserts for many sponsorships including Columbia Pike Blues Festival, Taste of Arlington, County Fair, Clarendon Day and Bike to Work Day.
  • Updated STAR Riders Guide and reprinted STAR fare coupons. Produced and mailed two issues of STAR Points newsletter. Conducted a STAR user survey.
  • Updated/printed Transportation Services for Seniors brochures for DHS/PRCR.
  • Marketing and Outreach Award for Car-Free Diet Skeptics campaign from the Association of Commuter Transportation (ACT); Outstanding Marketing Campaign for Car-Free Diets Skeptics campaign from the ACT Chesapeake Chapter; Telly Award for Car-Free Diet video.

CommuterPage.com® Family of Internet Sites (including ArlingtonTransit.com). Web visits increased over the previous fiscal year from 1.18 million to 1.45 million according to Google Analytics. New enhanced websites were designed and constructed for BikeArlington, WalkArlington, Arlington Transportation Partners, and Arlington Transit – ART. ART’s new website included an interactive map with real-time information and BikeArlington’s new site included an online discussion forum.

WalkArlington Program

  • 4,089 people attended Walkabouts and Walk Arlington events.
  • Distribution of 5,000 Pacer e-newsletters.
  • Coordinated annual APS and Walk and Bike toe School Day
  • New and enhanced WarkArlington website
  • Created two new WALKAbout routes
  • Distributed “Sharing the Way” safety flyer for cyclists and pedestrians

BikeArlington Program

  • Coordinated Arlington’s partnership with DC for the Sept. 20th launch of Capital Bikeshare, the largest bikesharing program in the nation; 1,110 bicycles at 114 stations regionally; 110 bikes at 14 stations in Crystal City.
  • Redesigned BikeArlington.com, added new online discussion forum and Twitter page.
  • Partnered with National Bicycle Friendly Business program to increase the number of awarded businesses in Arlington from 0 to 7.
  • Managed Arlington’s participation in Bike DC – the Washington and Arlington Community Bike Ride with 443 Arlingtonians registered.
  • Bike to Work Day events at 3 Arlington pit-stops (Rosslyn, Crystal City and Ballston) for a total of 1,420 registered riders.
  • Updated, printed and distributed over 50,000 Arlington County Bike Maps.
  • Instructed 13 adult bike safety classes with over 200 participants.
  • Conducted two Lights for Bikes events to install lights for bike commuters.

Transportation Research

List of FY10 Studies:

  • Arlington’s oversample of Household Travel Survey in Shirlington, Columbia Pike and Jefferson Davis Highway.
  • Commuterpage Study (Wave 2).
  • Arlington Transportation Partners (ATP) Solutions Newsletter Assessment.
  • ATP Employee Study, aka Man on the Street survey.
  • Arlington County Resident Transportation Study.
  • Arlington County Green Study (of Arlington residents).

DOCUMENTATION OF COMMUNITY BENEFITS

There are many ways of documenting the benefits to the Arlington community of ACCS’ services. This report summarizes the calculation of trips reduced (traffic reduction), miles of travel reduced, gasoline (energy) saved and air pollution reduced (Nitrogen Oxide NOx, Vollitile Organic Compounds VOC, and Carbon Dioxide CO2). The calculations are based upon surveys of residents, businesses, and employees served by the ACCS programs listed in the chart below, as well as data from other regional surveys. This provides a conservative estimation of the total impact of ACCS, because the impacts measured are only those for programs which can be documented with acceptable measurements and methodologies. The impacts also are adjusted to avoid duplicate counting of people who use more than one ACCS program. A number of programs, such as ACCS’ residential services, site plan TDM conditions, the Mobile Commuter Store, the Commuter Information Center, and transit marketing have not been documented to date, and thus their impacts are not included. In future it is anticipated that additional data will be collected to measure the impact of many of these programs as well.

ACCS Summary of Benefits by Program FY2010 (July 2009 – June 2010)
Estimate of Average Workday Impacts*

Program

Trips
Reduced

Miles
Reduced

NOx (lb)
Reduced

VOC
Reduced

CO2 (lb)
Reduced

Gal. Gas
Reduced

Employer Services

24,000

398,534

344

178

352,845

16,745

Commuter Direct Corporate Services

360

7,622

7

4

7,330

320

Commuter Direct Individual Services

2,556

87,322

83

42

85,687

3,669

Commuter Stores

1,798

40,087

38

22

38,320

1,684

CommuterPage.com

2,774

44,906

44

29

42,729

1,887

WalkArlington

107

118

0

0

118

5

BikeArlington

168

1,504

2

1

1,510

63

Carshare

1,234

16,512

17

11

16,566

694

ACCS Marketing

6,600

41,935

46

39

40,139

1,761

Total

39,597

638,480

575

324

577,914

26,510

*Source: LDA Consulting and Southeastern Institute of Research

DOCUMENTS FOR DOWNLOAD

2010 ACCS Making an Impact Report (PDF)

Contact the ACCS Research Team for more information.

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