Tuesday, February 1, 2011

4th Quarter 2010 Progress Report

61 new participants registered for Smart Trips this quarter, up over the same period in 2009.

483 commuters submitted at least one daily commute log representing an increase over the same time period in 2009. There was a seasonal decline from summer into fall, as anticipated, but the decline was not as steep as last year’s – just 8% versus last year’s drop off of more than 17%.

At 65,798, the total number of logs submitted by participants from October 1 to December 30, 2010 exceeded the number submitted in 2009. And though there was a slight seasonal decline, at 5%, it was less than a third of the 16% decline reported from the third to fourth quarters of 2009.

The number of bicycle trips reported rose by more than 800 over the same time period in 2009; from 5,029 to 5,891. The number of carpool trips reported also grew – from 14,965 to 15,756. Walking trips reported increased by nearly 38%. Transit was down from the previous year, though the seasonal decline, at 12.8%, was not as steep as the 15.6% drop recorded in 2009. Vanpools, however, showed steep declines dropping from 890 recorded trips during this quarter in 2009 to just 269 recorded trips during the same time frame in 2010.

A total of 277 individuals qualified for gift cards this quarter by actively logging more than 30 days (60 trips) worth of alternative commutes. This was an increase over the same time last year and down by just 5% from the previous quarter. During the same time last year, that decline had been 10.3%.

Increases in participation were likely the result of rising gas prices which at some stations in the region came to just under the $3 per gallon mark. In the fourth quarter of 2008, retail gas prices were coming off summer highs in excess of $4 per gallon and commuters were still not driving alone at previous levels. In 2009, with gas prices ranging from $1.78 to $2.60 per gallon, commuters likely became more comfortable and returned to driving alone in greater numbers. 2010 saw prices steadily increase each month, from a February low of $2.64 per gallon to $2.99 per gallon by year’s end resulting in increases in Smart Trips participation. With oil and gas prices expected to rise through the summer of 2011, increased Smart Trips participation is anticipated.

The amount of CO2 emissions reduced during the fourth quarter of 2010 was 262,782 pounds which represented an increase over the fourth quarter of 2009 when 257,715 pounds were reduced.

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