Washington: Integrated Transportation Programs & Coordinated Regional Planning

Project Overview
Positive Impact: EECBG grant allows country program to reduce vehicle travel and congestion.
Locations: Washington
Partners: Thurston County
EERE Investment: $2.2 million from EECBG Topic 2 competitive grant
Clean Energy Sector: Energy-saving homes, buildings, and manufacturingPDF

The Thurston Regional Planning Council (TRPC) developed the Thurston "Here to There" program as a project designed to reduce vehicle miles traveled. The program was a coordinated set of activities with one goal: to improve access to travel options for the people who live, work, play, or go to school in Thurston County, Washington. TRPC has created numerous outreach methods for getting the word out about its programs and one especially creative tool was the use of a fictional character, Thurston, the Big Foot that you never see because he teleworks. TRPC designed a cartoon used throughout its Web pages that encourages residents to telework, walk and bike to school, carpool, and use public transportation. TRPC also developed an integrated trip planner site that pulls together all regional transportation options into one portal.

The project has already resulted in a reduction of 5.9 million vehicle miles traveled per year, and the retention of many regular, full-time county staff. By reducing miles traveled, Thurston County was able to lower transportation costs, reduce congestion—including around schools—improve safety, enhance the sense of community, and plan for future needs. Further, this project was in line with the Obama Administration’s Climate Action Plan, responding to environmental concerns, sustainability by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the county’s carbon footprint. The project began in August 2010 and completed August 2013.

The Weatherization and Intergovernmental Programs Office (WIP) provides funding and technical assistance to its partners in state and local governments, Indian tribes, and international agencies to facilitate the adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

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