The primary objective for this project is to assess the Commuter Assistance Programs’ (CAPs) contribution to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) goals. These results help the Department establish fair and equitable funding levels and identify areas where FDOT can continue to provide support to improve performance continually for the overall program. In 2009 – 2011, CUTR conducted telephone and mixed telephone and internet surveys for six of the CAPs that receive funding from FDOT. CUTR conducted a general public survey and customer database survey for each CAP. The surveys were used to assess aided and unaided awareness of the CAP and the extent of travel behavior change resulting from services provided by the CAP. This evaluation marked a shift in emphasis from measuring CAP outputs (what the CAP staff actually does—for example, numbers of employers contacted) to measuring outcomes (the reasons for CAP activity—for example, numbers of vehicle trips or pounds of air pollutants avoided as a result of a CAP’s working with employers to change how employees get to work). As could be expected, differences in the sizes of the customer base among the CAPs (ranging from about 600 to over 42,000), CAP services, and the quality of the data, resulted in range of levels of effectiveness. Two types of surveys were conducted for six of seven CAPs in Florida to assess the impacts of ridematching services on behavior and estimate the outcomes such as reduction of vehicle miles of travel (VMT). The general population survey measures advertising and promotion efforts of the CAPs overall and commute habits. The customer survey estimates the effects that the CAPs have had on commuting behavior. CAPs reduced over 28,000,000 in vehicle miles of travel and 847,000 vehicle trips while providing over 35,000,000 person miles of travel and 1,145,000 person trips in carpools and vanpools. Recommendations were made to improve the evaluation process and the performance of the CAPs.

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For more information, contact Phil Winters, Director, TDM Program at winters@cutr.usf.edu

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