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A. Purpose. The purpose of this rule is to improve ambient air quality by reducing air pollutant emissions that result from employee commute trips, and trips attracted to worksites with one hundred or more employees.

B. Applicability. The rule applies to all public and private employers with one hundred or more employees. The effective dates for determining progress toward achieving average vehicle ridership (AVR) goals are given in Table 1:



Employers of 100 or More Employees

Conduct baseline AVR survey


Demonstrate 1.25 AVR


Demonstrate 1.33 AVR


Demonstrate 1.41 AVR


Demonstrate 1.50 AVR


C. Definitions. For the purpose of this Rule, the following definitions apply:

“Air Pollution Control Officer (APCO).” The Air Pollution Control Officer of the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District (District) or the designee thereof.

“APCD Hearing Board.” Five-member board appointed by the Air Pollution Control Board of San Luis Obispo County pursuant to Division 26, Part 1, Chapter 8, Article 1, of the California Health and Safety Code with the powers and duties prescribed for Hearing Boards in Chapter 8, Division 26, of the California Health and Safety Code.

“Applicable Employee Population.” The applicable employee population is all employees who report to a worksite weekdays between six a.m. and ten a.m. and all employees who are telecommuting (i.e. working from home or a telecommuting center) or who have a scheduled day off during the week as part of a compressed work week schedule.

“Average Vehicle Ridership Calculations.” AVR for worksite(s) shall be calculated by dividing the number of employee days summed over the survey week by the number of vehicle trips summed over the survey week.

“Attracted Vehicle Trip.” Any vehicle trip, other than an employee vehicle trip, attracted to the site by the nature of that site’s business. These may include: shopping, medical, business meetings, church, etc.

“Buspool.” A vehicle occupied by sixteen or more people traveling together between their residence and their worksite or other destination. Employees who work for different employers, as well as nonemployed people, are included within this definition.

“Carpool.” A vehicle occupied by two to six people traveling together between their residence and their worksite or other destination. Employees who work for different employers, as well as nonemployed people, are included within this definition.

“Commute Alternatives.” Rideshare modes and other trip reduction options for reducing employee commute trips, including, but not limited to: carpools, vanpools, public transit, buspools, commuter shuttle, bicycling, walking, compressed work weeks, telecommuting, or other alternatives as approved by the APCO.

“Commute Trip.” The trip made by an employee from home to the work site. The commute trip may include stops between home and the worksite.

“Compressed Work Week.” A regular full-time work schedule that eliminates at least one round trip commute trip (both home-to-work and work-to-home) at least once every two weeks. Examples include, but are not limited to, working three twelve-hour days (3/36) or hour ten-hour days (4/40) within a one-week period; or eight nine-hour days and one eight-hour day (9/80) within a two-week period.

“Disabled Employee.” An employee with a physical impairment that prevents the employee from traveling to the work site by means other than a single-occupant vehicle, and who has been issued a disabled person placard or plate from the department of motor vehicles.

“Employee.” Any person employed by a person(s), firm, business, educational institution, nonprofit agency, or corporation, government, or other entity. The term excludes the following as defined elsewhere in this rule: seasonal employees; temporary employees; volunteers; field personnel; and field construction workers.

“Employee Day.” Each day of the survey week that an employee starts to work during the peak period. Notes: Employees telecommuting or who are off due to a compressed work week schedule are counted towards the total employee days. Employees on vacation, sick leave, jury duty, or other time off, and employees reporting to a different worksite or an off-site work related activity are not counted toward the total employee days.

“Employee Transportation Coordinator (ETC).” An employee, other individual, or entity, appointed by an employer to develop, market, administer, and monitor the Employer Trip Reduction Plan on a full or part time basis.

“Employer.” Employer means any person(s), firm, business, educational institution, government agency, nonprofit agency or corporation, or other entity that employs persons. Several subsidiaries or units that occupy the same worksite and report to a common governing board or governing entity or that function as one corporate unit are considered to be one employer.

“Field Agricultural Worker.” An employee who reports for work to a temporary field agricultural site.

“Field Construction Worker.” An employee who reports directly to work at a construction site.

“Field Personnel.” Employees who spend twenty percent or less of their work time at the work site and who do not report to the work site during the peak period for pick-up and dispatch of an employer-provided vehicle.

“Independent Contractor.” An individual who enters into a direct written contract or agreement with an employer to perform certain services. The period of the contract or agreement is at least ninety continuous days, or is open-ended.

“Multi-site Employer.” Any affected employer who has more than one worksite where at least fifty or more employees report.

“Multi-tenant Worksite.” Any commercial building, industrial park, shopping center, or mixed use development whether in separate or common ownership, which contains more than one employer as determined by the APCO.

“Notice to Register.” A notice, sent by the district to all employers that have been identified as potentially subject to this rule. The notice will request information that will allow the district to determine if the employer will be required to comply with this rule.

“Peak Period.” Six a.m. to ten a.m., Monday through Friday, inclusive.

“Ridesharing.” A cooperative effort of two or more people traveling together for the purpose of eliminating a vehicle trip. Utilization of carpools, vanpools buspools, taxipools, and public transportation are all forms of ridesharing.

“Seasonal Employee.” A person who is employed for less than a continuous ninety day period.

“Telecommuting.” A system of working at home, off site, or at a telecommuting center, for a full workday that eliminates the trip to work or reduces travel distance by fifty per cent or more.

“Temporary Employee.” Any person employed for less than ninety days, or by an employment service that reports to a worksite other than the employment service worksite under a contractual arrangement with the temporary employer.

“Transportation Management Association (TMA).” A TMA provides commute alternates program support or management to its members. TMAs generally operate within a defined geographic area (industrial park, multi-tenant office building, central business district, shopping center, etc.). TMAs operate as not-for-profit associations and are cooperatively managed by the members, managed by a director appointed by the association members, or, at a multi-tenant worksite, may be managed by onsite building management. After receiving APCO approval, a TMA may be permitted to represent its members in the development and implementation of a trip reduction plan. Members may be allowed full or partial trip reduction credit for purchasing such services from the TMA/TMO, upon approval of the APCO. A partial list of services a TMA may offer includes:

1. AVR survey and calculation services.

2. Trip reduction plan development, implementation, marketing and administration.

3. Emergency guaranteed ride home service.

4. Vanpool program.

5. Carpool matching service.

6. Incentive program.

7. Trip reduction plan library.

8. Child-care or child-care referral services.

9. Any other services the members may designate.

“Transportation Management Organization (TMO).” A TMO is a for profit, private enterprise providing all of the services included in the TMA definition above. A TMO would not be confined to a single geographic area but could solicit business throughout the county and could do business with one employer or a group of employers in an area.

“Trip Reduction Plan (TRP).” A TRP is a document submitted to the APCO for review and approval which details trip reduction options and supporting strategies, the implementation schedule and budget the employer will use to achieve the reduction in single occupant vehicle trips required to meet the AVR goals established by the district.

“Vanpool.” A vehicle occupied by seven to fifteen people traveling together between their residence and their worksite or destination for the majority of the total trip distance. Employees who work for different employers, as well as nonemployed people are included within this definition as long as they are in the vehicle for the majority of the total trip distance.

“Vehicle/Employee Ratio (VER).” VER is the number of vehicles used by employees who report to the work site between six a.m. and ten a.m., Monday through Friday, divided by the number of those employees averaged over the survey week, as calculated from data gathered from the AVR survey. VER is the reciprocal of AVR. The district will accept AVR calculated by this method.

“Vehicle Trip.” A vehicle trip is based on the means of transportation used for the greatest distance of an employee’s home-to work commute trip for employees who start work during the peak period. Each vehicle trip to the worksite shall be calculated as shown in Table 2:

Trip mode

Number of vehicle trips counted

Single-occupant vehicle

1 vehicle trip

Motorcycle, moped,motorized scooter, or motor bike

1 vehicle trip


1 vehicle trip divided by the number of people in the carpool


1 vehicle trip divided by the number of people in the vanpool

Public transit

0 vehicle trip


0 vehicle trip

Walking and other nonmotorized transportation modes

0 vehicle trip


0 vehicle trip on days employee telecommutes for the entire day

Compressed work schedule

0 vehicle trip on employee’s compressed day(s) off

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV)

0 vehicle trip

“Volunteer.” A person who does not receive any wages for work activity at the work site.

“Worksite.” A structure, building, portion of a building, or grouping of buildings that are in actual physical contact or separated solely by a private or public roadway or other private or public right-of-way, and that are occupied by the same employer.

“Worksite Employee Threshold.” One hundred employees at a single worksite, on an average daily basis, for a ninety-day period provided at least fifty employees are normally scheduled to report to the worksite on a daily basis during the peak commute period.

D. Administrative Requirements.

1. Requirements for all employers of one hundred or more employees. All employers of one hundred or more employees shall comply with the following minimum administrative requirements:

a. Respond to the Notice to Register which shall be sent or delivered to the employer, provide all information requested, and return that information within twenty business days of receiving the notice.

All employers of one hundred or more employees with fifty or more employees reporting to the worksite within the peak period must also complete the following requirements:

b. Appoint an employee to act as employee transportation coordinator (ETC). That employee will and send that employee to district sponsored ETC training.

c. Conduct an annual average vehicle ridership (AVR) survey in accordance with the schedule in Table 1. (Surveys are to be conducted using the methodologies described in Section G below and the results submitted to the district for review.)

2. Requirements for employers who achieve AVR targets in Table 1. Employers who achieve the applicable AVR target shown in Table 1 shall be notified by the district that they have no additional requirements, beyond maintenance of their existing program, until the next scheduled AVR survey.

3. Requirements for employers who fail to achieve AVR targets in Table 1. Employers who fail to meet the applicable AVR targets in Table 1 will be required to develop a trip reduction plan designed to achieve the AVR target for the upcoming year, and submit the plan to the district for review and approval. Trip reduction plans shall be prepared according to the following process:

a. After the district reviews the AVR survey results, affected employers will receive a Plan Preparation Notice stating the requirement to prepare and submit a trip reduction plan to the district.

b. Employers shall develop and submit the plan to the district within ninety days of the date of receipt of the Plan Preparation Notice. Plan forms will be provided by the district.

c. The district will evaluate the plan based on its consistency with employee responses to the AVR survey, financial commitment to implementing appropriate supporting strategies, and staff commitment to marketing the trip plan to employees.

d. The employer shall implement all trip reduction options and supporting strategies committed to in the approved trip reduction plan.

e. The employer shall conduct the next scheduled AVR survey as shown in Table 1 and submit the results to the district for review.

E. Voluntary Participation Program. This rule applies to all employers of one hundred or more employees. However, all of the supporting services, training, and materials associated with this rule are applicable and available to employers of fewer than one hundred employees, as well as multi-tenant worksites and other types of development. To encourage voluntary participation in the program by smaller employers, multi-tenant worksites, and other employment situations the district will implement the following:

1. Develop outreach programs to encourage employers of fewer than one hundred employees, and multi-tenant worksites, to participate in the annual AVR survey, and develop a commute alternatives program.

2. Provide ETC training, AVR survey processing, consultation on program development and participation in the district’s ETC network will be offered at no charge to all participants.

3. Encourage participation in the trip trading program described in Section F.

4. Work cooperatively with TMA’s and the rideshare office to provide a broader base of assistance to employers in developing and implementing an effective program.

F. Trip Trading Market. The district will develop a program which allows trip reduction credits (TRCs) to be earned by businesses that have exceeded the applicable AVR goal. Employers not affected by this rule may participate in the TRC program, provided they comply with all the requirements for affected employers listed below.

1. Businesses can apply for, and earn, one TRC for each trip reduced beyond those required to achieve the applicable AVR goal. Each TRC will have a life span of one year from the date the APCD issues the TRC Certificate.

2. Businesses of one hundred or more employees, that purchase TRCs, can use them on a one-for-one basis to lower the number of employee commute trips they would otherwise have to reduce to achieve their applicable AVR goal for a given year.

3. TRCs issued by the district can be bought and sold on an open market by all participants in the Commute Alternatives Program, but all transactions, as described in Section F.2, must be approved by the district.

a. TRC Applicant Responsibilities.

i. The applicant must conduct a verifiable AVR survey as described in Section C (Definitions) The AVR survey methodology used by the applicant must be verified by the APCD. The number of TRCs earned by the applicant will be determined by the APCD through review of the verified survey results.

ii. Any employer requesting to bank TRCs earned shall enter into an agreement with the APCD to maintain its Commute Alternative Program for the life of the TRC. If the employer terminates the Commute Alternative Program prior to the expiration date of the earned TRCs, said TRCs shall cease to have value. The employer shall reimburse all purchasers of said TRCs the pro-rated purchase price of the voided TRCs, and the TRCs will be cancelled.

iii. Employers with less than one hundred employees who voluntarily participate in the Commute Alternatives Program and who earn and sell TRCs, shall comply with all program requirements as they apply to regulated employers.

b. TRC Purchaser’s Responsibilities.

i. Employers who do not meet the applicable AVR goal (as shown in Table 1) may purchase TRCs to offset all or part of the trip reduction strategies they would otherwise have to implement to reach their AVR target. The Buyer’s Commute Alternatives Plan must provide details on the amount of the TRCs purchased, the seller, the life span of the TRCs, and whatever supplemental strategies, if any, are to be implemented by the buyer. The Buyer shall maintain the approved program for the life of the TRCs purchased.

ii. An employer who has purchased TRCs from a company that discontinues its CAR program prior to the expiration date of the TRCs, shall be notified by the APCD that such TRCs are null and void. Within thirty days of receiving such notice, the buyer shall consult with APCD staff to determine if additional trip reduction options and supporting strategies must be implemented to meet the applicable AVR target. The buyer shall be reimbursed by the seller the pro-rated amount of purchase for voided TRCs.

c. APCD’s Responsibilities. APCD will be responsible for general oversight of the Trip Trading Market, including determination of credits earned and banked by applicants for TRCs.

i. The APCD will act as “banker” for the Commute Trip Trading Market, tracking TRCs as they are earned, sold/bought, expended or expired.

ii. The APCD shall receive and maintain records of all TRC transactions, including issuance of the TRC certificates for each transaction.

iii. The APCD shall publish a list of each quarter of TRCs bought and sold the previous quarter, and the amount of TRCs still available on the open market.

iv. APCD will provide TRC applicants and buyers with technical expertise in all phases of the Commute Trip Trading Market.

G. Survey Reporting Requirements. Employers must conduct an annual, verifiable Average Vehicle Ridership Survey to establish whether the performance objectives stated in Table 1 have been achieved. The employee AVR survey must be conducted not more than one hundred twenty days prior to the applicable survey or plan submittal deadline, but must be completed at least sixty days prior to the deadline. To the extent possible, surveying should not be conducted during the period from mid-June to mid-September, during Rideshare Week, or during the period between Thanksgiving and New Years Day.

AVR for worksite(s) shall be calculated by dividing the number of employee days summed over the survey week by the number of vehicle trips summed over the survey week. The AVR calculation requires that a five consecutive weekday average be used. An averaging period shall be selected which does not contain a holiday. The sum of the applicable employee population each weekday in the selected averaging period is divided by the total number of vehicles driven by these employees to the worksite during the same averaging period. Employers with multiple worksites may, after receiving approval from the APCO, opt to calculate AVR as a combined average of the AVR of each worksite. In exercising this option the employer must ensure that the criteria for conducting the verifiable AVR survey is met.

The AVR survey will utilize a survey control sheet which identifies: all employees who report within the survey window; all employees who received a survey form; all employees who returned a survey form; and, an explanation for each survey form not returned. This data will be used to verify employee participation and survey response rate.

In submitting the results of the completed survey to the district within the required time frame, the employer shall identify the sampling method used (Applicable Employee Population or Random Sample) and provide a tally showing the survey response rate, including the number of surveys distributed, the number of surveys completed and returned, and the number of nonrespondents. Both the Applicable Employee Population Survey, and Random Sample Survey methodologies prepared by the APCO, and described in detail in the Employee Transportation Coordinator (ETC) Handbook.

H. Recordkeeping. Employers affected by this rule shall maintain and retain records, files and documentation to establish compliance. Retention of such documentation shall occur for not less than three years from the date of initial Notice to Register date, or the adoption date of the most current trip reduction plan. This documentation shall be made available for audit and inspection as described in Section I (Audits).

I. Audits. The district may audit the records of any regulated employer, or business selling and/or buying trips on the Trip Trading Market, to verify employment, AVR, plan implementation or provision of any measure in an approved plan.

J. Delegation to Local Jurisdiction. Rule 901 may be implemented by employers and at multi-tenant worksites through a locally adopted commute alternatives ordinance. Local jurisdictions may be delegated responsibility for implementation of this rule by the APCO if the following criteria are met:

1. The local jurisdiction submits a plan to the APCO that demonstrates adequate resources to adopt, implement, monitor, and enforce an employer-based commute alternatives ordinance, and the district approves the plan.

2. The local jurisdiction adopts a commute alternatives ordinance that includes, at a minimum, all provisions contained in this rule.

3. The local jurisdiction’s commute alternatives ordinance includes provisions to submit annual progress reports to the APCO containing the following information:

a. List of employers, multi-tenant worksites, and others subject to the local ordinance.

b. Summary of results of all AVR surveys.

c. Number of employer plans required and the number of plans approved/disapproved.

d. Total costs of program and average cost per employee.

e. Number and type of enforcement actions during the preceding year.

f. Anticipated program modifications for the coming year.

A local jurisdiction, in lieu of meeting the above requirements, may provide a demonstration that the final year 2000 performance objectives are currently achieved on an aggregate basis for all applicable work sites within its jurisdiction. Such demonstration must utilize methodology approved by the APCO and a commitment and plan to repeat the demonstration once every three years.

Failure of the local jurisdiction to comply with the requirements of this section may result in suspension, or revocation of district delegated authority.

K. Exemptions. Any employer subject to a local ordinance which requires the provision of trip reduction measures by that employer is eligible for exemption from the requirements of this Rule.

1. The APCO shall determine if the requirements of a local ordinance are at least as effective as this rule in increasing AVR at the employer’s worksite, and shall notify employers in the jurisdictions in which such ordinances have been adopted.

2. In the event that the local ordinance under which the employer qualified for exemption is amended so that it is no longer as effective as this Rule in increasing AVR, or in the event that the local ordinance under which the employer qualified for the exemption is rescinded, the exemption is void. The APCO shall notify the employer that the exemption is void and the employer must submit a plan to the APCO which meets the requirements of this rule within one hundred twenty calendar days of the date of receipt of the notification of the voided exemption.

L. Alternative Compliance Option. At the option of the employer, the Commute Alternatives Plan may include an alternative emission reduction program that demonstrates that the measures included in such program will achieve emission reductions equal to or greater than those that would have been realized if the performance objectives were achieved, and that these alternative measures are not required by any other federal, state, or local control measure or regulatory requirement. Such an alternative emission reduction program shall include an update or progress monitoring report to be submitted at least every two years.

M. Compliance Criteria. If the employer complies with all provisions of Rule 901, and fully implements all measures of an approved commute alternatives plan, and still fails to meet the AVR targets in Table 1, such failure is not a violation of this Rule. District staff will provide assistance and expertise to affected employers on program development, administration, and monitoring. The focus of district support will be on corrective action and prevention of potential noncompliance situations to help employers remain in compliance with this rule. There will be six separate and distinct criteria for judging compliance with this rule:

1. Timely and accurate response to the Notice to Register and Notice of Plan Preparation.

2. Appointment of an employee transportation coordinator or an APCO-approved alternate.

3. Conducting an annual, verifiable AVR Survey to monitor progress toward the applicable AVR target, and submitting the results to the APCO within the required time frame.

4. Full implementation of all trip reduction options and strategies described in the approved commute alternatives plan (if applicable).

5. Making available for audit and/or inspection by the APCO or his or her designee, upon request, evidence or supporting documentation pertaining to all trip reduction options and supporting strategies and activities implemented at a given worksite

6. Timely reporting of all required information to the APCO.

N. Violation. Failure to comply with any provision of this rule constitutes a violation of this rule, except if the employer complies with all applicable requirements and fails to meet the AVR performance objective, such failure shall not constitute a violation. Employers of fewer than one hundred employees, who participate voluntarily in the Commute Alternatives Program, and who do not intend to sell TRCs on the Trip Trading Market, are exempt from the provisions of this Rule.

O. Penalties. Facilities found to be not in compliance with this rule will be given the opportunity to come into compliance before issuance of a Notice of Violation (NOV) or other enforcement action by the district.

When it is determined that a business is in noncompliance, a letter from the APCO will be sent to the employer describing the deficiency, suggested corrective action to be taken, and recommended measures to prevent further occurrences. The employer will have thirty days from receipt of the letter to respond in writing describing the circumstances of the situation, that the deficiency has been corrected, or to describe any extenuating circumstances preventing correction of the deficiency. If the deficiency remains after the prescribed time period, and if agreement on appropriate action has not been reached, a Notice of Violation may be issued. If an NOV is issued for a deficiency, then the penalty schedule shall apply.

P. Fees. There will be no filing fees for the initial submission and APCD review of Commute Alternative Plans. There will also be no fee for resubmitting a plan that has been revised to reflect District comments on the initial submission. There will be a two hundred dollar filing fee charged for each subsequent resubmittal required if the first revision to the trip reduction plan is disapproved by the district.

Q. Employee Notification. An employer shall facilitate the participation of employees and employee organizations in the development and implementation of Commute Alternatives Programs by providing the following information to its employees at the times specified below:

1. Information explaining the requirements and applicability of this rule to the employer and its worksite(s) within thirty days of responding to the notice to register.

This information will be provided by the APCO as part of the Notice to Register packet.

2. The content of the proposed commute options, supporting strategies, and implementation schedule of the Commute Alternatives Plan, if required, at least thirty calendar days prior submitting the Plan to the APCO.

3. Identification of the Employee Transportation Coordinator (ETC) and/or the Employer Program Manager within the organization to whom comments and suggestions can be submitted and questions addressed.

4. Notification may be provided through employee bulletins, notices posted on bulletin boards, articles in any newsletter generally circulated or provided to employees, or any other reasonable means to assure that employees have adequate opportunity for input in the development of the commute alternatives options and strategies, and are informed about the full range of such options and strategies available at the worksite

R. Collective Bargaining Disclaimer. Nothing contained in this rule shall be construed to abrogate any existing collective bargaining agreement(s) between the employer and employees. (Ord. 1284 § 1, 1995)