Travel Options in Washington County
Washington County is home to some of the most exciting transportation services in the Portland metro region, from MAX and WES, to Uber and Lyft, to a first-mile shuttle motivated by the community in Forest Grove, to a last-mile shuttle motivated by the business community in North Hillsboro.
What are Travel Options Programs?
Travel Options Programs encourage residents, commuters, and visitors to get out of the private automobile for more trips and provide opportunities for them to walk, bike, share rides, and take transit. These programs are coordinated efforts that provide education, information, incentives and other resources to encourage alternatives to driving alone.
Why is it important?
Washington County is among the fastest growing regions in the state, adding just over one resident and 1.3 jobs per hour between 2014 and 2015. Congestion on the County's main roadways, particularly during peak hours, is only projected to get worse jeopardizing the efficient and reliable movement of people and goods.
Regional population and employment growth, steady increases in traffic volumes and limited transportation funding requires a renewed look at how travel option programs are managed, implemented and monitored in the County. Doing so will help to ensure freight can move freely, employees can get to work, and continue to make Washington County an attractive place to live and work.
In an effort to provide a foundation to develop a coordinated approach to travel options, Washington County conducted a Travel Options Assessment in 2016. This effort included input from a Project Advisory Committee, individual interviews, focus groups, and other outreach activities designed to reduce single-occupant travel demand and leverage regional investments in existing transportation infrastructure.
Working with key stakeholders, jurisdictions, the business community, and travel options providers, the project produced the following work products:
- Washington County Travel Options Assessment - This report summarizes issues and opportunities to facilitate a more coordinated and comprehensive travel options strategy in Washington County. The report describes potential partners; roles and responsibilities for the County, local jurisdictions, the Westside Transportation Alliance (WTA), and other partners; potential funding opportunities; parking and land use policy recommendations; and a list of pilot project or program concepts.
- Business Case for Travel Options - This brochure builds the case for travel options from a business perspective, demonstrating the economic, environmental, and public health benefits of employing travel options programs.
- Existing Conditions and Best Practices Report - This report documents existing policies and programs that illuminate the state of travel options programs and services in Washington County. Best practice research highlights the state of the practice in travel options strategies from across the US, including program, policy, partner, and funding details.
- Stakeholder Outreach Summary - The success of a coordinated travel options strategy is contingent upon support and input from local jurisdictions, the business community, and travel options providers.