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Commuter Choice Primer

An Employee's Guide to Implementing Effective Commuter Choice Programs


Several handbooks and guidance documents currently exist to assist employers in developing and implementing Transportation Demand Management (TDM) programs. Many employers also provide Commuter Choice tax benefits to employees who ride transit or commute in vanpools. Recently, the federal agencies involved in Commuter Choice have redefined the program to encompass more than tax benefits. Commuter Choice now includes employer efforts to expand the full spectrum of choices available to commuters, including how employees travel to work (mode choice), when they travel (time choice), where they work (location choice), and even which way they travel (route choice).

The Commuter Choice Decision Support System (CCDSS) software enclosed on the back cover of this document has been developed to assist anyone given the task of exploring how Commuter Choice may alleviate various worksite problems (such as employee recruitment or parking shortages) or how it may offer a new, popular benefit to employees. When Commuter Choice is used to solve worksite problems, not only do employers and employees benefit, but society as a whole benefits through reductions in traffic congestion, air pollution, and energy consumption as well as a reduction in lost productivity from workers stuck in traffic.

The information contained within this guidance manual is meant to aid with this exploration. More detailed guidance is available on various aspects of Commuter Choice program implementation and is referenced in this document and the Decision Support System.

We hope the guidance is informative and helpful to you in your consideration of a Commuter Choice program, now more than ever…America’s Way to Work.


This project was sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

The development of Commuter Choice Primer: An Employer's Guide to Implementing Effective Commuter Choice Programs and the accompanying CCDSS was coordinated by the firm of ESTC, with assistance from Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). Thanks are also extended to all who reviewed and commented on early versions of the report and CCDSS, especially the assistance of the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments Commuter Connections program and the Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT).


This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The United States Government assumes no liability for its contents or use thereof.

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