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State and Local Climate and Energy Program

Eugene SmartTrips

Eugene, Oregon

Federal Funding: $104,126
Project Timeline: February 2010 – June 2012

Latest Update

The City of Eugene has wrapped up the active part of the SmartTrips: Central program. Activities included creating and distributing a neighborhood walking and biking map, newsletters, and a Eugene by Cycle Guide, holding a Transportation Ambassadors class, and hosting Eugene Sunday Streets. The City has worked with the pre- and post-program surveys to evaluate the success of the program and has completed final reports. The reports document the final program results, including 686,194 vehicle miles reduced annually and 558,223 pounds of carbon dioxide reduced annually. Additionally, over 90 percent of survey respondents agreed that it is a good idea for the City of Eugene to help residents walk and bike more, that they would like to reduce their carbon footprint, and that there are good places to walk in their neighborhood. Upcoming activities include completing the SmartTrips Manual and Transportation Masters Curriculum Guide.

Photo

Eugene SmartTrips logo.

Eugene SmartTrips

Eugene prepares for the expansion of their smart trips program into a new neighborhood with a new logo.

Project Summary

Closing the Information and Habit Gap to Enable Climate–Friendly Travel Choices

The neighborhoods of Trainsong, Whiteaker, and Jefferson/Westside have comparatively good transit services, walking and biking pathways, and a pedestrian-friendly downtown. Even so, nearly half of residents drive alone to work each day. By addressing the “information and habit gap,” the City of Eugene's SmartTrips program helps residents switch to climate-friendly travel options. The program delivers:

  • a customized outreach program to the neighborhoods’ 12,000 residents,
  • development of a one-day Transportation Masters leadership program,
  • improved signage for bicycle routes, and
  • innovative new media outreach.

The program engages residents through a proven outreach approach. Customized travel information packets are delivered by bicycle to all 12,000 residents in the neighborhoods of Trainsong, Whiteaker, and Jefferson/Westside. The City runs weekly events to familiarize residents with alternative modes of travel, and to help them practice new travel habits. It also participates in neighborhood events, engaging with residents through existing groups in the community to provide information and answer residents' questions. To reach residents who prefer to access information online, outreach involved a new media component, including weekly emails, an online calendar of events, and Twitter and Facebook feeds.

In addition to outreach, the program will also develop a "Transportation Masters" leadership training program. Community members can enroll in a free, one–day training course to learn about the impact of transportation choices on climate change, "climate-positive" transportation choices, and strategies to engage others in their communities. In return, participants commit to 10 hours of community service to attend outreach events and offer one–on–one transportation audits.

Despite a network of bikeways through the City of Eugene, community members often do not know where bicycle routes are, how to get to important destinations, and how long trips will take. To address this barrier, the City installed approximately 30 signs for cyclists in the three target neighborhoods. These signs showed the distance and average travel time to destinations such as parks, libraries, schools, and downtown areas. The SmartTrips program will educate residents on bicycle signage and routes through outreach and guided bicycle tours.

The benefits of the program include reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the amount of vehicle miles traveled by residents. By promoting other modes of transportation, the program will improve community health, increase transit ridership, improve the mobility choices available to residents, increase community interaction, and provide intensive services to low–income neighborhoods. The program will encourage replication of its model by producing a handbook for the program and by partnering with a number of transit– and bicycle–oriented groups in the community.

Community Characteristics

Population: 12,000 in target neighborhoods
Area: 40.5 square miles
Government Type: City
Community Type: Urban
Median Household Income: $43,600

Program Results/Estimated Results

Expected GHG Reductions: 194 metric tons CO2e annually
Expected VMT Reduction: 12% reduction in drive-alone trips (trips (524,758 miles annually)

Final VMT Reduction: 686,194 miles annually
Expected CO2 Reduction: 426,893 pounds annually
Final CO2 Reduction: 558,223 pounds annually
Expected CO Reduction: 14,300 pounds annually
Final CO Reduction: 18,759 pounds annually
Expected hydrocarbon Reduction: 1,570 pounds annually
Final hydrocarbon Reduction: 2,057 pounds annually
Expected particulate matter Reduction: 12 pounds annually
Final particulate matter Reduction:  15 pounds annually
Expected NOX Reduction: 1,100 pounds annually
Final NOX Reduction: 1,437 pounds annually

Program Websites

Media Coverage

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