SPOKANE, Wash. -- It is one of the most frustrating parts of the day. Getting off work, traffic is bumper to bumper then it is light after light in the quest to get home.
We have all been there. But, new numbers suggest fewer of us are actually waiting in traffic. One reason for that is a commuting program that is called Commute Trip Reduction Interlocal Agreement that encourages things like carpooling.
The program encourages as many people as possible to find alternate means of getting to work so the roads stay open. As part of the program, companies with more than 100 employees are required to encourage workers to find alternate modes of traveling to work. Some companies even offer incentives to their employees like free and reduced bus passes.
New numbers suggest it is working. In 2017, an average of 6,000 cars were removed from our roads each day, translating to 151,000 miles saved.
Faced with largely clogged-free streets, Spokane's city council took action. Earlier this week, they renewed the partnership for another two years. This means large-scale employers will still be required to follow it.
Program leaders said the goal is to keep improving the average commute time, which is about 20 minutes in Spokane.
The program has also come at a huge benefit to the environment. Program leaders say pollution levels have dropped so much statewide that it is equal to the planting of 12,000 acres of trees.