In response to legislation passed in 2019 which mandates reductions to greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), the state has proposed a mandatory program under which all employers with 100 or more workers must reduce the number of single-occupant vehicles on our roads. Proposed strategies include ridesharing, transit use, remote work, flex-scheduling and parking management. As currently proposed, employers would need to demonstrate at least 25% of their workforce participate in trip reduction methods by January 1, 2023. The rate accelerates to 40% by January 1, 2025.
Additional listening sessions have been scheduled through April and ALL employers are encouraged to become engaged as the definition of “large employers” has been significantly reduced through the drafting process. Register HERE to participate. For those unable to join a call, written comments will be accepted no later than May 20, 2021 using the following link: GHG Transportation Comment Form
NCLA and the regional chambers have identified several concerns, including:
- In 2020, an estimated 42% of the workforce conducted assignments remotely full time or were provided flexible scheduling. By February 2021, vehicle miles traveled systemwide was less than 20% below the February 2020 baseline. This tells us vehicles don’t remain in the driveway.
- 2020 has demonstrated that companies and workers able to effectively work remotely or with greater workday flexibility have done so. This proposal imposes significant burdens to both parties.
- Contrary to presentation materials presented by the State, similar programs across the country show mixed results in reducing single-occupancy vehicle commutes though no evidence is provided to demonstrate reductions of GHG emissions or traffic congestion.
- A preliminary cost-benefit analysis, limited to employers of 250+ workers within the Denver-metro market, shows:
- Employers would expend approximately $700,000/year for RTD transit passes to achieve the desired trip reductions.
- Remote work and flexible scheduling incur no cost to the employer.
- Administrative costs would be approximately $5,700/year/employer yet monitoring and reporting requirements have not yet been defined.
- Over the 15-year life of equipment, employers would spend $4M to install two EV charging stations on site with no charging cost assessed to the employee.
- Goals may be achieved if 204,400 employees commute via EV by 2025. There are currently fewer than 33,000 EVs registered statewide.
- By 2025, compliance by Denver-metro employers of 250+ will reduce GHG by 438,669 metric tons. The estimate assumes each vehicle that would otherwise be used to commute to work is not used for any other purpose.
- Compliance reporting requirements and repercussions for falling short of the stated requirements have not been defined.
- Puts undue burden on private employers for decisions made by public transit authorities.
- Employers that draw workers from a geographically large area and those unable to accommodate remote work options are particularly vulnerable.
- Justification for the program includes a list of anticipated benefits for both employers and workers that are speculative and lack basic understanding of employer-employee relations.
- Outreach to employers has been extremely limited and concentrated within the Denver metro area though the program will be enforced statewide.
- This proposal is counter-productive toward the goal of expanding economic opportunity to disadvantaged populations as public transit and internet connectivity remain significant impediments. Employers will be discouraged from recruiting in areas where participation in program objectives may be limited.
A request for rulemaking will be presented to the Air Quality Control Commission at its meetings scheduled for May 20-21, 2021 with a formal rulemaking hearing scheduled August 19-20, 2021.