Greenhouse Gas Reduction
Current RTC Initiatives
Commute Solutions Transportation Demand Management (TDM)/
- Personalized Commute Trip Planning: Commute consultants help travelers plan a bus trip, find a carpool partner or a seat in a vanpool, identify the best bike route or calculate commute costs.
- Online ridematching: Finds carpool or vanpool partners and bike buddies, in partnership with 511.org.
- Cash for Carpools: Offers new carpoolers who have previously been driving alone a $25 gas card and entry into a drawing for a year’s worth of gas.
- Employer Commute Program Assistance: Helps employers develop and implement commute programs.
- Carsharing: Promotes carsharing programs.
- Park and Ride Lots: Informs commuters about locations to meet their carpools, vanpools or bus; RTC also coordinates parking lots and is planning for additional lots countywide.
- True Cost of Driving calculator: Calculator identifies both the direct and indirect costs associated with driving.
- RideSurance: For a small copay, provides commuters that use sustainable transportation with a taxi ride home in an emergency.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Programs
- Bikeways Map: Produce and distribute free maps to facilitate bicycling
- Bike to Work/School Program: Funded through the RTC since inception
- Bicycling Facility Planning: Assist with development of comprehensive bicycle plans
- Funding Bike and Pedestrian projects: Since 1992 approximately 18% of the RTC’s discretionary funds have been used on bicycle and pedestrian facilities and programs, including new sidewalks, curb ramps, pedestrian bridges and paths, pedestrian crossing at intersections, new bicycle lanes, bicycle education programs, and traffic calming measures.
- Bicycle Committee and bicycle coordinator focused on improving bicycle facilities in the region
- Safety: Fund the Community Traffic Safety Coalition (CTSC) and South County CTSC education programs
- Elderly/ Disabled Transportation Advisory Committee and Pedestrian Safety Workgroup: Identify needs and facilitate safe and accessible travel for seniors and people with disabilities, including accessible pedestrian, transit and paratransit travel.
- Accessible Pedestrian/Safe Paths of Travel: Grant-funded projects focused on improving pedestrian access to bus stops and other destinations frequented by seniors and people with disabilities.
- Hazard reporting for sidewalks and bike facilities
Reduce Congestion/Hours of Delay
- Freeway Service Patrol: tow trucks operate during weekday commute hours and on a limited schedule on the weekends. The FSP tow trucks help reduce congestion by quickly removing stalled vehicles or vehicles involved in an accident from the roadway and assisting motorists with basic car problems to get them on their way.
- Traveler Information: Consider feasibility of developing a 511 Traveler Information System to provide timely, up-to-date traveler information to reduce congestion, increase use of transit, and improve air quality.
- Call Box Program: RTC owns and operates a network of over 100 motorist call boxes on Santa Cruz County highways to quickly assist motorists and reduce congestion associated with disabled vehicles.
- Planning for high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes on Highway 1
- Funding public transit: RTC allocates Transportation Development Act (TDA), State Transit Assistance (STA), and Proposition 1B transit funds to the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District, which operates the county bus system.
- Bus Stop Improvements: RTC provided $500,000 for bus stop improvements, including shelters, benches, and lighting to be installed in 2011.
- Access to transit: Projects to prioritize and improve pedestrian access to transit, especially for seniors and people with disabilities.
- STARS: Developing system for rating transportation projects to improve their sustainability.
- Clean cement: Funding sidewalk made from materials that sequester carbon dioxide, as part of the Highway 1 Soquel-Morrissey Auxiliary Lanes project.
- State and Federal Legislative Programs: Advocate for legislative actions that provide funding for transportation programs and projects and reduce fuel consumption.
- New Development Review: Review new development proposals and actively recommend the inclusion of features that will reduce the need for vehicle travel, such as making developments accessible by bikes, pedestrians, and transit and reducing parking.
- Reducing RTC’s agency transportation footprint:
- Support employees telecommuting, carpooling, riding transit, and bicycling to work.
- Use agency-owned hybrid vehicle (currently Toyota Prius)
- Use agency-owned bicycle for personal and business during the workday
- Maximize use of teleconferencing and videoconferencing to reduce meeting travel
Upcoming Initiatives (planned for next 5 years)
- Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network (MBSSTN): Develop master plan and construct network of bicycle/pedestrian facilities along coast
- Bicycle Route Signage: Develop and install bicycle route signs
- Design and implement 511 Traveler Information system, if feasible
- Expand park and ride lots countywide
- SB375 Sustainable Communities Strategy: Partner and collaborate with Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG), planning agencies countywide, and the public to develop strategies to improve land use and transportation coordination in order to reduce the amount of miles people drive.
- Apply STARS to the Highway 1 HOV Lanes project
- Continue to seek and distribute funds to transit, bike, pedestrian, TDM, and other projects that increase access and reduce the number of miles people drive and GHG emissions.
- Support planning efforts led by Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District (SCMTD), the County of Santa Cruz, and others to support high intensity transit corridors and expand transit ridership, especially given that nearly 60% of Santa Cruz County residents live within an eight minute walk of a bus stop.
Long Range Initiatives
- Efficiency: Support measures to improve overall efficiency of the transportation system
- Rail: The RTC is in the process of purchasing the Santa Cruz branch rail line for goods movement and possible passenger service in the future.
- Regional Transportation Plan (RTP): Plan for improving the region’s transportation system over the next twenty-five years. Includes transportation goals, policies, and evaluation criteria used to inform the selection projects for funding.
- SB375 Implementation: Assist with implementation of SCS to be developed as part of the Metropolitan Transportation Plan, including funding projects within priority growth areas, supporting developments consistent with the SCS.
- Work with Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District (SCMTD) on planning activities to increase transit usage and access.
- Expand use of rating system to make transportation plans and projects more sustainable.
- Pursue new revenues (sales tax measure, vehicle registration fees, etc) to fund projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.
- Construct HOV lanes to increase carpooling and transit use and reduce congestion in the Highway 1 corridor.
- Support reliable ongoing funding needed for a vibrant transit system.
- Support expansion of alternative fueling stations.
RTC Contact – Greenhouse Gas Reduction
Senior Transportation Planner