DISTRICT 4 CONTACT: Rosana Galaviz, 210-207-5785
DISTRICT 7 CONTACT: Matteo Treviño, 210-323-2835
SAN ANTONIO (June 20, 2018) — Yesterday, city staff announced the start of a pilot carpool program for downtown City employees with the ultimate goal of reducing traffic congestion in San Antonio. The program will incentivize City employees who work downtown to try alternatives to driving alone. Ideas include dedicating parking spots, reducing parking rates at City-owned garages for carpoolers, and expanding the bike parking available downtown. The program will later expand to include other downtown employers.
Councilwoman Sandoval and Councilman Saldaña issued the following statements:
“The City needs to try innovative and varied solutions to our congestion issues so we can have a record of their effectiveness to share with our partners in the private sector,” said Councilwoman Sandoval. “Long-term congestion relief will require the commitment of many stakeholders and a range of solutions, including carpooling. We know our congestion and air quality will continue to grow worse if we do nothing, so it’s important we find ways to address this now.”
“The adoption of this pilot program exemplifies our City’s commitment to searching for plausible solutions addressing our problems with traffic congestion,” commented Councilman Saldaña. “Part of our responsibility will include persuading residents in other major regional corridors to seek alternative modes of transportation by highlighting the proven benefits. I anticipate this will be the beginning of a transformative shift in what has been our normative approach to transportation.”
The recommendation was presented to the City Council’s Transportation Committee by the City’s Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Working Group, which was formed after Councilmembers Saldaña and Sandoval filed a joint Council Consideration Request (CCR) in September 2017. Their CCR called for the creation of a program to assess commuting patterns in San Antonio and to establish goals for increasing multi-passenger commutes. The working group—which consisted of local professionals from several industries—met with stakeholders in the business, education, and military sectors. They presented their initial findings to the Transportation Committee last April.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 80% of San Antonio residents drive alone to work. Transportation Demand Management is an approach to easing traffic congestion by reducing the number of single-occupancy vehicles on the road. It involves encouraging and incentivizing residents to seek alternatives to driving alone, including car- and van-pooling and taking the bus.