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Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204

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About SmartTrips

SmartTrips uses a comprehensive approach to reduce drive-alone trips and increase biking, walking, public transit use, carpooling and car sharing across the city. It incorporates an innovative and highly effective individualized marketing methodology, which hand-delivers packets and personalized emails to residents who wish to learn more about all their transportation options. Key components feature biking and walking maps, robust and sophisticated online, digital and paper resources, and organized activities which get people out in their neighborhoods or places of employment to shop, work, and discover how many trips they can easily, conveniently and safely make without using a car. Success is tracked by evaluating qualitative and quantitative results modeled after the industry best practices. 

Significantly shifting mode choice requires a coordinated approach that includes both infrastructure and encouragement (often called transportation demand management, or TDM).  SmartTrips has helped maximize the City’s return on investment in bikeway, walking and transit facilities by ensuring residents are aware of the infrastructure and services available to them and how to best use them.

Since 2005, the Bureau of Transportation has invested $250,000 per year in the SmartTrips program.  Over that same time, the investment has leveraged at least $200,000 annually in grants, sponsorship, and donations from the community as well as significant positive messaging.  With a modest investment, the SmartTrips Portland Program has successfully demonstrated a relative reduction in drive-alone trips among the targeted populations of 7-21% per year.  The program has successfully increased walking, bicycling, transit use and carpooling each year by simply informing Portland residents about the transportation options available in their area and encouraging those residents to use them.

SmartTrips consistently delivers behavior change increasing active transportation and decreasing drive-alone trips. These techniques and methodologies have been adopted by jurisdictions all across the USA with success with City/agency staff as well as with consultants that specialize in directing individualized marketing programs modeled on SmartTrips. The Association for Pedestrian and Bicycling Professionals has developed, in concert with the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovations and Portland SmartTrips through the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation, a training curricula for other jurisdictions to learn the specific program elements that may be utilized to implement this successful TDM program.

For more information about the SmartTrips program, contact Linda Ginenthal, Programs Manager, Active Transportation and Safety Division, City of Portland Bureau of Transportation at linda.ginenthal@portlandoregon.gov.

Tools of Change Landmark Case Study: Portland’s SmartTrips Welcome Program

Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center: Portland SmartTrips Case Study