SmartTrips New Movers is a comprehensive program for new or relocating Portland residents that has a primary goal of reducing drive-alone trips and increasing biking, walking, public transit use, carpooling and car sharing across the city. It incorporates a highly effective individualized marketing methodology, which delivers packets and personalized emails to residents who wish to learn more about all their transportation options.
Key components feature biking and walking maps, digital and paper resources, and organized events which get people out in their neighborhoods or places of employment to 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. Past iterations of SmartTrips in which the program targeted specific geographic areas within Portland had successfully demonstrated a reduction in drive-alone trips of 9-21% per year. SmartTrips New Movers began in 2014 and had demonstrated a reduction in driving trips of 5-8%.
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. 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 curriculum for other jurisdictions to learn the specific program elements that may be used to implement this successful TDM program.
For more information about the SmartTrips program, contact Mychal Tetteh, Programs Manager, Active Transportation and Safety Division, City of Portland Bureau of Transportation at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tools of Change Landmark Case Study: Portland’s SmartTrips Welcome Program
Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center: Portland SmartTrips Case Study