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D.C. Considering a 'Cash-Out' Program to Get Commuters Out of Cars
"D.C. officials and transit advocates are pursuing a shift in the way employers offer commuting benefits to encourage more biking, walking and transit over solo driving," reports Luz Lazo.
The proposed policy, called the Transportation Benefits Equity Amendment Act of 2017, would allow workers to cash out of their free or subsidized parking option. The proposal "is one response to growing criticism that historically commuter benefits for drivers are better than those available to people who take other modes of transportation," according to Lazo.
Washington, D.C. already has a relatively high share of commuters choosing to walk, bike, or take transit instead of biking. Although 40 percent of commuters drive, the District is hoping to get that number down to 25 percent. Free parking has been shown to motivate solo automobile commuters, in a doctrine expressed most famously by Donald Shoup.
If approved, Washington, D.C.'s cash-out program would join California's statewide program as high-profile attempts to reduce the number of incentives for solo automobile commutes.