VENTURA COUNTY AIR POLLUTION CONTROL DISTRICT

Rule 210. Employee Commute Options (ECO)

(Adopted 6/13/89, Renamed and Revised 4/6/93, Effective 6/30/93, Revised 4/5/94)

A. Applicability and Purpose

  1. This rule applies to all public and private employers with 50 or more employees at any worksite who start work during any peak travel period. To determine applicability, the peak Target Population for the previous three calendar months shall be averaged.

  2. The purpose of this rule is to reduce the number of vehicles used to commute to the worksite by employees who start work during peak travel periods. Each applicable employer must implement an Employee Commute Options program (ECO Program) to increase Average Vehicle Ridership (AVR) to a targeted level. To measure progress towards attainment of the AVR Target, each employer must determine and submit a Verifiable Estimate of AVR (AVR Estimate) to the District at least once every program year.

B. Requirements

  1. Each applicable employer shall submit an ECO Plan and AVR Estimate for approval by the Air Pollution Control Officer (APCO) no later than its annual submittal deadline (Deadline) established pursuant to subsection E.1. Each ECO Plan shall be designed to attain the applicable AVR Target listed in Table 1 by the end of the program year.

TABLE 1 - AVR TARGETS

Total Employee Population
Year of Plan Submittal Deadline Less than 100 100 or more
1993 1.35 1.35
1994 and 1995 1.35 1.35 plus measures to meet 1.50 by 1/1/97
1996 1.35 1.50
1997 and after 1.50 1.50



  1. Each employer shall conduct an AVR survey to determine an AVR Estimate at least once every program year. The AVR survey must be conducted during a period mutually agreeable to the employer and the District within the six (6) months prior to the end of the program year.

  2. Each employer shall submit the AVR Estimate to the APCO for review and approval no later than the end of the program year.

  3. a. Each AVR Estimate that demonstrates attainment of the applicable AVR Target in Table 1 shall be accompanied by an ECO Plan Summary and applicable forms regarding changes to the plan, if any changes are proposed by the employer or are required by a new AVR Target in Table 1.

    b. Each AVR Estimate that fails to demonstrate attainment of the AVR Target in Table 1 shall be accompanied by an ECO Plan Update including applicable forms regarding changes and enhanced strategies designed to attain the applicable AVR Target listed in Table 1 by the end of the ensuing program year.

C. ECO Plan Requirements

  1. The ECO Master Plan for the worksite shall contain:

  2. a. An ECO Plan Summary signed by the highest ranking official with direct management responsibility for the worksite, the Trained Employee Transportation Coordinator (ETC), and the plan preparer if applicable. The ECO Plan Summary shall be on a form approved by the APCO.

    b. A description of the employer and the worksite on applicable forms including:

      1) The identification and type of business including any unique aspects such as seasonal fluctuations in the number of employees and/or business cycles, or number of employees reporting to the worksite under the direction of another, non-related employer.

      2) The work force profile, including job classification (e.g., clerical, professional, technical) and category (e.g., full time, part time, contract), work schedules, and commute trip origin zip codes or density map.

      3) The worksite profile including worksite amenities that support a trip reduction program (e.g., child care centers, ATMs, restaurants, cafeterias, banks).

      4) Transportation resources including public transit services with frequency of service within one-quarter mile radius of the worksite and descriptions of walking and bicycling environments.

    c. An AVR Estimate for the worksite including a brief description of the factors influencing the current AVR including existing amenities or trip reduction strategies.

    d. If the AVR Estimate does not demonstrate attainment of the AVR Target, a Forecast Form with employee commute options (see definitions) and the related number of employee trip reductions needed each week to meet the AVR Target.

    e. If the AVR Estimate does not demonstrate attainment of the AVR Target, a separate form specifying details of each trip reduction strategy and associated employee commute option which can reasonably be expected to achieve the applicable AVR Target by the end of the program year.

    f. Applicable methods to monitor progress towards achieving and maintaining the applicable AVR Target, such as annual AVR survey(s) or alternate monitoring method(s) as allowed in subsection K.29, including specific participation measurement criteria and monitoring frequency.

  3. Each ECO Plan Update shall contain:

  4. a. An ECO Plan Summary signed by the highest ranking official with direct management responsibility for the worksite, the ETC, and the plan preparer if applicable.

    b. Confirmation of information previously submitted under subsection C.1.b, including revised forms with updated information when substantial changes have occurred.

    c. A listing of each trip reduction strategy in the previous year's ECO Plan, and indicating whether or not each strategy or strategy group will be continued, discontinued or modified.

    d. If the AVR Estimate does not demonstrate attainment of the AVR Target, form(s) detailing each added, changed or enhanced trip reduction strategy or strategy group which can reasonably be expected to increase AVR as needed to achieve the AVR Target by the end of the program year.

    e. If the AVR Estimate does not demonstrate attainment of the AVR Target, a Forecast Form with employee commute options and the related number of employee trip reductions needed each week to meet the AVR Target.

    f. A summary of any changes in the methods to monitor and track progress and participation including a copy of any revised AVR Survey Form.

D. Performance Plan

In lieu of submitting an ECO Plan or Plan Update for APCO approval, any employer may opt for any worksite to demonstrate compliance with the applicable AVR Performance Target in Table 2 through a Performance Plan as follows:

TABLE 2 - AVR PERFORMANCE TARGETS

Total Employee Population
End Date of AVR Survey Period Less than 100 100 or more
Before 1/1/97 1.35 1.35
From 1/1/97 to 12/31/97 1.35 1.50
On and after 1/1/98 1.50 1.50



  1. Any employer choosing this Performance Plan option shall notify the APCO in writing (such written notification shall constitute a Performance Plan) of this choice no later than the plan submittal Deadline established pursuant to subsection E.1. The written notification shall contain the following:

  2. a. The identification of the worksite .

    b. The selection of the Performance Plan option for the worksite.

    c. A waiver of the affirmative defenses provided in California Health and Safety Code Section 42402 that the failure to attain the AVR Performance Target was caused by an act which was not the result of intentional or negligent conduct.

    d. The name and phone number of the Trained Employee Transportation Coordinator (ETC) for the worksite.

  3. Any employer choosing this Performance Plan option shall be subject to and shall comply with the following requirements. Failure to comply with any of the following requirements shall each be a violation of this rule under the Performance Plan Option:

  4. a. The employer shall provide a Trained Employee Transportation Coordinator (ETC) for the worksite.

    b. The employer shall conduct at least two (2) AVR surveys during periods mutually agreeable to the employer and the District, at least three (3) months apart during the program year (or use an alternate method to determine AVR performance as allowed by subsection K.29), and submit Verifiable Estimates of AVR to the APCO no later than the end of the program year.

    c. The failure to attain the AVR Performance Target specified in Table 2, as computed in subsection D.3, is a violation of this rule under the Performance Plan Option.

  5. An employer undertaking a Performance Plan option shall be subject to penalties for violation of this rule if the weighted average of the Verifiable Estimates of AVR required under subsection D.2.b is less than the AVR Performance Target specified in Table 2. The weighted average of the Verifiable Estimates of AVR shall be calculated as follows:



      1. where:

        C = the weighted average of the Verifiable Estimates of AVR

        D = the first Verifiable Estimate of AVR

        E = the second Verifiable Estimate of AVR

        F = the number of target employees included in the first Verifiable Estimate of AVR

        G = the number of target employees included in the second Verifiable Estimate of AVR

  6. Employers are notified that in the event the District seeks civil penalties for failure to attain the AVR Performance Target, the amount sought shall be calculated as follows:

      1. Civil Penalties = A x B x $400

        where:

        A = AVR Shortfall (AVR Performance Target minus the weighted average of the Verifiable Estimates of AVR), and

        B = Number of Employees in the Target Population

    Any employer which fails to conduct at least two (2) AVR surveys, at least three (3) months apart during the program year, or fails to submit Verifiable Estimates of AVR based on the results of these surveys no later than the end of the program year shall be assigned an AVR shortfall (A) of 0.500 for the purpose of calculating the civil penalties to be sought by the District.

  7. The option to demonstrate compliance through a Performance Plan shall not be available to any employer which chose the option in the previous program year and failed to attain its AVR Performance Target.

E. Administrative Requirements

  1. The APCO shall designate a date as a permanent annual submittal deadline (Deadline) for each employer. Extensions granted by the APCO shall not affect this Deadline for subsequent years. The APCO shall notify the employer by mail at least 120 calendar days before each Deadline. The APCO may approve an employer's request to change the permanent Deadline to another permanent earlier date that is mutually agreeable to the employer and the District. The APCO may change the permanent Deadline to another permanent later date that is mutually agreeable to the employer and the District.
  2. The employer shall submit two (2) signed copies of the ECO Plan or Performance Plan and applicable forms to the District no later than the Deadline. Employers with multiple worksites shall submit a separate ECO Plan or Performance Plan for each affected worksite. To reduce paperwork, an employer with multiple worksites may submit the common parts of separate ECO Plans in a single comprehensive document. Such submissions shall be considered as separate when determining fees pursuant to Rule 45.1.

  3. An extension may be sought from the APCO in the event that an employer reasonably needs more time to submit an ECO Plan. Any employer requesting an extension of an ECO Plan Deadline must continue to implement its existing ECO Program. Written requests for extensions must be received by the District at least 15 calendar days prior to the Deadline, and shall include an explanation of the need for additional time, a summary of the progress to date towards the plan development and a timeline for completion. The APCO shall notify the employer whether or not the extension has been granted within 10 calendar days after receipt of the written request for extension, and shall specify the acceptable submittal date.

  4. The APCO shall approve or disapprove the ECO Plan. The APCO shall disapprove any ECO Plan which cannot reasonably be expected to achieve and maintain the AVR Target by the end of the program year. If the APCO fails to respond in writing within 60 calendar days of the Deadline or receipt of the ECO Plan and applicable fees whichever is later, it shall be deemed approved. Notice of a disapproved ECO Plan shall be by certified mail, and shall contain the reasons for disapproval. If an employer believes that the disapproved ECO Plan meets the requirements of this rule, the employer may appeal the disapproval to the District Hearing Board. An appeal of a disapproval must be made in writing within 10 calendar days after receipt of the notice of disapproval. A disapproved ECO Plan must be revised by the employer and resubmitted with applicable fees to the APCO within 30 calendar days of receipt of the notice of disapproval, or within 30 calendar days of the Hearing Board decision to uphold the disapproval by the APCO.

  5. All ECO Plans, Performance Plans, AVR Surveys, and supporting forms and information must be retained for three (3) years after date of ECO Plan approval or submittal of a Performance Plan and shall be made available to the APCO within 10 calendar days of written request.

F. The District may perform selective inspections to verify compliance with any provisions of this rule.

G. The employer shall notify the District in writing of each of the following changes. Written notification must be received by the District no later than 30 calendar days after any such change.

  1. ETC name, title, address and phone number
  2. CEO/corporate official name, title, address and phone number
  3. Worksite senior manager name, title, address and phone number
  4. Addition or deletion of a worksite
  5. Relocation: give new mailing address(es) and phone number(s) of CEO, senior manager, ETC and worksite if within Ventura County; and only mailing address and phone if outside Ventura County.
  6. Employer reorganization, including merger, acquisition, change of ownership, or any change which affects ECO Plan or Performance Plan, such as decreases in Target Population below an applicability threshold.
  7. Unscheduled discontinuance of a major strategy (e.g., incentive, promotion, rideshare event or preferential parking).

H. Exemptions

Any employer subject to a city ordinance which requires trip reduction measures by that employer may be exempted from the requirements of this rule as follows:

  1. The APCO shall determine if the requirements of the city ordinance are at least as effective as this rule in increasing AVR at the worksite, and shall include in the Notice requiring submittal of an ECO Plan, a list of the cities, if any, in which such ordinances have been adopted.

  2. To obtain this exemption, an employer must apply in writing to the APCO, and verify that each applicable worksite has complied with the trip reduction requirements of the city ordinance. The written application must be made within 30 calendar days after receipt of a Notice to Comply with this rule.

  3. Within 30 days of request by the APCO the employer shall submit a letter report to the APCO describing the trip reduction measures being provided and an estimate of the AVR being achieved at each worksite.

  4. Exemptions granted by the APCO shall be conditioned upon maintaining compliance with the city ordinance. The APCO may revoke the exemption at such time as the APCO determines that the requirements of the city ordinance are not being implemented.
  5. In the event that the city ordinance under which the employer qualified for exemption is amended so that the city ordinance is no longer as effective as this rule in increasing AVR, or in the event that the city ordinance under which the employer qualified for exemption is rescinded, the exemption is void. The APCO shall notify the employer that the exemption is void and the employer must submit an ECO Plan or Performance Plan to the APCO which meets the requirements of this rule within 120 calendar days of the date of receipt of notification of the voided exemption.

I. AVR Averaging

Two or more employers and/or worksites of a single employer (a partnership) may combine resources to develop complementary ECO Plans and/or Performance Plans (Plans) that convincingly demonstrate attainment of the AVR Target by the end of the program year. Worksites with less than 50 employees and entire workshifts which end work during any peak travel period may voluntarily participate. Voluntary participants shall be subject to all requirements of this rule and shall be subject to the applicable fees in Rule 45.1. All partnerships shall be dissolved at the end of each program year. All partnerships shall be subject to and shall meet the following requirements:

  1. All participants in a partnership shall synchronize their Deadlines in accordance with the requirements of subsection E.1

  2. A separate Plan must be submitted by each participant. Each participant must fully implement its Plan and all strategies contained therein. Each Plan is separately enforceable.

  3. All participants in the partnership shall conduct AVR surveys during simultaneous periods to determine AVR Estimates. Each participant's Plan shall identify the dates of the AVR Survey.

  4. Each participant's Plan shall be designed to attain a projected AVR Target, such that when those targets are entered into the following formula, the result is greater than or equal to the AVR Target.

      1. where:

        A = the AVR Target for the partnership (from Table 1 or subsection I.5)

        Ba = the projected AVR Target for employer a

        Ca = the Target Population of employer a

        Bb = the projected AVR Target for employer b

        Cb = the Target Population of employer b

        Bc = the projected AVR Target for employer c

        Cc = the Target Population of employer c

  5. If a partnership includes employers subject to differing AVR Targets (i.e., employers of 100 and more in partnership with employers of less than 100), the AVR Target for the purpose of subsection I.4 shall be calculated as follows:



      1. where:

        A = the AVR Target for the partnership

        Ea = the AVR Target for employer a (from Table 1)

        Ca = the Target Population of employer a

        Fb = the AVR Target for employer b (from Table 1)

        Cb = the Target Population of employer b

        Gc = the AVR Target for employer c (from Table 1)

        Cc = the Target Population of employer c

J. AVR Survey Requirements and Calculations

  1. Average Vehicle Ridership (AVR) for a worksite shall be determined by conducting one or more AVR survey(s). An AVR survey is conducted by distributing AVR Survey Forms designed to provide sufficient information to calculate the AVR of the Target Population of employees at the worksite. If the Target Population can be determined (each employee listed on a roster) before the AVR survey, then only the Target Population need be surveyed; otherwise the entire employee population must be surveyed to ensure that all commute behavior for the Target Population is included. Only Survey Forms completed by the Target Population shall be used to calculate the AVR Estimate.

  2. The AVR survey shall cover a period of either 5 or 10 consecutive peak travel periods during weeks which do not contain holidays. Employers shall not provide special incentives which are not normally available or otherwise promote commute behavior specifically for enhancing the AVR survey. The APCO may require AVR surveys to cover 10 consecutive peak travel periods if employees participate in any compressed work schedule which allows different or varying day(s) off each week.

  3. All AVR Survey Forms completed by the Target Population shall be used to calculate AVR. A response rate of 90% or higher is acceptable. If the response rate is less than 90% but 75% or greater, all non-respondents shall be treated as single occupant vehicle commuters. The APCO shall not accept any survey as a Verifiable Estimate of AVR if the response rate is less than 75%.

  4. AVR is calculated using all responses to AVR Survey Forms completed during the AVR survey period. AVR is the total number of commute trips made by the Target Population divided by the sum of the vehicle fractions for each such commute trip.

  5. a. The total number of commute trips made by the Target Population during the AVR survey period is the sum of all commute trips by employees who start work at the worksite during the daily peak travel periods. Days that do not generate any commute trip to the worksite during the peak travel period are excluded from the total number of trips. These are tallied separately as days off (i.e, vacation, illness, any other absence), trips to another worksite in or out of Ventura County, and commute trips outside the peak travel period. Counts are added to the actual number of trips made for each telecommuting day and for day(s) off due to compressed work schedules.

    b. The sum of the vehicle fractions used by the Target Population is the sum of each employee's daily vehicle fractions for commute trips during the entire AVR survey period (see definitions).

For employees who use more than one travel mode during a commute, the mode used for the longest distance shall be reported on the AVR survey form.

For low emission commute vehicles, the AVR calculation shall be computed using factors approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board.

K. Definitions

  1. "Average Vehicle Ridership (AVR)": The total number of commute trips made by the Target Population divided by the sum of the vehicle fractions for all such commute trips.

  2. "AVR Estimate": "AVR Estimate" has the same meaning as "Verifiable Estimate of AVR."

  3. "AVR Survey Form": A form approved by the APCO designed to provide sufficient information to calculate AVR of the Target Population at each worksite.

  4. "Buspool": A vehicle with 16 or more seating positions used and maintained primarily for carrying commuters to and from work. An example of a buspool is a privately sponsored transit bus used to transport commuters to and from work over a long distance with few stops.

  5. "Carpool": A vehicle occupied by two or more persons aged 16 years or older commuting to or from work and/or school. Preschool children or seniors who are dropped off at a daycare facility or elder-care facility at or within one-half mile of the worksite, or a facility sponsored by the employer which is located in such a manner to reduce vehicle trips (e.g., at a park and ride lot or in close proximity to the worksite) shall be each counted as carpool participants.

  6. "Commute Trip": A trip made by an employee between the trip origin and the worksite. The commute trip may include stops between the trip origin and the worksite.

  7. "Commuter Shuttle": A vehicle with 16 or more seating positions used specifically for commute trips by employees who arrive and depart from the commuter shuttle pick-up point by a means other than a single occupant vehicle. An example of a commuter shuttle is a privately sponsored transit bus which circulates in a prescribed path and makes frequent stops.

  8. "Compressed Work Week Schedule": A full time work schedule and accompanying employer policy which eliminates at least one round-trip commute trip at least once every two (2) weeks including but not limited to 4/10, 4/40, 9/80, and 3/36 work schedules.

  9. "Employee": Any full time or part time person working 10 or more days in a 30 calendar day period, permanent or temporary, contract or employed, (excluding volunteers). Such person either reports for work or is assigned primarily to a worksite within the District on a regular schedule over a 30 calendar day period.

  10. "Employer": Any self-employed individual, trust, firm, joint stock company, corporation, partnership, association, or government agency. The term includes for-profit, not-for-profit, and non-profit enterprises.

  11. "Employee Commute Options": Rideshare modes or other techniques to reduce or eliminate commute trips, including any of the following:

  12. a. Carpooling (by 2-person, 3-person, etc.)

    b. Vanpooling

    c. Public Transit

    d. Buspool

    e. Commuter Shuttle

    f. Bicycling

    g. Walking

    h. Compressed work week (by schedule types)

    i. Telecommuting

    j. Other (approved by the APCO)

  13. "ECO Plan": A document describing in detail the ECO program at the worksite, including an implementation schedule, which is submitted to the APCO for review and approval. The ECO Plan consists of the ECO Plan Summary, AVR estimate and applicable forms and information.

  14. "ECO Plan Summary": A document submitted annually which includes the employer identification, worksite statistics for previous and current plan year, checklist of attached forms, names of ETC and plan preparer (if applicable) and signatures of responsible parties confirming completeness, accuracy and commitment to implement the ECO Plan.

  15. "ECO Program": Enactment of strategies developed by the employer and approved by the APCO, designed to support alternative employee commute options to single occupant vehicle travel. The purpose of such strategies is to support employee commute options which achieve and maintain the applicable AVR Target.

  16. "Handicapped Employee": An individual with a physical or mental impairment which prevents the individual from participating in an employee commute option.

  17. "Peak Travel Period": Weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. inclusive.

  18. "Program Year": A program year begins on the annual submittal deadline established pursuant to subsection E.1 of this rule.

  19. "Ridesharing": Two or more people commuting together.

  20. "School": An educational institution, including support facilities (e.g., administrative, maintenance facilities) for any of the grades kindergarten through twelve.

  21. "Single-Occupant Vehicle": A motor vehicle occupied by one person.

  22. "Strategies": A combination of services, facilities, incentives, supporting company policies and promotions to encourage employees to participate in an ECO Program.

  23. "Target Population": All employees who start work at the worksite during peak travel periods. The Target Population may exclude handicapped employees and police K-9 officers commuting with animals.

  24. "Telecommuter": A person working at home for a full work day. A telecommuter shall have a zero vehicle fraction for each day worked at home. A person who works at a satellite work center is also a telecommuter if the one-way commute trip to the satellite work center is 20 miles shorter than the one-way commute trip to the worksite.

  25. "Total Employee Population": The number of employees who are employed at the worksite.

  26. "Trained Employee Transportation Coordinator (ETC)": An employee or other individual appointed by an employer to promote, implement, administer, and monitor the ECO Program or ECO Plan who has completed a training program in transportation demand management (TDM) approved by the APCO and annual update training, or who can demonstrate equivalent experience. The training program must include:

  27. a. A review of employee commute options, strategies and how to promote the ECO Program to employees.

    b. Information regarding the relationship between transportation demand management and air quality.

    c. Guidance to develop and submit an ECO Plan including methods to survey, calculate and monitor worksite AVR.

  28. "Vanpool": A group of at least seven commuters traveling to work in a motor vehicle designed for carrying more than six but less than 16 persons, including the driver, which is maintained and used primarily for work-related transportation of adults for the purpose of ridesharing.

  29. "Vehicle": A device by which any person or property may be propelled, moved, or drawn upon a highway, excepting a device moved exclusively by human power, used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks, or buses used for public or private transit. Examples include, but are not limited to passenger cars, motorcycles, vans, recreational vehicles and pickup trucks.

  30. "Vehicle Fraction": The portion of a vehicle utilized by a commuter for the greatest number of miles of a commute trip as follows:

  31. a. Walk, bicycle 0.000

    b. Public transit 0.000

    c. Commute Shuttle 0.000

    d. Buspool 0.000

    e. Vanpool 0.000

    f. 2 person carpool 0.500

    g. 3+ person carpool 1 / No. of participants

    h. Drive alone, motorcycle 1.000

  32. "Verifiable Estimate of AVR" or "AVR Estimate": A fully documented estimate of AVR determined in accordance with the procedures outlined in Section J. A Verifiable Estimate of AVR represents normal daily vehicle ridership by the Target Population at a worksite.

  33. Counts of parked vehicles, vacant parking spaces or gate counts are not AVR Estimates. However, any employer may request the APCO to preapprove in writing an alternate method for estimating AVR such as a combination of AVR surveys and vehicle counts, or an ongoing AVR tracking program which monitors AVR of the Target Population.

  34. "Worksite": A location or building in and around which employees work. A worksite is also a group of buildings in close proximity. Except for schools specified below, close proximity means that the individual buildings making up the group of buildings are no more than one mile from one another, are served by a common circulation or access system, and are not separated by an impassable barrier to bicycle or pedestrian travel which may include a freeway, flood control channel, railroad, etc.

  35. For schools where trip reduction marketing efforts (e.g., posters and bulletins) are extended to all worksites operated by the same school district or employer, regardless of size, "close proximity" shall mean any building or grouping of buildings that are in actual physical contact or separated only by a private or public right-of way.

  36. "Weekdays": Monday through Friday, not Saturday or Sunday.

L. Violations

Failure to comply with any provision of this rule constitutes a violation of this rule. If the employer complies with all provisions of an approved ECO Plan, but fails to meet the AVR Target, such failure is not a violation of this rule. The following are each violations of this rule:

  1. Failure to submit an approvable ECO Plan or a Performance Plan;
  2. Failure to implement an approved ECO Plan;
  3. Failure to implement any strategy specified in an approved ECO Plan;
  4. Falsification of information in an ECO Plan;
  5. Falsification of information on employment;
  6. Falsification of information used in a Verifiable Estimate of AVR;
  7. Failure to submit additional information before any deadline specified by the APCO;
  8. Violation of any of the terms of a Performance Plan,
  9. Failure to respond to an Order to Comply.