In April 2012, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) held a meeting with rideshare program stakeholders to discuss opportunities to streamline the program’s reporting and survey requirements. The MassDEP is planning to implement the following ten recommendations to streamline the survey and reporting requirements this year:
- The reporting forms will be automated and converted into Excel spreadsheets.
- The current rideshare guidance will be revised in order to simplify the instructions and provide more relevant examples.
- The “vehicle use” question will be revised in the reporting forms and the guidance document for employers to determine the number of applicable commuters.
- The rideshare guidance will be revised to allow employers to use direct counts of commuters parking in garages/lots as drive alone commute trips.
- The MassDEP will allow flexibility on how employers conduct their surveys and capture other modes of commuting that may be otherwise missed during a specific target week.
- The MassDEP will offer a series of workshops in October, November and December to help employers complete the rideshare reports.
- The MassDEP will attempt to provide earlier notification of deficient reports. In addition, MassDEP will include a checklist in the report that outlines all key information and documents that are required for submittal.
- MassDEP will link to environmental calculators on the Rideshare web page that can be used as an optional tool to estimate environmental benefits from reduced drive alone commuter trips.
- MassDEP will allow employers to use the entire population of employees who typically commute during the work week or employers may continue to use the current methodology to identify applicable commuters.
- MassDEP will provide a spreadsheet that will help employers estimate changes in mode shares. The guidance will be revised to more clearly explain how the increase/shift in commuting modes can be reported in the reports.
The meeting and changes were part of the MassDEP’s Regulatory Reform Initiative (http://www.mass.gov/dep/about/priorities/regreform/actionplan_final.htm). MassDEP anticipates that the changes will be fully implemented and made available on MassDEP’s Rideshare webpage (http://www.mass.gov/dep/air/approvals/ridesh02.htm) by October 2012 for the 2012 reporting year.
If you have any questions, please contact Linda Swift at 508.970.0033 ext. 119 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Dan Forsythe at 508.970.0033 ext. 135 or email@example.com.