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Oregonians drive almost 39 billion miles a year. More than 70 percent of these miles are from single occupant vehicles. Changing travel habits and reducing commuter and business driving are cost-saving alternatives to building ever-increasing highway and public transit capacity. Reduced driving also lessens air and water pollution, energy consumption and highway maintenance costs.
Solutions include increased use of public transitcommuter pool vehicles (shuttle servicesvanpools and carpools ), bicycles, carsharing, ride share matching services and telework (telecommuting). Employers can also provide financial incentives or work with a transportation management association to encourage employees to change their travel mode. Oregon´s Business Energy Tax Credit provides tax credits to businesses that support transportation solutions.

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Energy Incentives Program fact sheet
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Public Transit
Public transit is a vital component of a well-rounded community transportation plan. Transit provides a good alternative to driving and in some cases is the only reasonable and affordable alternative. Transit helps meet the transportation needs of commuters, shoppers, visitors, students, seniors and people with disabilities. Transit helps reduce traffic congestion while helping keep the air clean. Transit helps create livable communities and protect treasured quality of life. Some transit districts offer free public transportation service or reduced fare to seniors or people with disabilities. Please contact your local transit provider for more details.
Organizations subsidizing or purchasing transit passes to riders or employees can apply for the Business Energy Tax Credit program.
Transit Contacts:
Commuter Pool Vehicles: (Shuttle Services, Vanpools, and Carpools)
Shuttle Service (Transportation Service)
Shuttle service is usually provided by organizations or employers to a designated group of riders such as students, church members and employees for a regular commute. In some cases, the shuttle service is open to the general public. Vans providing shuttle service are usually smaller vehicles running over an often short distance between two points. Many employers in Oregon provide shuttle service because their offices are in a location with limited access to the public transit. Organizations purchasing vehicles and providing regular shuttle service are eligible to apply for the Business Energy Tax Credit program.
Shuttle Services contacts:
A vanpool is a group of 7 to 15 commuters sharing their ride in a passenger van. Vanpools can lower the tra nsportation cost of commuters. Commuters can enjoy the scenery and reduce the stress of driving. Some companies provide emergency ride home program to employees who participate in vanpools to ensure they can get home in an emergency. 
There are three basic types of vanpool arrangements:
  • Owner/operator vanpools use a van owned (and usually driven) by a commuter who wants to have riders share his or her cost of operating the van. The van may have been purchased for general use -- recreation, commuting, family transportation -- but is used on weekdays by other commuters who pay a periodic charge to the driver/owner. The individual owner/operator is responsible for all maintenance and liability insurance.

  • Employer-sponsored vanpooling uses vans owned (or leased) by an employer and offered to employees for commuting purposes as an extra benefit. Many companies operate fleets of vans to help their employees get to work without using their cars. Employees pay the company a set fare, depending on the length of their commute. The employer maintains the vans and arranges for insurance coverage.

  • Third-party vanpooling allows individuals or employers to contract for vans on a month-to-month basis from a vanpool management company. A number of these companies exist around the United States. Some serve local markets, while others are national in scope. The vanpool management company usually provides maintenance and insurance as part of the package for which each individual vanpool group pays a monthly or weekly fare.
Vanpool Contacts:


Carpooling is shared use of a car, in particular for commuting to work, often by people who travel together to save costs. Carpooling is simple, tends to be informal, and can last as long as the participants desire. There are several Internet Web-based rideshare matching services to assist those wanting to find carpool partners. There are two basic types of carpool arrangements.
  • Carpooling programs are not eligible for the Business Energy Tax Credit program.

  • The carpoolers use one car owned by one driver. The driver calculates his or her operating costs for the daily commute, then divides by the number of riders to determine how much each rider should contribute. The riders and driver agree to a periodic (weekly, monthly, daily) payment plan.

  • Carpoolers rotate car use and driving, so that each person’s vehicle and time is shared equally. No money is exchanged in this arrangement.
Carpool contacts:
Employer Financial Incentive Programs
Financial Incentives
To encourage the reduction of drive-alone vehicle miles, employers may provide financial incentives to an employee or student. Examples include programs where employees log the days they walk, bike, carpool, vanpool or telework instead of driving alone to work. When they log 45 days of using alternative ways to get to work, they are eligible for vouchers at local stores.
Alternative Fuels
Alternatives to gasoline and diesel play a role in meeting our objectives of cleaner air, reducing demands on foreign petroleum and diversity of transportation fuel. For more information, please click here.
Transportation Management Associations
Transportation management associations provide advocacy, a single easy-to-use source of information and promotion of employee alternative transportation options. Member companies pay dues to receive various kinds of transportation related services such as travel program management and employee education.
Transportation Management Association Contacts:
Bicycling as a transportation alternative has many benefits including the reduction of congestion, improved air quality, low cost and better health.  Employers who purchase bicycles for business purposes may be eligible for a Business Energy Tax Credit.
For a thorough description of the benefits of bicycling, visit the Web site of the Transportation Alternatives of New York City.
Bicycling Contacts:
Individualized Travel Behavior Change
The purpose of an individualized travel behavior change program is to reduce vehicle miles traveled through one-on-one contact with participants in a specific geographical area or in a targeted group. Organizations deliver local transportation information to the target group such as employees, seniors, or students and provide assistance to the participants in exploring travel alternatives. The aim is to make the commuters feel more comfortable using various travel options by education, assistance and sometimes incentives. Employers who want to start an individualized travel behavior change program can also contact the Transportation Management Association for more details.
Telework (sometimes called telecommuting) is working at a location closer to home instead of commuting to the main office or place of business. Employees can telework one or two days a week at the employee’s home, a satellite office, telework center, or telecommunity center near home.  Oregon Department of Energy offers information about how to prepare for and implement a telework program. Organizations purchasing equipment to support telework are eligible for the Business Energy Tax Credit. For more details about the benefits of telework, please click here