smarttrips: South-Central was a record-setting year with the highest participation rate of all past programs – over 16% of the neighborhood residents received smarttrips materials.
During the summer of 2015, the smarttrips: Eugene program came to the Friendly and Southeast neighborhoods. The program was called smarttrips: South-Central and reached a total of 6,300 households with the goal of improving livability by encouraging residents to walk, bike, take transit, and carpool more often.
Approximately 16.5% or 1,042 households of target area residents requested smarttrips materials. This was a new, record-breaking participation rate in all of smarttrips: Eugene history. Some of those participants also participated in one or more of our 13 smarttrips: South-Central events. The City of Eugene also added over 800 new email contacts to its monthly Transportation Options e-newsletter, InMotion, as a result of the program.
Over the course of the program, the target area saw an increase in walking and bicycling. While these neighborhoods already had relatively high rates of walking and bicycling and low rates of automobile ownership, there are even more walking and bicycling trips being taken for transportation and recreation following the marketing and encouragement program. Furthermore, these active modes of transportation increased at a time when gas prices have dramatically decreased.
The program evaluated residents’ shifts in travel behavior using a household travel diary and opinion survey administered before and after the program.
According to survey responses, residents of the smarttrips: South-Central area:
- Increased bicycling trips by 2.3%
- Increased walking trips by 0.7%
Residents in the South-Central target area also showed support and awareness for more walking and biking in Eugene. Of the survey respondents, 88% support the City’s effort to promote transportation options. In a supplemental participant survey, 95% of respondents who received a travel tools smartkit reported that the materials they received were useful. In addition, 79% of respondents who attended an event said the event helped them make more of their trips using transportation options. Finally, 61% of respondents stated that they now consider all trip options before deciding how to travel.