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Humboldt Shifting Gears 2010:

Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Branch staff worked with Alta Planning and Design to develop a TDM pilot project to engage county employees in using active and public transportation. An online survey was sent out to approximately 1650 county employees to collect data on their transportation behaviors and interests. There were 834 respondents to the survey and of those, 240 indicated their interest in participating in the pilot project, Shifting Gears.

The Shifting Gears pilot project occurred over a 12 week period during Spring/Summer 2010. There were individualized packets of information sent to 132 employees that indicated they wanted information related to: walking, bicycling, carpooling, and public transit; 13 classes offered to all participants (lunch-time walking tours, lunch time classes related to bicycling and pedometer use, and a commuter challenge).

Following the Shifting Gears pilot project, participants were asked about the impact of the program on their transportation behavior:

  • 23% of respondents indicated that the transportation material sent in their individualized packet helped them try an alternative to driving alone
  • 16% of respondents indicated that the workshops helped them try an alternative to driving alone
  • 28% of respondents indicated that the workshops provided useful information and training

Those who participated in the classes indicated that the classes were helpful in teaching them how to ride a bike, maintain a bicycle, and use a pedometer; safe routes to walk during their work breaks; and how to use public transit, including how to load a bicycle on the bus.

Several of the participants provided feedback that indicated they would have preferred more classes; online classes; classes offered at more work sites, after work hours, and on weekends; opportunities to connect with co-workers with similar interest for walking, carpooling, or bicycling; advanced bicycling maintenance and riding classes.