Traffic-clogged Santa Monica is working hard to cut down on car trips in the city; the Santa Monica Daily Press looks at how big employers are working to comply with the city's mandate that roughly one-third of employees commute to work by bus, bike, carpool, or foot. While the South Coast Air Quality Management District requires all SoCal companies with more than 250 employees adhere to that standard, SaMo goes further, asking businesses with 50 or more workers to do the same. If businesses can't meet the goal they are allowed to buy credits to offset the emissions from their employees' cars. The company that owns the Santa Monica Place mall, as well as many grocery stores in the city, hasn't been able to meet the one-third threshold, but one success has been the city's largest Whole Foods, on Wilshire and Twenty-Third, which used a "commute buddy" system that linked workers up to take the bus, carpool, or walk home together. SaMo's Land Use and Circulation Element, which guides planning in the city, hopes to link employers to bring more people together on transit and carpool programs. But the best solution, the city acknowledges, is building more affordable housing, so people are closer to their jobs.
· Companies struggle to get workers out of cars [SMDP]