The Metropolitan Transportation Commission is changing the controversial proposal to require 60% of office employees to work from home to a requirement that 60% of employees avoid driving to work. The change provides much more flexibility to support the use of transit, walking, and bicycling in addition to telework, while reducing driving miles and climate emissions to achieve the region’s goals by 2035.
The original telework mandate response to substantial pushback from supporters of transit, active transportation, equity, dense cities and downtowns, and businesses. Under the previous proposal, employers in dense areas might have needed to force workers to stay home instead of walking to work, harming downtowns and collaboration without improving climate emissions. And the strategy may have encouraged people to move away from smaller homes in walkable areas to more spacious homes in places that require more driving for noncommute trips, increasing overall GHG emissions.
The Strategy EN7 has been tweaked in a few more ways to make the estimated greenhouse gas reductions more flexible but equivalent to the telework mandate, including exempting businesses under 50 employees (the previous version applied to business with more than 25 workers) and covering all sorts of businesses.
Significant amount of work will be needed, including possible legislation, in order to implement the strategy, which is proposed to be fully implemented by 2035.