News (Blog)

WSRO members are encouraged to submit blog posts. If you have post that you would like to submit to this website, please contact WSRO.

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  • 24 May 2012 2:16 PM | Deleted user

    I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend the WSRO 2012 Spring Conference.  Many thanks to the WSRO Board for accepting my scholarship application.

    The speakers were great!  I especially enjoyed Andrew Austin and his political commentary on local, state and federal issues.  I found his perspective, and the humor he used to deliver it, both interesting and educational.  I also enjoyed listening to Todd Litman’s presentations, and gained valuable insight into the world of accessibility and how it can complement mobility.  His use of funny pictures and commentary during his presentation on Parking Management Strategies was a pleasant way to explain what can be a data-heavy topic. 

    I found the session from Dr. Andrew Dannenberg, University of Washington, to be very eye-opening.  The health of a community has a direct impact on transportation and transportation choices, and the trends he depicted are both intriguing and a bit scary at the same time.

    I have always valued the WSRO organization and what it provides to its members, and this conference was definitely one of the best I’ve attended.  The variety of speakers and topics was well orchestrated, and the food was scrumptious!

    Thank you, WSRO Board, for all of your time and effort that was spent developing this conference.  I believe those in attendance will integrate ideas and themes they discovered to further their professional success.  I look forward to more great conferences!

  • 16 May 2012 8:27 AM | Deleted user

    How many times have you heard someone say “it is what you make it”?  This statement is simple in construction yet complex in practice especially if you want to make it, successful.

    For over 20 years, ridesharing professionals like myself, have been working with a public that is generally resistant to choosing a commute alternative.  The it consists of programs, campaigns and other initiatives aimed at encouraging behavioral change that leads to the goals of reduced air pollution, traffic congestion and energy consumption.  However, finding new ways to achieve these goals in the face of budget reductions can be downright discouraging especially when resources that offer creative approaches and new ideas seem to be dwindling.

    That is why I value my participation in WSRO and attending their conferences.  Each conference offers a variety of speakers on current topics in the field of ridesharing and transportation demand management. The past WSRO conference, Adapting to a Changing Environment, was especially beneficial in generating new ideas on how I can make a difference. Todd Litman, from the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, got things started with a presentation that introduced the idea that communities can achieve greater mobility by enhancing accessibility. By focusing on local infrastructure changes, such as making it easier to walk to a transit hub, a community can gain greater mobility through better access to regional transportation.  This shift in thinking serves as a reminder that the longest trip can be traveled with small steps.

    The great ideas and information did not end with Todd Litman. Brian Lagerberg, from WSDOT, presented information on the Moving Washington program while encouraging us to make the “intellectual choice to be an optimist” and embrace the opportunity to be a “positive agent of change”.  Since we are to be the agents of change the right mindset makes all the difference.  A positive approach helps us facilitate the efforts that expand the conversation to include multiple stakeholders that have just as much to gain with our success as we do.  By increasing the number of stakeholders, we are able to expand our access to resources we need to accomplish our goals.

    While Lagerberg’s presentation was energetic and inspiring, the panel discussion on whether or not electric vehicles should be considered a commute alternative provided the biggest charge. The panel explored this topic in great detail, offering a variety of perspectives, but did not come to a conclusive answer.  However, this presentation will definitely serve as a conduit for future conversations as this idea and technology continues to advance.

    The conference offered many topics that provided a fresh outlook on the programs I work with on a daily basis. While the challenges that I work with each day did not disappear, I did gain new ideas on how to approach them. The work that I continue to do will be what I make it.  However, now after attending the recent WSRO conference, I feel more confident that what I make it will be more successful.

  • 04 May 2012 11:43 AM | Deleted user

    WSRO Spring Conference 2012

    Thank you so much to the WSRO Board for accepting my scholarship request and allowing me the opportunity to attend the WSRO 2012 Spring Conference. 

    The speakers, the location, even the food, everything was fabulous.  Everything was very organized and I really appreciate you staying right on schedule for both days, that’s not easy to do.

    I really enjoyed Todd Litman’s presentation.  He was a great speaker and kept everyone interested the whole way through.  I came back to work after the conference and looked up his website and got even more gems but my favorite was one line in his presentation, “Creating paradise in our own communities”, it has just stuck with me.  His presentation, “The future Isn’t What it Used to Be” really makes me think about the things I do and don’t do on a daily basis and about how we can incorporate his ideas into our programs at my office.  Thanks Todd!

    While I also enjoyed the  “Social Media Marketing for TDM” presentation with Jillian Derscheid but I’m a bit biased since I work with her and she’s as amazing at work as she was in her presentation.  She’s a wealth of knowledge and we at Community Transit are lucky to have her.

    I think out of all of the speakers my favorite was  “Change Happens, What do I want to Become?”  Brian Lagerberg.  He’s a great presenter and I absolutely love his sense of humor.  He’s always a treat to get to listen to.  We immediately started talking about how we could incorporate “Moving Washington” into our agency.

    And of course, last but not least “Keep the Change” by Dorothy Wilhelm.  I actually saw her about 13 years ago at a conference and she is always such a treat and so funny.  She was a great end to a fabulous conference with a reminder that sometimes, it’s important to just take a minute to laugh.

    Great job WSO and thanks again!

    Sue Masel

  • 30 Apr 2012 2:11 PM | Deleted user

    While this WSRO conference was not my first, it was my first representing San Juan County, and my first WSRO scholarship receipt. I thank the WSRO board for supporting my attendance. I found many useful and applicable ideas for my work in San Juan County, primarily from Todd Litman and Brian Lagerberg.

    I enjoyed Todd Litman’s presentation immensely. Mr. Litman is an engaging speaker and a very relatable expert, he describes concepts in instantly accessible way, which is fitting for him as one of his main points revolved around mobility vs. accessibility. Another main topic from Todd was the idea of government needing to shift from compartmentalized functions acting in self-interest and at times working counterproductive to one another, to comprehensive and preventative planning models anticipating problems and preventing crisis. I think this is a fundamental building block for government looking to the future, we cannot continue to wait to respond to pressure or wait until things change around us to act on them, we must actively participate in the changing itself.

    Another major piece I took away from Todd’s talk was the idea of multi-modal LOS. I work with engineers who glaze over immediately at the words “complete streets” or “non-motorized infrastructure,” but I think the concept of multi-modal LOS and developing a San Juan County specific approach to defining that LOS could improve the conversation significantly.

    As a former employee of WSDOT, and specifically as a former employee of Brian Lagerberg’s, I’ve heard Brian speak about Moving Washington numerous times before. Always quirky, often zany, Brian truly “brings it” to the Moving Washington concept. I always appreciate Brian’s willingness to be both human and a WSDOT Director, it’s not that easy to do. I have always viewed Moving Washington as a bit of a Trojan Horse program, just waiting for the right time surprise everyone and change the world of Washington State transportation. I hope that time is now; it would be stunning and perhaps paradigm-shifting in itself to hear WSDOT employees from all parts of the state talking about Moving Washington and how it impacts and informs their day-to-day work.

    Another important concept Brian mentioned was about the lack of comprehensive transportation system performance measures, he pointed out we measure parts or pieces, but not the whole. I connected this back with Todd’s point about multi-modal LOS, maybe this represents the beginnings of more comprehensive performance measures.

    As optimism is a super power I happen to share with Brian, I believe we are all capable of changing our worlds just by being engaged. And while few things actually change overnight (daylight savings, the Eastern Hemisphere), being engaged is not about one conversation and saying it just right, it’s about STAYING engaged, even when it’s difficult and uncomfortable. Anyone can say something once and walk away it’s making the choice to try again in spite it being hard that leaves the door open. It’s all about creating the space for change, by being willing to sit out there in the middle, and simply hold the space until change arrives.

    Christopher Aiken

    San Juan County, Community Transportation

  • 27 Apr 2012 10:32 AM | Deleted user

    First of all, thank you for the opportunity to apply for a scholarship and for choosing me to attend the Spring, 2012 WSRO conference.

    What I first noticed about the conference was the commendatory between the participants; the networking was wonderful.  The conference was very organized and stayed right on schedule – kudos to the board for this and for coming up with a good agenda and the food was great.

    Tuesday – I have to say the highlight was riding the “double tall” bus.  I applaud Community Transit for looking beyond the “box” and finding a bus that has more seating and that is drivable in the snow.  I am hoping that these buses are very successful and that other transit agencies are able to replace their fleet with this style of bus.

    Todd Litman was a good presenter – I like his approach that we need to look at mobility VS accessibility – mobility is not always the best way to find solutions; we in most cases we can add accessibilities to find the best solution.  The other thing that he spoke about was “breaking silos” – take about change – this is and will be a huge change for almost every organization; in fact almost every other presenter referenced silos in their presentations – it was very evident that this was on everyone’s mind.

    Wednesday – other day with a great agenda and speakers – what I enjoyed the most was Jillian Derscheid.  I never thought about social media being able to assist me with my transportation program.  Yesterday, I started checking on the policies as I would love to have a group Facebook page for my department.  I have already  put together the items that I will place on our Facebook page and hope to be able to have this in place by the end of 2nd quarter.

    Again, thank you very much for the opportunity to attend my first WRSO conference I was able to bring a lot of ideas back that I will start implementing.

    Dorothy Wilhelm was a great closer for the conference; I think we all know that laughter is truly the best medicine, but I find that most people get so busy that it is often forgotten.  

    Karen Lee

    Karen Lee Kimber | Transportation Coordinator | Parking & Commuting Service | Swedish Health Services
  • 25 Apr 2012 4:00 PM | Deleted user
    Thank you to all the great speakers and the participation of the attendees.  We learned a lot from all about adapting to our rapidly changing environment.  The positive energy of both days was inspiring and confirmed our importance in making Washington State a better place.  

    To all the transportation professionals and Employee Transportation Coordinators, Thank you for all you do. 

  • 08 Apr 2011 12:00 PM | Deleted user
    Written by Craig Snyder, WSRO Chair 2010

    Washington State Ridesharing Organization (WSRO) is on the forefront of creating a better transportation future in Washington State. WSRO fosters connections between innovative ideas, proven best practices, and user friendly technologies to make a significant impact on the transportation demand management of employers and agencies throughout the Pacific Northwest. WSRO's strength resides in having a membership that is collaborative, engaged and dedicated to improving mobility throughout the region.

    WSRO conferences bring together Employee Transportation Coordinators from the regions largest employers to exchange ideas and develop new solutions to achieving significant commute trip reduction. Employers work side-by-side at the conferences with staff from regional and state wide transit and regulatory agencies to form increasingly effective ways of impacting our communities for the better.

    WSRO reaches across the state by producing the Wheel Options campaign, which brings education, resources, and incentive programs to employer-based commute reduction efforts regardless of how many employees an organization may have.

    WSRO's education and outreach efforts support Commute Trip Reduction in every aspect of our work. The Wheel Options campaign, the Best Practices Guide for Employer-based Transportation Demand Management, our own conferences and the conferences of our affiliated membership organizations such as the Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT) provide a platform for delivering strategic and consistent information to employers, employees and state-wide residents about the benefits and necessity of significantly reducing commute trips.

    There is a remarkable opportunity in front of us to create a better transportation future in Washington State. Your WSRO membership will support an organization dedicated to providing the critical resources and education needed to bring employers and agencies together in an effort to achieve the goals of commute trip reduction. Further, your membership will allow us to reach beyond those goals by joining our combined knowledge and experiences into actions that create long lasting changes in how we travel for work and pleasure in our communities and throughout our state.

    Membership Benefits include:

    Discounted Registration Fees at Conferences
    Voting Privileges
    Eligibility to Join WSRO Board and Committees
    Best Practices Guide Published by WSRO
    Networking Opportunities Across a Diverse Membership

    To find out more, please contact the current Board of Directors.

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