The Sustainability Program
149 North Stone, 2nd Floor
Tucson, AZ 85701
P.O. Box 27210
Tucson, AZ 85726
Businesses and organizations can make a great contribution toward reducing the use of traditional transportation modes and moving our community in a better direction. The capacity to manage fleets that utilize alternative fuels, implement travel reduction programs, and develop strategies to reduce single-occupancy vehicle trips are some examples of how your business or organization can make a difference. Making more conscious and sustainable transportation choices will set a great example for the community, encourage employees to make better choices at home, and increase your efficiency, saving you money!
Also visit the Energy and Climate Change page of this section for more information about reducing energy consumption.
Where development occurs has a big impact on transportation choices. Keeping development in the City center keeps people connected to services and provides opportunities to use transportation alternatives such as transit and bicycles. In addition, infill developments usually don’t require the extension of transportation infrastructure, allowing people to utilize systems already in place. Consider these benefits of building in the City center and the following strategies if you are developing a new site for your business or organization.
Develop inside the City, where infrastructure is already in place.
Flexible Lot Development (FLD) option
The purpose of the Flexible Lot Development (FLD) option is to provide greater flexibility and creativity in the design of clustered residential development by:
A. Providing incentives to achieve community goals, such as historic and archaeological preservation, preservation of natural vegetation, barrier-free housing, development within low-income areas, and in-fill housing projects. B.Implementing the goals and objectives of the General Plan. C. Consolidating open space and providing for visual, and where achievable, physical connections to open space areas on adjacent properties. D. Efficiently using land and public facilities by means of a more economical arrangement of buildings, circulation systems, land uses, and utilities. E. Preserving to the greatest extent possible existing environmentally sensitive areas and landscape features and amenities, such as significant topography, protected peaks and ridges, natural vegetation, washes, riparian areas and floodplains, and integrating such features with structures and other improvements. F. Permitting flexible residential lot development in exchange for the preservation of natural open space and active and passive recreational amenities on the site. G. Providing usable and suitably located recreation facilities and other public and common facilities. H. Coordinating architectural styles, building forms, and building relationships within the development and with surrounding land development, and I. Encouraging high-quality development within the city.
For more information, please contact the City’s Planning and Development Services Department.
Downtown Area Infill Incentive District
Mayor and Council created this Incentive District on October 24, 2006 to encourage development in the downtown area. Developments that occur within the district boundaries may be eligible for fee waivers and expedited permit processing as well as other incentives.
Infill Fee Waiver Program
Mayor and Council initiated the Infill Fee Waiver Program in 1997. They identified an area encompassing approximately 22% of the city, where a reinvestment strategy could be used to spur building and rehabilitation. The program waives fees for plan check and building permits for single family homes.
Locate your business or development near transit lines. Tucson’s transit systems, SunTran and VanTran, have a great network for connecting people to services. By locating near a transit line, your employees and customers will have the opportunity to utilize transit as an alternative to get to work or to your business. Click here for links to SunTran’s system-wide transit map and individual route maps.
Locate near bike paths that connect to transportation corridors or include bike paths in new developments. Keeping our transportation networks connected is important for maintaining mobility and encouraging the use of transportation alternatives. Keep your business or development connected and encourage people to ride a bike instead of drive. View the Tucson Metro Bicycle Map.
Incorporate a trail system into new developments. Trail systems encourage people to get out, walk, and enjoy nature. They should also provide connections to bike paths and transit corridors so a quick walk can connect people to alternative transportation modes.
When designing buildings and structures, consider the transportation modes people will be using to get there. The built environment can encourage or discourage the use of transportation alternatives. For example, building closer to sidewalks and placing parking lots behind buildings instead of in front encourages access for people walking, bicycling, and using transit. Construction sites always have crews coming and going throughout the different stages of development. Consider how your building schedule can be arranged to minimize the miles traveled by construction crews, reducing carbon emissions and improving efficiency.
Transportation should be a consideration when making purchasing decisions and when developing operations procedures. Investing up-front in vehicles that utilize alternative fuels can save you money in the long-run. Integrating procedures and policies that reduce miles driven by employees and encourage the use of transportation alternatives will decrease the effects of your business on air quality and global warming.
Facilities can improve transportation management by reducing the air emissions of travel activities related to a facility's operations. Transportation impacts can result from shipping products and raw materials. Other transportation impacts result from the operation of vehicle fleets. Finally, employees contribute to transportation impacts through commuting.
Purchase vehicles that run on alternative fuels. As gasoline prices continue to rise, making an investment in alternative fuel vehicles will save you money and reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. Click here for information about different alternative fuel technologies.
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Federal Tax Incentives
Click here to view a map of alternative fuel stations in the Tucson area (from PAG)
Alternative Fuel Vehicles
U.S. DOE and EPA Fuel Economy website with information about alternative fuel technologies and options.
Monitor and adjust company driving practices. Small changes can make a big difference. For example, UPS recently limited left-hand turns, resulting in a 3 million gallon gasoline savings.
Encourage carpooling at work. Employees may carpool to work, but do they carpool at work? Implement policies that encourage employees to carpool when traveling to meetings, construction sites, etc. and reduce the number of miles your employees are driving.
Establish a company bike-sharing program. Purchasing company bicycles is much cheaper than purchasing company vehicles. Through a bike-sharing program, employees can check-out a bicycle to ride to meetings or at lunch for wellness rides.
Use the City’s bike-sharing program City Cycle as a model for your business.
Bicycle Commuter Tax Provision
The 2008 federal bailout package included the Bicycle Commuter Act, which provides a $20 tax credit per month to businesses for every employee who rides their bike to work. To see how this provision can work for you, click here.
Provide a company vehicle to attend meetings for employees who use transit. Many employees don’t use transit to get to work because they have to travel to meetings throughout the workday. Having a company vehicle available will remove this barrier and encourage employees to use transit or ride their bike to work. Make an additional contribution and purchase a vehicle that uses an alternative fuel source.
Allow employees to work from home or work a staggered shift. Allowing employees to telecommute even just a couple days a week can have a big impact on traffic reduction. Staggered shifts keep people out of rush hour traffic and reduce commute times. Consider 7 a.m.-4 p.m. or 9 a.m.-6 p.m. shifts.
Provide bus passes to employees. In Philadelphia, Richmond, Milwaukee, Seattle, and many other cities, employers are adding an appealing perk to their benefits packages. Transit vouchers buy rides on local trains and buses (and sometimes transit station parking). It's a strong inducement to public transportation use, and because it's tax free under IRS code, it costs less for companies than many other benefit options.
Participate in the Travel Reduction Program. Pima Association of Governments' Travel Reduction Program is mandatory for employers who have more than 100 full-time equivalent employees at a single or contiguous work site.
Reserve priority parking for hybrids or other alternative fuel vehicles. As a business you can create an incentive for employees and customers to drive alternative fuel vehicles, at no cost to you! This is a great way to be a leader in our community.
There are many options available for getting to work. With support from employers, the need for commuting can be reduced and alternative modes of transportation can be made more accessible. Explore the options below and use an alternative, even if you can only do it a couple times a week.
Work from your home. Telework, often referred to as telecommuting, occurs when paid workers reduce their commute by carrying out all, or part of, their work away from their normal places of business, usually from home. Many companies realize the benefits of teleworking. It saves travel time, money, and is just as efficient as being in the office when work can be done online and/or over the phone. It may not be an option everyday, but working from home one or two days a week can make a big difference in terms of emissions and money you can save. Visit Pima Association of Governments for more information about teleworking.
Telework Arizona is a great model for teleworking that the Arizona State Government has managed for two decades.
Setting Up a Home Office: Making Environmental Choices pdf (EPA)
Work a staggered shift. Most people work from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. so the morning and afternoon commute includes a lot of time idling at red lights. Working a staggered shift, such as 7 a.m.-4 p.m. or 9 a.m.- 6 p.m., will help get you out of rush hour traffic, reducing your travel and idle time which will result in less emissions.
Carpool to work. Pima Association of Governments’ (PAG) RideShare Program will connect you with a carpool. Sharing the ride offers you a chance to save time and money, while reducing stress, traffic congestion and pollution.
Ride the bus to work. The cost of a bus pass is much cheaper than the rising price of gasoline. Most bus lines, especially express routes, will get you to work just as fast, or faster, than driving.
Visit the SunTran website for more information.
Ride your bike to work. Tucson is a gold rated bicycle friendly community (awarded by the League of American Bicyclists) and has a great network of bike paths. Click here to download a copy of Tucson’s Bike Map.
Visit the City’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Program website for more information about walking and riding a bicycle in Tucson.
Bicycle Commuter Tax Provision
The 2008 federal bailout package included the Bicycle Commuter Act, which provides a $20 tax credit per month to businesses for every employee who rides their bike to work. Encourage your employer to use this incentive to improve bicycle facilities at work. To see how this provision can work for you, click here.