Portland SmartTrips

An Effective Practice


SmartTrips is a marketing program of the Portland Bureau of Transportation to inform residents about transportation options including public transit, walking, bicycling, carpooling, car sharing, and combining trips. Main components of the program include walking and biking maps, and organized activities to help people discover how many trips can easily, conveniently, and safely be made without using a car. The program is based on a modified version of the Australian TravelSmart program. SmartTrips targets specific areas of the city using newsletters with a calendar of nearby walks, clinics, and bicycle rides. The newsletters highlight SmartTrips programs, including the Ten Toe Express Walking Campaign, Portland By Cycle Campaign, Senior Strolls, and Women on Bikes. These programs help community members meet other people to walk or bike with, learn routes, and gain confidence in alternate forms of transportation.

Goal / Mission

The goal of SmartTrips is to reduce drive-alone trips and increase biking, walking, and public transit in targeted areas of the city.

Results / Accomplishments

In the original TravelSmart pilot project, car travel decreased by 9% over the control group area and biking, walking, and transit all increased significantly over the control group. Vehicle miles traveled reduced by 6.8 million miles, a 14% reduction, and an 8% relative reduction over the control group. Public transit trips increased by 44%, a 20% relative increase over the control group. The pilot study has been expanded to five additional SmartTrips intervention areas. Random telephone surveys of SmartTrips areas and corresponding control groups revealed that SmartTrips and TravelSmart projects in Portland have resulted in a 9 to 13% decrease in drive-alone car trips by all area residents. There was a corresponding increase in walking, bicycling, and transit sharing in SmartTrips areas. In areas targeted by the program, 25% of all households order additional materials.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Linda Ginenthal
City of Portland Bureau of Transportation
1120 SW 5th Avenue, 8th floor
Portland, OR 97204
(503) 823-5266
Transportation / Personal Vehicle Travel
Transportation / Alternative Travel
Portland Bureau of Transportation
Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center
Date of publication
Date of implementation
Geographic Type
Portland, OR
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