City of Bellevue One Less Car Program: “Using Social Marketing to Reduce Residential Travel”. USA

By News Editor / Updated: 29 Aug 2014

The City of Bellevue is located in the Puget Sound region of Washington State of the USA. The City of Bellevue was one of the first cities in the USA to develop residential and non-work trip reduction programs. Referred to as the “One Less Car” program, the program focused on shifting residents from driving alone to alternative transportation. Program strategies included direct marketing, community events, and education programs in Bellevue’s schools.

Background & Objectives

Since the 1950s, Bellevue’s transportation system focused on the automobile. Due to tremendous growth that occurred in the 1980s and 1990s, the City’s transportation system has failed to keep up with travel demand. Recognizing the need to reduce automobile travel, the City of Bellevue expanded its trip reduction efforts to residential travel and non-work trips, in addition to commute travel.


The City of Bellevue implemented the “One Less Car” campaign which included direct marketing to residents, establishing a web site, and working with Bellevue schools to educate students about alternative travel options.>Curriculum was developed that focused on young children that taught them about the impacts of the automobile and how to use public transit. The City also worked with community groups to develop support for travel alternatives on the grass roots level. It worked with sports leagues, churches and neighborhood associations to improve awareness.The result of the campaign produced a strong awareness of travel alternatives. Nearly 80% of residents said that they were aware of the “One Less Car’ program and were willing to try travel alternatives. We also worked successfully with one high school and one middle school to educate and increase awareness of travel alternatives.


Recognizing that the majority of automobile trips are for non-work purposes, the City of Bellevue has been successful in its attempts to reduce travel in the residential market. Through marketing and outreach efforts, the City was successful in increasing awareness of travel alternatives and understanding the impacts of the automobile on the environment.
Mobility management
Jonathan Dong
Jonathan Dong
05 Dec 2008
29 Aug 2014