Transportation demand management (TDM) is an important tool in improving the efficiency of demand on the transportation system by promoting and facilitating alternative modes of travel and trip reduction strategies. Some TDM programs focus on communicating strategies for reducing single occupancy vehicle (SOV) travel, educating travelers about mode alternatives, and illustrating the benefits of traveling more efficiently through combining trips (also known as trip chaining).
Policy Center researchers are working on a brief summary that offers a fresh perspective on transportation demand management. The summary will:
- Capture state-of-the-art trip reduction measures currently in use nationally, with supporting legislation;
- Examine other industries with similar supply and demand challenges for methods and approaches to manage demand; and
- Identify how demographic and technological trends could shape future transportation system demand.
The paper will also identify actions that could be considered for more immediate or short-term implementation. Check back for a publication of this study to come out early Fall 2015.
The Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s (TTI’s) Transportation Policy Research Center recently identified effective alternative strategies that can help Texas increase mobility by encouraging drivers to consider alternatives to SOV travel, even as Texas adjusts to changing demographics and emerging technologies.
To illustrate how much SOV travel contributes to congestion, researchers examined travel patterns of state employees in Austin, explains Stacey Bricka, manager of TTI’s Mobility Management Program. Their travel patterns reflect typical commutes.
Researchers have updated the demand management toolbox with readily understood best practices for decision-makers to consider. Some strategies currently used by cities include programs promoting:
- Commute solutions that emphasize commuting alternatives (e.g., flexible work schedules and carpools).
- Park-and-ride options, where commuters park their cars securely in a communal lot and ride trains/buses or carpool to and from work.
- Vanpools that provide a formal arrangement (compared to less-formal carpools) in which seven to 15 individuals share a common vehicle.
- Shared-use mobility that promotes ride-sharing to reduce the costs associated with, for example, high-occupancy toll lanes.
- Telework arrangements that allow employees to regularly work from home or an alternative location.
Some regions rely heavily on trip-reduction ordinances that mandate a reduction in SOV travel. Others have achieved statistically significant reductions in vehicle-based travel through tailored programs that educate households about their travel options and use travel surveys to document changes in mode usage over time. This tailored approach captures the societal shift to much busier schedules.