Transportation Demand Management (TDM)
Congested streets and roadways result when too many people want to drive on the same routes at the same time, particularly during peak commute hours or special events. The term "demand" refers to the amount of street/road use during a given time period. Transportation Demand Management (TDM) programs focus on changing or reducing travel demand, particularly at peak commute hours, instead of increasing roadway supply. Thus, TDM makes more efficient use of the current roadway system. With the right incentives (or disincentives) travelers may be influenced to use transportation systems in a way that contributes less to congestion. In fact, research around the country indicates that well-designed TDM programs can reduce vehicle trips by as much as 30 or 40 percent (as noted in the National Transportation Library article below). Travelers base their travel choices on a number of important motivators including the desire to save time and money, to reduce stress or to improve convenience. At least some of these motivations must be addressed to encourage a change in habits. Some of the most promising TDM programs emphasize coordination with local employers on measures such as car or vanpooling programs, bus pass subsidies, alternative work schedules, telecommuting options and parking management. Studies also indicate that congestion pricing is an especially effective approach, which should gain favor as congestion worsens and new variations on the concept are developed. The sections below describe and provide examples for various types of TDM strategies.
Transportation System Management (TSM) programs constitute a separate but closely related set of strategies, although sometimes included under TDM. Rather than address demand, TSM programs focus on making our transportation systems more efficient. They emphasize getting the most capacity out of roads and other transportation improvements, thus reducing the need for expensive new facilities. For instance, improved traffic signalization can effectively increase the capacity of streets, and bus turnout lanes or faster response to breakdowns or clearing of accidents can significantly reduce delays. A separate Transportation System Management webpage will address these types of strategies.
General Guidebooks and Resources
- Mitigating Traffic Congestion: The Role of Demand-Side Strategies, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, 10/2004 - Provides a framework for understanding demand-side strategies, and case studies illustrating a variety of TDM strategies
- Transportation Demand Management, Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) - Scroll down to TDM section
- Travel Demand Management, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration - Includes links to resources
- Regional TDM Action Strategy for Implementation in the Central Puget Sound Region (), 11/1998 - Framework for Puget Sound area focuses on 7 action strategies
- Online TDM Encyclopedia, Transport Policy Institute, Victoria, B.C. Canada, 01/2011 - Very comprehensive resource on transportation demand management strategies, including information on TDM planning, evaluation and implementation
- National TDM and Telework Clearinghouse, Center for Urban Transportation at the University of South Florida
- TDM Handbooks and Manuals, National TDM and Telework Clearinghouse, Center for Urban Transportation at the University of South Florida
- Policy and Guidance, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, State and Local Resources
- Mobility Management Strategies: Commuter Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, State and Local Resources
Articles and Reports
- Calculate Your Commute, King County, WA
- Cost of Congestion, Portland-Metro, Portland Metro, 02/10/2006
- Overview of Travel Demand Management Measures, Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration, 01/1994
- Transportation Management Programs: An Institutional Framework for Implementing TDM, Victoria Transport Policy Institute, Victoria, B.C. Canada, updated 01/06/2010 - Discusses different types of transportation management programs, how they are organized and funded, and their role in implementing TDM strategies
- Transportation Demand Management Strategies for Schools Phase II Report: Reducing Auto Congestion around Schools (), by Daniel Carlson, Deric Gruen, Jennifer Thacker of the Washington State Transportation Center (UW) for the Washington State Department of Transportation, 01/2009
- Traveler Response to Transportation System Changes: Chapter 19: Employer and Institutional TDM Strategies, Transportation Cooperative Research Program Report 95, Transportation Research Board, 2010 - Report looks at results and experience of TDM measures from across the U.S. to evaluate the relative importance of particular categories of transportation demand management (TDM) strategies, such as support versus incentives, as well as the particular strategies themselves, such as transit subsidy versus a high-occupancy vehicle parking discount
- Urban Mobility Information, Texas Transportation Institute - Includes link to 2011 Congested Corridors Report
- Winnipeg Case Studies: Transportation Demand Management (), Resource Conservation Manitoba, 04/2007
Employer-Based Transportation Programs
Employer-based programs can be among the most effective of transportation demand management (TDM) programs, in part because the program can be tailored to the commute needs of employees at their specific place of work. Employers can provide opportunities for employees to escape a congested commute through options such as alternative work schedules or telecommuting. Employers are also in a position to influence employee commute choices with incentives (such as a subsidized bus pass) or even by removing/reducing subsidies that encourage drive-alone commutes (such as the provision of unlimited free parking). Research indicates that financial incentives and disincentives such as these are particularly effective commute trip reduction measures. Numerous studies conclude that parking charges, telecommuting, flexible work hour provisions including compressed work weeks, guaranteed ride home programs, and incentives for biking and walking all can be effective in reducing drive alone commuting. In addition, programs that encourage carpooling and vanpooling have proven successful in a number of localities, particularly if vans are provided.
- Best Work Places for Commuters and Business Savings Calculator, National Center for Transit Research at USF
- Commuter Choice Primer: An Employer's Guide to Implementing Effective Commuter Choice Programs (), Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, Environmental Protection Agency
- Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) Programs That Encourage Employees to Use Efficient Commute Options, Victoria Transport Policy Institute, updated 05/09/2010 - Describes a wide variety of employer-based programs and their costs and benefits
- Creative Excellence for Successful Employer Programs, National Travel Demand Management and Telework Clearinghouse, 03/26/2010 - NetConference highlighting 3 award-winning programs
- Mitigating Traffic Congestion: The Role of Demand-Side Strategies, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, 10/2004 - Case Studies of employer-based commute programs
- Guaranteed Ride Home, Emergency Ride Home, University of Southern Florida webpage
- A Guidance Manual for Implementing Effective Employer-based Travel Demand Management Programs, Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration, 1993
- Trip Reduction Ordinances/Regulations, Center for Urban Transportation at the University of South Florida - Highlights several programs and includes links to 40 ordinances, including a number of Washington codes
- Two Reports: Public Agency Guidance on Employer-Based TDM Programs and Employer Technical Memorandum: Characteristics of Effective TDM Programs, and Employer Technical Memorandum Characteristics of Effective TDM Programs (), Transit Cooperative Research Program, Transportation Research Board, 12/2002
Washington State's Commute Trip Reduction Program
Washington State's Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) Program, in effect since 1991, is the first statewide employer-based transportation demand management program in the country. The goals of the program are to improve transportation system efficiency, improve air quality, and to conserve energy through employer-based programs that encourage employees to find alternatives to drive-alone commuting. The success of the program depends on collaboration between local governments, employers and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).
The CTR law applies to all employers that have 100 or more full time employees who work at a single worksite and begin work between 6 and 9 a.m. on two or more weekdays for at least 12 continuous months. Only employers in counties with 150,000 or more residents must participate - currently those counties are Clark, King, Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane, Thurston, Whatcom and Yakima counties. The CTR requirements also apply to all state agencies and to local governments where at least one employer, meeting the above criteria, is located.
All counties and all local jurisdictions within these counties having at least one such employer must adopt a CTR ordinance to implement CTR goals and requirements within each jurisdiction. The CTR ordinance specifies what actions these large employers should take to encourage employees to choose alternatives to drive-alone commuting. The WSDOT Employee Transportation Coordinator Manual () - Explains what must be included in the employer-based programs and provides other basic information.
The Legislature passed the Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) Efficiency Act (ESSB 6566) () during the 2006 session based on recommendations from the CTR Task Force 2005 Report to the Washington State Legislature (). Major changes include 1) establishing a state CTR planning framework that will better integrate with local, regional and state land use planning and investment, 2) providing for local designation of "growth and transportation efficiency centers" that would receive priority in regional funding and for state competitive grants, and 3) streamlining the CTR Task Force into a smaller, more policy-oriented CTR Board.
- Commute Trip Reduction Program, WSDOT - Brief overview of Washington State program
- Commute Trip Reduction Program Commute and Travel Options - Describes commute trip reduction options for the commuter
- Commute Trip Reduction Program: Implementing the CTR Efficiency Act (), 11/2006 - Brief overview
- Commute Trip Reduction Program Local Government Model Ordinance (), WSDOT
- Employee Transportation Coordinator Manual (), WSDOT - Provides some background about Washington's Commute Trip Reduction law and program benefits. Focuses on requirements for private and public employer CTR programs and the role of the employee transportation coordinator
- Growth and Transportation Efficiency Centers (GTEC) - Under this program, local governments and agencies work with businesses, schools, and neighborhoods to encourage commuters to find commute options other than driving alone. The program focuses on dense urban centers and congested corridors
- 2009 CTR Board Report to the Legislature (), Washington State Commute Trip Reduction Board
- Washington CTR Law and Program Requirements, RCW 70.94.521 - 70.94.555 - Transportation Demand Management, especially RCW 70.94.527 - Transportation demand management - Requirements for counties and cities, and Chapter 468-63, WAC - Commute trip reduction program (administrative rules)
- WSDOT Staff Contacts - Public Transportation and CTR Program
Commute Trip Reduction Programs and Codes
Commuter Trip Resources
Work Schedule Changes
Flexible work schedules allow employees to commute to work at less congested times of the day and to make schedule adjustments to better fit their lifestyles. Flextime, compressed work week, staggered shifts, and job-sharing are types of alternative schedules discussed in materials in this section.
- Alternative Work Schedules: Flextime, Compressed Work Week, Staggered Shifts, Victoria Transportation Policy Institute, updated 01/26/2010
- Boosting Morale, Performance and Savings Via Compressed Work Weeks, National Center for Transit Research (NCTR) at the University of South Florida - A Netconference session, 06/24/2010
- Compress Your Work Week or Use a Flex Schedule, Washington State Department of Transportation - Concepts & terms, and case studies
- Flexible Work Schedules/Compressed Work Weeks, Commuter Challenge webpage - Very useful page with case studies, steps, benefits
- Transportation Control Measures: Work Schedule Changes (), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1998
- Handbook on Alternative Work Schedules, U.S. Office of Personnel Management - Handbook developed for federal agencies.
- Work Hours: Flexible Schedules, U.S. Department of Labor - Series of articles and reports
- Workplace Flexibility, and Workplace Flexibility Options at a Glance, Emory University - Useful overview of flexible work hours, compressed work week, Shift flexibility, job sharing and telecommute schedule options; also very useful resource links
Timely information about current traffic conditions can alert commuters and divert some trips away from developing bottlenecks, where traffic accidents or other incidents are causing delays.
- Managing Demand Through Travel Information Services,Federal Highway Administration - This brochure highlights the opportunities and benefits for using traveler information services to manage demand during periods of congestion, including congestion during commute periods, special events, and emergencies. It highlights examples of traveler information systems in use around the country and overseas
- Real Time Traveler Information, Federal Highway Administration publications
- TravInfo, San Francisco Bay Area partnership between Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the California Highway Patrol (CHP), and the California DOT - One-stop, toll-free phone and Internet service that provides real-time traffic and airport information, and information about transit bike routes and other alternatives
- Washington State Traveler Information and Travel Alerts, Washington State Department of Transportation - Provides real-time information about traffic conditions allowing drivers to choose other routes or schedules
Traffic Management - Incidents, Special Events & Construction Projects
Sports events, street fairs, political demonstrations, promotional events or other special events can temporarily overwhelm streets and other transportation facilities. Traffic incidents and road construction projects can create lengthy traffic delays. Advance planning, mitigation programs and effective public notice can ease congestion and allow motorists to choose alternate routes.
- Construction Traffic Planning, Washington State Department of Transportation - Identifies hot spots and Includes construction closure information
- Lane Closure Strategies and Work Zone Safety (), Colorado Department of Transportation - Includes best practices and link to Guidelines for Developing Traffic Incident Management Plans for Work Zones ()
- Managing Travel for Special Events Handbook: Final Report (), Federal Highway Administration, 09/2003
- Managing Travel for Special Events Handbook: Executive Summary (), Federal Highway Administration, 06/2007
- Public Roads, Federal Highway Administration, November/December 2004 - Articles on traffic incident management, rain delay, construction work zones, and similar issues
- Road Work Ahead: Is Construction Worth the Delay?, Surface Transportation Policy Project, 1999
- Special Event Transport Management Transportation Management During Sport and Cultural Events, Construction. Projects and Emergencies, TDM Encyclopedia, Victoria Transport Policy Institute, updated 02/18/2011
- Special Event Traffic Management in Small Communities, Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting 2009 Paper No. 09-0797 - Available for purchase
- Traffic Incident Management, Emergency Transportation Operations, and Traffic Management for Planned Special Events, Federal Highway Administration - Includes links to publications and tools for assessing incident response programs, quick clearance best practices, and model procedures guides
- TravelSmart Special Events Planning Resource Kit () - Tips from TravelSmart, an Australian government agency
Congestion Pricing Policies
Congestion pricing, also called value pricing, is a strategy where transportation system users are charged for their use of transportation facilities. Congestion pricing differs from the type of road and bridge tolls that have been used for years in this country to raise revenues to pay for new roads, bridges or other transportation facilities. Instead, congestion pricing is used to manage demand, and to reduce vehicle emissions and gas consumption related to idling engines. A widely discussed approach is to impose fees on drivers in congested areas that may vary depending on time of day, distance traveled, number of vehicle occupants, or location. Similar to the concept of "early bird" dining specials, "red-eye" or off-peak flights, or matinee movie shows, this strategy can encourage those travelers who have flexibility to shift trips to less congested times or routes. A second basic approach, which is gaining attention, is to offer motorists the opportunity to pay a premium for travel via a faster, less congested lane. Although viewed by some critics as catering to the well-heeled, U.S. pilot programs indicate that motorists of all income levels will take advantage of the fast lane, when pressed for time. Delays associated with traditional toll booths can obviously be counterproductive. However, prepayment approaches and new technology to monitor usage, can now be used to more efficiently assess fees.
The Value Pricing Pilot (VPP) program, initially authorized in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) as the Congestion Pricing Pilot Program, was renewed with the passage of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). This program encourages implementation and evaluation of value pricing pilot projects to manage congestion on highways through tolling and other pricing mechanisms. This is the only program that provides funding to support studies and implementation aspects of a tolling or pricing project.
- Congestion Pricing: A Primer: Overview (), Federal Highway Administration, 10/2008 - Introduces various aspects of congestion pricing to decision-makers and transportation professionals and presents underlying rationale
- Congestion Relief Analysis For the Central Puget Sound, Spokane & Vancouver Urban Areas (), WSDOT, 03/2006 - This study documents the results of computer modeling of a variety of automobile, high-occupancy vehicle (HOV),transit, transportation pricing, and travel demand management scenarios to obtain congestion relief. Congestion pricing holds particular promise
- Destination 2030 - Taking An Alternative Route (), Washington State Transportation Center for King County, 03/05/2007 - Report describing and recommending a transportation improvement fee paid by roadway users that would vary according to congestion levels. Revenues would be used for system improvements which must benefit the users paying the fees
- Economics: Pricing, Demand, and Economic Efficiency - A Primer (), Federal Highway Administration, 11/2008 - This primer describes the underlying economic rationale for congestion pricing and how it can be used to promote economic efficiency
- The Impacts of Tolling on Low-income Persons in the Puget Sound Region (Washington) (), Robert Plotnick, Jennifer Romich, Jennifer Thacker, Washington State Transportation Center, University of Washington, 04/2009
- London Congestion Pricing: Implications for Other Cities (), by Todd Litman, Victoria Transport Policy Institute, 11/24/2011 - London requires drivers to pay £8 per day if they wish to drive in central London during peak hours. Revenues go to increased transit service, and Congestion Charging, Transport for London - London's information website on the system
- NCHRP Synthesis 377: Compilation of Public Opinion Data on Tolls and Road Pricing (), Transportation Research Board, for the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), 2008 - This report compiles and analyzes public opinion on tolling and road pricing across the United States and internationally from existing public opinion research
- The Political Calculus of Congestion Pricing (), David King, Michael Manville, Donald Shoup, Transport Policy, Vol. 14, 2007 - Congestion pricing on freeways will have the greatest chance of political success if the revenue is earmarked for cities on those freeways
- Road Pricing Overview, Federal Highway Administration - Provides a clear, brief overview of tolling and pricing concepts. Includes links to information about federal tolling and pricing programs available under Title 23 of the United States Code (23 U.S.C.), following enactment of the SAFETEA-LU Act, including the Value Pricing Pilot Program - the one program that includes funding. Also includes links to study reports, and tools, and other resources including a recent FHWA Webinar series on Road Pricing: Overcoming the Challenges of Congestion Pricing, 03/30/2011 - 12/15/2011
- Road Pricing Congestion Pricing, Value Pricing, Toll Roads and HOT Lanes, Victoria Transport Policy Institute, updated 06/09/2011 - Useful overview of types of congestion pricing including distance-based pricing, fee collection methods, benefits of various approaches, best practices, and case studies
- Task A-1: Motivations Behind Electronic Road Pricing. What is the Driving Force Behind the Worldwide Rise in Tolling? A Review of Innovative Road Pricing from Across the Globe (), Rebecca Kalauskas, Brian D. Taylor, Hiroyuki Iseki, Institute of Transportation Studies University of California, Berkeley, 02/2009 - Provides typology of congestion pricing approaches, and review case studies of congestion pricing programs, focusing on what motivated policymakers to adopt the programs
- Task A-2: Implementation and Management of Electronic Roadway Tolling: Lessons from Successful Cases (), Rebecca Kalauskas, Brian D. Taylor, Hiroyuki Iseki, Institute of Transportation Studies University of California, Berkeley, 01/2009
- Traffic Choices Study: Summary Report (), Puget Sound Regional Council, 2008 - This federally funded pilot project tests the effects of pricing on residents travel behavior
- Transportation Research Board Resources - Road pricing resources
- Using Pricing to Reduce Traffic Congestion, A CBO (Congressional Budget Office) Study (), 03/2009 - Good overview, information about types of congestion pricing, notation of benefits, evaluation, and briefs on 3 case studies
- Value Pricing Pilot Program: Lessons Learned Final Report (), Federal Highway Administration, 08/2008 - Comprehensive report provides a summary of FHA Congestion and Value Pricing Pilot Programs from 1991 through 2006, and reports on lessons learned
- Value Pricing Pilot Program Publications and Other Resources , Federal Highway Administration