Transportation Agency Actions for Efficient Transportation


TDM Encyclopedia

Victoria Transport Policy Institute


Updated 22 May 2014

This chapter identifies TDM policies and programs suitable for implementation by transportation agencies.



Transportation agencies (including organizations such as port, toll, transit and parking authorities) plan, evaluate, implement and operate transportation facilities and services. In these roles, transportation agencies often make decisions that affect whether TDM strategies are considered at all, how TDM solutions are evaluated and compared with alternatives, and how TDM strategies are implemented. Transportation agencies employ many transportation professionals, and so can encourage professional development that supports TDM, such as research, conferences and workshops regarding nonmotorized transportation planning, parking management and transportation pricing reforms.


When all impacts (costs and benefits) are considered, TDM strategies are often the most cost effective way for Transportation Agencies to achieve their objectives, including traffic and parking congestion, road and parking facility cost savings, consumer cost savings, increased safety, improved mobility for non-drivers, reduced energy consumption and pollution emissions, improved community livability and improved public fitness and health. In contrast, many conventional solutions, such as expanding roads and parking facilities, only solve one or two problems, but tend to exacerbate others by stimulating total vehicle travel and sprawled land use patterns. As a result, more Comprehensive Planning and Evaluation, that considers a wider range of impacts, tends to justify more emphasis on TDM solutions than what transportation agencies previously applied.


TDM can complement other transportation agency programs. For example, Transit Encouragement strategies can increase the cost effectiveness and benefits of transit investments, Road Pricing can help finance transportation programs, and Special Event transport management strategies can be used to reduce traffic problems during highway construction projects.


Transportation agencies can support TDM implementation in the following ways:


·         Introduce Institutional Reforms that result in more comprehensive and objective planning and investment practices. Support Change Management that supports innovative transportation solutions within their organization and by other organizations that influence transportation planning decisions.


·         Apply Least-Cost Planning, which allows demand management to be considered equally with capacity expansion options. Raise the quality of transport Planning and Evaluation.


·         Implement Complete Streets policies which ensure that roadways are designed and managed to accommodate diverse modes and activities.


·         Develop multi-modal Level-Of-Service indicators and Performance Evaluation. Measure transportation system quality based on Accessibility rather than mobility, and improve Modeling to account for Induced Travel and indirect impacts.


·         Develop Operations and TDM Programs that implement specific TDM strategies. Work to continually improve the quality of such programs, both those they operate directly, and those operated by other organizations, such as Municipal Governments, Transportation Management Associations and Employers


·         Comprehensive evaluation of Transport Demand, including consideration of trends that may change future demands, and detailed understanding of factors that affect travel demands.


·         Comprehensive transportation system Performance Evaluation.


·         Educate Agency staff concerning the why and how to implement TDM strategies, and implement Commute Trip Reduction programs within their own organizations.



Best TDM Strategies

The following strategies are particularly suitable for implementation by transportation agencies. For more detailed information see the TDM Summary Table.


Access Management

Access management increases coordination between roadway design and land use development patterns to improve transportation system performance, including reduced congestion and accidents, and improved accessibility.


Asset Management

Various policies and programs can help preserve the value of assets such as roadways and parking facilities.


Bike/Transit Integration

There are various ways to improve the integration of bicycling and public transit travel, including improved cycling access and bicycle storage at transit stops and stations, and the ability to carry bikes on transit vehicles.


Bus Rapid Transit

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems provide high quality bus service on busy urban corridors.


Car-Free Planning

Car-free planning strategies reduce automobile travel at particular times and places, and to create pedestrian oriented streets.


Change Management

Change Management involves various techniques that help build support for innovation within organizations.


Commuter Financial Incentives

Various commuter financial incentives can be used to encourage use of more efficient commute modes. These include parking cash out, travel allowance, transit benefits, and rideshare benefits. They are often provided as an alternative to subsidized employee parking.


Comprehensive Market Reforms

Transportation price and market reforms can encourage more efficient transportation and support TDM objectives.


Comprehensive Transport Planning

Various planning reforms can result in more comprehensive and accurate transportation decision-making. Current planning results in omissions and distortions that tend to overvalue automobile-oriented improvements and undervalue alternative solutions to transportation problems. More comprehensive planning is particularly important when evaluating TDM and alternative modes.



Improved roadway and pathway connectivity tends to improve accessibility and reduce vehicle travel distances


Context Sensitive Design

Flexible design requirements to reflect community values.


Contingency-Based Planning

Planning that deals with uncertainly by identifying solutions to potential future problems.


Cycling Improvements

There are many ways to improve cycling conditions and encouraging cycling activity, including improved design and maintenance of cycling paths and lanes, improved bicycle parking and changing facilities, and user education and information, and encouragement programs.


Emergency Response Transport Management

Mobility management strategies can help improve transportation services during emergencies. Transportation agencies can include TDM strategies in their emergency evacuation plans.


Employee Commute Trip Reduction

Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) programs provide encouragement, incentives and support for commuters to use alternative modes, alternative work hours, and other efficient transport options.


Freight Transportation Management

Freight Transport Management increases freight transportation efficiency by shifting improving the quality of efficient freight modes (such as rail and integrated distribution services), providing incentives to use the most efficient option for each type of delivery, increasing load factors, improving logistics, and reducing unnecessary shipping distances and volumes.


Funding Options

There are various ways to fund transport programs, some of which support TDM objectives by charging directly for vehicle use.


HOV Priority

High Occupant Vehicle (HOV) priority strategies give priority to public transit vehicles, vanpools and carpools in traffic and parking.


Institutional Reforms

Institutional reforms include various changes to transportation organizations’ policies and practices that support Transportation Demand Management.


Intelligent Transportation Systems

New information technologies can improve transportation system performance and efficiency.


Least-Cost Planning

Least Cost Planning refers to planning and investment reforms that support demand management implementation when overall cost effective. This tends to support TDM policies and programs.


Light Rail Transit

Light Rail Transit (LRT) systems provide convenient local transit service on busy urban corridors.


Location Efficient Development

Location Efficient Development consists of residential and commercial development located and designed to maximize accessibility and overall affordability. Location Efficient Mortgages recognize the household savings at such locations, increasing borrowing ability.


Multi-Modal Access Guide

A Multi-modal Access Guide provides customized directions to a particular destination by various modes.


Multi-Modal Level-Of-Service Indicators

Multi-Modal Level-of-Service (LOS) rating systems evaluate the quality of various transport modes from a users perspective. This helps create a more neutral planning decisions that involve tradeoffs between different transport modes.


Nonmotorized Facility Management

Nonmotorized facilities such as walkways, sidewalks and paths can be managed to reduce conflicts and improve user convenience and safety.


Nonmotorized Planning

Nonmotorized planning can improve walking and cycling conditions, and encourage use of nonmotorized modes.


Operations and Management

Improved operations and management can encourage more efficient use of existing roadways.



Park & Ride facilities are parking lots at transit stations and stops. They support ridesharing and public transit use.


Parking Management

Various management strategies can result in more efficient use of parking resources. These include sharing, regulating and pricing of parking facilities, more accurate requirements, use of off-site parking facilities, improved user information, and incentives to use alternative modes.


Parking Pricing

Parking pricing involves charging motorists directly for using parking facilities and services, which provides revenue and cost recovery, encourages more efficient use of parking facilities, reduces parking facility costs and land requirements, reduces vehicle traffic and encourages use of alternative modes.


Pricing Methods

Improved pricing methods can reduce the transaction costs and increase the cost efficiency of road tolls, parking fees and mileage charges.


Prioritizing Transport

Principles for prioritizing transportation activities and investments.


Public Transit Encouragement

There are various ways to encourage public transit ridership by improving service, reducing fares, increasing user convenience and information, providing incentives, and supporting marketing programs.



Ridesharing refers to carpooling and vanpooling. Rideshare programs include ridematching services (which help travelers find travel partners), and strategies that give rideshare vehicles priority in traffic and parking.


Road Pricing

Road pricing means that motorists pay directly for driving on a particular roadway or in a particular area. “Congestion pricing” (also called “value pricing”) refers to variable tolls, with higher prices under congested conditions and lower prices under less congested conditions, intended to reduce peak-period traffic volumes to optimal levels.


Road Space Reallocation

Changes in roadway design and management practices can encourage more efficient transportation by providing more space for walking, cycling, ridesharing and public transit.


Smart Growth

Smart Growth involves various local and regional land use planning practices that create more accessible, multi-modal, efficient and livable communities. This tends to reduce driving and increase use of alternative modes. Transportation agencies can support more integrated transport and land use planning to help create more accessible land use patterns.


Special Event Management

Special programs can help managed transportation efficiently during major events, construction projects and emergencies.


Speed Reductions

Reducing traffic speeds tends to improve walking and cycling conditions, increase safety, reduce air and noise pollution, encourage more compact development, and reduce total automobile travel.


Street Reclaiming

Street reclaiming involves various strategies that increase community interaction on neighborhood streets.



Streetscaping involves various ways to redesign roadways (particularly urban arterials) to support more multi-modal transportation and create more attractive and accessible communities.



Data collection and participant surveys for TDM program evaluation.


Sustainable Transportation

Transportation planning can incorporate sustainability objectives.


TDM Marketing Programs

TDM marketing programs and strategies investigate the types of transportation services people want, identify barriers to alternative modes, and promote use of efficient transport options.


TDM Planning and Implementation

Discusses various issues to consider when planning and implementing Transportation Demand Management programs.


TDM Programs

This chapter discusses different types of transportation management programs, how they are organized and funded, and their role in implementing TDM strategies.


Traffic Calming

Traffic Calming refers to various roadway design features intended to reduce traffic speeds and volumes.


Transit Improvements

There are many ways to improve public transit service quality, including increased service speed, frequency, convenience, comfort, user information, affordability and ease of access.


Transit Oriented Development

Transit Oriented Development (TOD) refers to residential and commercial districts located around a transit station or corridor with high quality service, with good walkability, parking management and other design features that facilitate transit use and maximize overall accessibility.


Transit Station Improvements

Improving public transit stops and stations makes them more convenient, comfortable and attractive, which can increase ridership and public support.


Transportation Management Associations (TMAs)

Transportation Management Associations (TMAs) are member-controlled organizations that provide transportation services in a particular area. They support implementation of many TDM strategies.


Transportation Model Improvements

Transportation models can be improved to increase their accuracy when comparing modes and evaluating TDM strategies. Current models tend to undervalue TDM strategies.


Universal Design

Transportation systems can be better designed and managed to accommodate all users, including people with disabilities and other special needs.


Vehicle Use Restrictions

Vehicle use restrictions limit vehicle traffic at a particular time and place.


Walkability Improvements

There are many ways to improve walking conditions and encourage pedestrian transportation, including improved design and maintenance of sidewalks, paths, crosswalks, and better user information.


Walking and Cycling Encouragement

There are many ways to encourage walking and cycling transport, including facility improvements, promotion campaigns, events, educational programs, and development of guides and other information materials.



Examples and Case Studies


Growing GreenLITES (

Greenlites (Green Leadership In Transportation Environmental Sustainability) is a self-certification program developed by the New York State Department of Transportation that distinguishes transportation projects and operations based on the extent to which they incorporate sustainability and livability objectives. NYSDOT project designs and operations are evaluated for sustainable practices and based on the total credits received, an appropriate certification level is assigned. The rating system recognizes varying certification levels, with the highest level going to designs and operational groups that clearly advance the state of sustainable transportation solutions. It uses a detailed spreadsheet that rates individual projects according to a wide variety of best practices.


TDM Resource Center (

The Transport Canada TDM Resource Center offers information on how cities can increase green transportation options, including:

·         TDM Definition, Overview and Rationale

·         Canadian Experience and Resources

·         International Experience and Resources

·         TDM Project Database



Office of Operations (

Office of Operations is a U.S. Federal Highway Administration department that promotes innovative policies and programs that result in more efficient and cost effective use of roadway systems. It coordinates research, planning and implementation related to mobility management, freight management and intelligent transportation system programs.



Integrated Approach to Planning (

Integrated Approach to Planning (IAP) is a is a collaborative endeavour between New Zealand transport sector agencies and Ministry for Environment to identify gaps and barriers to achieving better integration, both within and between transport and land-use planning, to help improve transport system sustainability. They project includes various studies that evaluate current planning practices and recommend improvements for more integrated planning. It used several case studies of actual transport and land use planning situations selected to represent various modes and problems, including strategic planning, regional growth, urban redevelopment, and freight transport improvements.



Michigan State Program Promotes Context Sensitive Design

A new approach to protecting communities that meshes road design, transit systems, and bicycle and pedestrian paths with downtowns, neighborhoods, and the natural environment is quickly gaining acceptance in Michigan and around the nation, according to a special report published this week by the Michigan Land Use Institute.


The new approach, known in technical circles as “context-sensitive design” or “context-sensitive solutions,” replaces the conventional, one-size-fits-all approach to transportation projects with a citizen-led planning process that is much more sensitive to a community's sense of place.


 Last summer, the bipartisan Michigan Land Use Leadership Council formally recommended that state and local road agencies and communities adopt the new design process. Michigan's Governor Jennifer M. Granholm issued an executive directive greatly increasing Michigan's commitment to context-sensitive solutions.


According to the Institute's new report, “People and Pavement: Transportation Design that Respects Communities,” ( the high-level attention to context-sensitive design reflects both the increasing public resistance to new road construction and growing civic wisdom about the need to reduce costs and improve the conception and quality of new highways and other transportation systems.


 Sometimes roads are like rivers, says the report. Increase the flow too much and they drastically reshape their surroundings. Pump up the traffic on a road through a small town, for example, and all sorts of new gas stations, billboards, and fast food outlets spring up. Soon the road widens and  sprawl, like a mudslide, buries the town's character.


“Context-sensitive design is an approach that places preservation of historic, scenic, natural environment, and other community values on an equal basis with mobility, safety, and economics,” says Mary E. Peters, director of the Federal Highway Administration. “We should seek to institutionalize the principles of CSD with the same commitment that drove the implementation of the Interstate Highway System.”


 A beautifully landscaped boulevard, for instance, can serve as a community's signature gateway. A bustling bus or train stop can spur urban revitalization and generate good business for nearby shops. Sidewalks and bicycle routes can raise property values and promote healthier lifestyles  and more sociable communities.


“Folks, crafting a 21st-century transportation system entails much more than concrete, asphalt, bricks, and mortar,” Gov. Granholm told a statewide transportation summit in December. “It's vastly more complex than building highways and mass transit systems. It's about building and connecting communities. It's about creating livelihoods, economic stability, and reaching out beyond our borders and comfort zones.”



Freight Sustainability Demonstration Program (

Transport Canada is working with the freight transportation sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Freight Sustainability Demonstration Program is a federal grant program to support the demonstration and evaluation of innovative measures to reduce emissions and achieve other environmental benefits in a practical and cost-effective manner.



Airport Policies (DfT, 2003 and 2006)

Airport environmental management policies that the UK government began implementing in 2003 have slowed aviation demand somewhat (though it is still increasing), and has redistributed some air traffic to less congested routes, and encouraged the accelerated purchase of cleaner, quieter aircraft. This program includes improving and modernizing existing regional airports, as an alternative to building new airports and new runways. At Heathrow, where a new runway could be needed in the period 2015 to 2020, expanding the airport is conditional on meeting the noise and air quality limits that we have set out. The Government has led work to consider whether the environmental impact of making more use of existing runways, or building a third runway, would be acceptable.



References And Resources For More Information


Booz-Allen & Hamilton (2001), Organizing for Regional Transportation Operations: An Executive Guide, Federation Highway Administration and Institute of Transportation Engineers (


Colin Buchanan and Partners (2003), Transferability Of Best Practice In Transport Policy Delivery, Scottish Executive (


Community Impact Assessment Website (, sponsored by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, provides information on methods for evaluating the impacts of transportation projects and programs on communities.


Department for Transport ( has extensive resources on transportation and land use planning, travel demand management, and traffic calming.


David Dowall (2002), “Reforming Infrastructure Planning,” ACCESS 20 (, Spring 2002, pp. 8-13.


Dr. Marcus Enoch, Lian Zhang and David Morris (2005), Organisational Structures for Implementing Travel Plans: A Review, Loughborough University, OPTIMUM 2, (


FHWA, National Dialogue on Transportation Operations (, discusses institutional changes needed to implement more efficient transportation.


FHWA (2006), Managing Travel Demand: Applying European Perspectives to U.S. Practice, National Cooperative Highway Research Program; Federal Highway Administration (; available at


Green Lane program ( sponsored by Environment Canada promotes TDM and other strategies for reducing transportation environmental impacts.


International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives ( provides tools to help communities become healthier and more environmentally responsible.


ITE (2010), Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares: A Context-Sensitive Approach, An ITE Recommended Practice, Institute of Transportation Engineers ( and Congress for New Urbanism (; draft version at


Todd Litman (2006), “Transportation Market Distortions,” Berkeley Planning Journal; issue theme Sustainable Transport in the United States: From Rhetoric to Reality? (, Volume 19, 2006, pp. 19-36; available at


Todd Litman (2007), Socially Optimal Transport Prices and Markets, VTPI (; available at


Michael Meyer (2001), Measuring System Performance: The Key to Establishing Operations as a Core Agency Mission, National Dialogue on Transportation Operations



OTM, Transportation Performance Measures, Office of Transportation Management, Federal Highway Administration ( 


Peter Plumeau and Stephen Lawe (2009), “Meeting the Challenge of Institutional Fragmentation in Addressing Climate Change in Transportation Planning and Investment,” Transportation Research Record 2139, TRB (, pp. 81-87.


Shelly J. Row (2003), “The National Transportation Operations Coalition: Moving From Dialogue to Action,” ITE Journal, Vol. 73, No. 12, Institute of Transportation Engineers (, December 2003, pp. 28-31.


Eric N. Schreffler, Deepak Gopalakrishna, Egan Smith and Wayne Berman (2012), “Integrating Demand Management Into the Transport Planning Process,” ITE Journal (, Vol. 82/1, pp. 38-41; at


Strategic Policy Options for Sustainable Development Database (, Research on Innovative and Strategic Policy Options (RISPO) by the Institute for Global Environmental Studies provides information, recommended best practices and case studies on a wide range of sustainable policies and strategies.


Joseph M. Sussman (2001), Transportation Operations: An Organizational And Institutional Perspective, National Dialogue on Transportation Operations, Federal Highway Administration (


Sustainable Highways Self-Evaluation Tool ( by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration identifies characteristics of sustainable highways and provides procedures and techniques to help organizations apply sustainability best practices to roadway projects and programs.


Transport Institutions in the Policy Process ( is a European research program investigating how institutional arrangements and interactions affect the implementation of transport policies.


Transport Toolkit ( by the Transport Working Group as part of the Low Emission Development Strategies Global Partnership helps planners and decision-makers access various information resources that can help identify the most effective tools to build and implement low emission transportation strategies. 


TRB (2012), Going the Distance Together: A Citizen’s Guide to Context Sensitive Solutions for Better Transportation, Web Document 184, National Cooperative Highway Research Program, Transportation Research Board (; at

This Encyclopedia is produced by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute to help improve understanding of Transportation Demand Management. It is an ongoing project. Please send us your comments and suggestions for improvement.




Encyclopedia Homepage

Send Comments


Victoria Transport Policy Institute

1250 Rudlin Street, Victoria, BC,  V8V 3R7,  CANADA

Phone & Fax 250-360-1560

“Efficiency - Equity - Clarity”