State and Provincial Government Actions for Efficient Transportation


TDM Encyclopedia

Victoria Transport Policy Institute


Updated 6 September 2019

This chapter identifies TDM policies and programs suitable for implementation by state and provincial governments.



State and provincial governments significantly influence transportation and land use decisions in many ways. They finance, plan, build and operate major transportation facilities and services, including highways and transit services, and establish regulations and funding sources for ports, airports and various transportation services. They often control the largest total transportation budgets, employ the largest number of transportation engineers and planners, in a jurisdiction. They influence transport conditions indirectly by determining the location and design of public facilities (such as schools and medical facilities), by controlling land use regulations and development practices, and by providing fund and financing options to other levels of government and by other government agencies.


State and provincial governments are responsible for interregional transportation, and so must deal with traffic problems on major corridors, plus non-transportation planning objectives such as public health, economic development and environmental quality. When viewed from this broad perspective, TDM programs often turn out to be more cost effective and beneficial than other solutions, such as expanding roadway facilities. However, current planning and evaluation practices by state transportation agencies often overlook many TDM benefits.


State governments can support TDM implementation in the following ways:









Best TDM Strategies

The following strategies are particularly suitable for implementation by state and provincial governments. For more detailed information see the TDM Summary Table.


Asset Management

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


Aviation Transport Management

Various management strategies can increase air transport efficiency, including strategies that encourage use of alternative modes, reduce total air traffic, increase air travel system efficiencies, and reduce specific aviation external costs such as air and noise pollution.


Complete Streets Policies

Complete Streets policies recognize that roadways often serve diverse functions including through travel, recreational walking, socializing, vending, and nearby living, which must be considered and balanced in roadway design and management.


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.


Distance-Based Pricing

Mileage-based vehicle fees include Pay-As-You-Drive (PAYD) vehicle insurance, registration fees and vehicle taxes. Converting fixed costs into distance-based charges gives motorists a new opportunity to save money when they reduce their mileage.


Emergency Response Transport Management

Mobility management strategies can help improve transportation services during emergencies, and so can be incorporated into state emergency response planning.


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. CTR programs can be implemented by state agencies and encouraged by state legislation.


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.


Fuel Tax Increases

Fuel taxes can be raised to increase roadway user fees and cost recovery, reduce vehicle travel, conserve energy and reduce pollution emissions. Carbon Taxes are taxes based on fossil fuel carbon content, and therefore a tax on carbon dioxide emissions.


Funding Options

There are various ways to fund transport programs, some of which support TDM objectives by charging directly for vehicle use. States can use efficient transport funding for its own programs and allow and encourage the application of such funding by other levels of government, for example, by allowing local option fuel and parking taxes to finance transportation programs.


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.


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.


Nonmotorized Planning

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


PAYD Vehicle Insurance

Pay-As-You-Drive (PAYD) vehicle insurance means that a vehicle’s insurance premiums are based directly on how much it is driven during the policy term, providing additional savings when motorists reduce their annual mileage.


Pricing Methods

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


Regulatory Reform

Policy changes that encourage competition, innovation, diversity and efficiency in transport services can help encourage more efficient and equitable transportation.



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 motoristspay 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.


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. State governments can implement Smart Growth Reforms that help correct existing practices that encourage automobile-dependent land use development patterns.


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.


Sustainable Transportation

State governments can include sustainable objectives in state transportation plans.


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.


Win-Win Transportation Solutions

Win-Win Transportation Solutions are various TDM strategies that provide a combination of economic, social and environmental benefits.



Examples and Case Studies


Regional Mobility Grant Program (WSTOD 2017)

Washington State’s Management of Mobility Division is responsible for planning, coordinating and funding various urban mobility improvement programs (there is also a Rural Mobility Grants Program), including roadway efficiency, public transit improvements and TDM programs. These are evaluated based, in part, on their ability to reduce vehicle travel and therefore help achieve state and regional VMT reduction targets.


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.



Massachusetts Statewide Road and Bridge Policy

Governor Mitt Romney, 27 January 2003

Statement of Policy

It shall be the policy of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in all programs involving work on streets, roads and bridges, to:

1. Fix It First: To give priority to the repair of existing streets, roads and bridges; and

2. Use Community-Friendly Solutions: Wherever a street, road or bridge needs to be re-designed and reconstructed, to plan and undertake, in collaboration with the affected community, a “context-sensitive” project -- one that fully protects and enhances the surrounding community and landscape while addressing mobility for all transportation modes.


The purposes of this policy are to

*  Prevent sprawl;
*  Recognize all the Commonwealth’s citizens and communities as its transportation agencies’ customers;
*  Avoid the costs associated with unnecessary road widenings and the conflicts they entail, and thereby use available funding to complete more projects in more communities and to produce more construction jobs; and
*  Provide enhanced mobility for sustainable transportation modes (walking, bicycling, and public transportation).


The Chief of Commonwealth Development and Secretary of Transportation and Construction are hereby directed to take the following actions to implement this policy.

1. The Highway Design Manual and any other relevant standards, guidelines and policies of MassHighway shall be reviewed and revised to incorporate the principles of context-sensitive design, traffic calming, and multi-modal accommodation. An advisory committee consisting of representatives of municipalities, regional planning councils, and other affected interests shall be formed to help guide this process, and ample opportunity for input from the general public shall be provided. The process of revising the manual and any other standards, guidelines and policies shall be completed by October 1, 2003.

2. Projects with community-friendly design that can be undertaken immediately using existing funds shall be identified by MassHighway as quickly as possible, and no later thirty days from this date, and implemented immediately thereafter.

3. An ombudsman shall be appointed in the Executive Office of Transportation and Construction and have responsibility for hearing and facilitating the resolution of citizen and community concerns regarding project design. In addition, a process for expediting project review and requests for waivers from current design standards and guidelines, and requests for exercise of flexibility in applying current design standards and guidelines, shall be established within MassHighway and overseen by the Secretary of Transportation and Construction.  All documentation regarding waivers shall be made available for public review.

4. All actions taken pursuant to this policy shall fully honor the letter and spirit of provisions in the Massachusetts General Laws requiring the accommodation of bicycle and pedestrian traffic, including chapter 90E, section 2A. Where there are differences of opinion concerning the necessity or desirability of widening pavement, eliminating curbside parking, or taking other measures to accommodate bicyclists and/or pedestrians, full use shall be made of creative design expertise and public involvement, facilitation or dispute resolution processes.

5. A plan for repairing or reconstructing the state’s structurally deficient bridges shall be developed and finalized, in consultation with the Commonwealth’s municipalities and metropolitan planning organizations, by July 1, 2003. This plan shall address all the state¹s bridges, including in particular those owned or controlled by the Metropolitan District Commission, Department of Environmental Management, and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority as well as other agencies. It shall include a budget and a schedule for completing the bridge repair and reconstruction process.



Oregon Business Energy Tax Credit Program (

The Oregon Office of Energy offers the Business Energy Tax Credit to those who invest in energy conservation, recycling, renewable energy resources and less-polluting transportation fuels. Projects that reduce employee commuting or work-related travel and investments in cleaner-burning transportation fuels may qualify for a tax credit. Projects must reduce work-related travel by 25% to be eligible. To date, more than 5,500 Oregon energy tax credits have been awarded (see website for a list of case studies). Altogether, those investments save or generate energy worth about $100 million a year.


The tax credit is 35% of the eligible project costs - the incremental cost of the system or equipment that’s beyond standard practice. You take the credit over five years: 10% in the first and second years and 5% each year thereafter. If you can’t take the full tax credit each year, you can carry the unused credit forward up to eight years. Those with eligible project costs of $20,000 or less may take the tax credit in one year.



References And Resources For More Information


ACT (2004), The Role Of Demand-Side Strategies: Mitigating Traffic Congestion, Association for Commuter Transportation, for the Federal Highway Administration (


Louise Bedsworth, Ellen Hanak and Jed Kolko (2011), Driving Change: Reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled in California, Public Policy Institute of California (; at


Edward Beimborn and Robert Puentes (2003), Highways and Transit: Leveling the Playing Field in Federal Transportation Policy, Brookings Institute (


Benoît Bosquet (2000), “Environmental Tax Reform: Does It Work? - A Survey of the Empirical Evidence,” Ecological Economics, Vol. 34, 19-32.


Bremen Initiative Best Practice Resources (


Michelle Byars, Yishu Wei and Susan Handy (2107), State-Level Strategies for Reducing Vehicle Miles of Travel, University of California Institute of Transportation Studies (; at


Sally Cairns, et al (2004), Smarter Choices - Changing the Way We Travel, UK Department for Transport (


CALTRANS (2004), California Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Searchable Database, California Department of Transportation (


CCAP (2005), Transportation Emissions Guidebook: Land Use, Transit & Travel Demand Management, Center for Clean Air Policy ( This guidebook helps users assess the air pollution, energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions benefits of a variety of transportation and land use policies. Includes policy overviews, success stories and links to key models and resources.


CCAP (2007), Integrating Transportation, Energy Efficiency, and GHG Reduction Policies: A Guidebook for State and Local Policy Makers, Center for Clean Air Policy (


CCIG (2008), A Framework for Addressing Rapid Climate Change, Oregon State Climate Change Integration Group (

CCS (2007), National Impact of State Actions, Center for Climate Strategies (


Center of Excellence for Sustainable Development (, U.S. Department of Energy site provides information and services on how communities can adopt sustainable development, including several sustainable transportation success stories.


Centre for Sustainable Community  Development: Case Studies (, Federation of Canadian Municipalities ( 


Clean Air Initiative ( and the Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities ( ) provide information on innovative programs that improve air quality in developing countries.


COST, Best Practice For Sustainable Urban Infrastructures, COST Program (


Ethan N. Elkind (2015), Moving Dollars: Aligning Transportation Spending With California’s Environmental Goals, UCLA School of Law’s Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and UC Berkeley School of Law’s Center for Law, Energy & the Environment (; at


ELTIS Case Study Database (
European Local Transport Information Service.

European Database on Good Practice in Urban Management and Sustainability (, is designed to help local authorities to work towards sustainability by disseminating good practice and policy, facilitating the exchange of experience, and raising awareness about how cities and towns can be managed in more sustainable ways.


European Program for Mobility Management Examples ( describes various European transportation demand management programs.


European Federation for Transport and the Environment ( has information on good practices on sustainable freight transport in Europe.


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


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


Michael Grant, et al. (2014), A Performance-Based Approach to Addressing Greenhouse Gas Emissions through Transportation Planning, FHWA-HEP-14-020, Federal Highway Administration (; at


Joel Hirschhorn (2000), In the Fast Lane: Delivering More Transportation Choices to Break Gridlock, National Governor’s Association, Center for Best Practices (, Nov. 2000.


IISD, Sustainable Development Gateway, International Institute for Sustainable Development ( contains case studies and other resources developed by members of the Sustainable Development Communications Network (SDCN). Transportation studies, case studies, assessments, colloquia, etc. 21 titles link to the relevant sites. Covering over 50 topics, the SD Topics section includes links to more than 1,200 documents:


Institute for Transportation Development Policy (ITDP) ( promotes sustainable and equitable transportation policies and projects worldwide.


International Network for Urban Development (INTA) ( is an international network promoting urban development best practices exchange.


Todd Litman (2007), Smart Emission Reduction Strategies, VTPI (; at


Todd Litman (2007), Appropriate Response To Rising Fuel Prices, VTPI (; at


Todd Litman (2008), Carbon Taxes: Evaluating Impacts, Benefits and Criticism, Victoria Transport Policy Institute (; at


Todd Litman (2009), Are Vehicle Travel Reduction Targets Justified? Evaluating Mobility Management Policy Objectives Such As Targets To Reduce VMT And Increase Use Of Alternative Modes, Victoria Transport Policy Institute (; at


Gerhard Metschies (1999 and 2001), Fuel Prices and Taxation, with Comparative Tables for 160 Countries, German Agency for Technical Cooperation ( and


MTE, Online Best Practices Database and Case Studies Database, Moving On the Economy ( is an ever-expanding searchable inventory of sustainable transportation economic success stories.


National Conference of State Legislatures ( provides information on innovative state policies, including a special section on transport issues (,72,106#951) and the Transportation Coordination Quarterly Newsletter ( which describes policy actions states are taking in regard to human service transportation coordination.


NALGEP (2005), Clean Communities on the Move: A Partnership-Driven Approach to Clean Air and Smart Transportation, National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals (NALGEP), (


Noxon Associates (2008), The Case For TDM In Canada: Transportation Demand Management Initiatives And Their Benefits – A Handbook For Practitioners, Association for Commuter Transportation of Canada (; at


OECD (2000), Environmentally Sustainable Transport (EST) Best Practice Competition, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ( Includes 18 transportation best practices case studies.


OUM (2001), TDM Success Stories, Office of Urban Mobility, Washington State Department of Transportation (


PennDOT & NJDOT (2008), Smart Transportation Guidebook, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the New Jersey Department of Transportation Smart Transportation Program (; at and


PROSPECTS (2003), Transport Strategy: A Decisionmakers Guidebook, Konsult, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds (; at


Reconnecting America (2009), Realizing the Potential for Sustainable and Equitable TOD:  Recommendations to the Interagency Partnership on Sustainable Communities, Reconnecting America (; at


Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC) has 4 urban transportation success stories, summarized and referenced, at and 2 car use reduction successes, summarized and referenced, at


Jan A. Schwaab and Sascha Thielmann (2001), Economic Instruments for Sustainable Road Transport. An overview for Policy Makers in Developing Countries, GTZ ( and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (; at


Smart Transportation ( is a partnership of Pennsylvanian state agencies to better link transportation investments with land use planning and decision-making. It has a variety of information on the need for more efficient state transportation policies, and practical ways to improve policies and planning practices.


SMILE - Sustainable Urban Transport Policies and Initiatives ( 170 successful and replicable European practices for sustainable mobility.


SSTI (2017), The Innovative DOT: A Handbook of Policy and Practice, State Smart Transportation Initiative and Smart Growth America (; at


State Smart Transportation Initiative ( works with state and local policymakers to promote “smart transportation” (ST) practices that advance environmental sustainability and equitable economic development, while maintaining high standards of governmental efficiency and transparency. SSTI serves as a community of practice where participating agencies can learn together and share experiences as they implement innovative ST policies. The SSTI Community of Practice has nineteen member states, representing all regions of the country.


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.


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.


TELLUS - Bringing CIVITAS Onto the Road (, European Union. Describes projects to demonstrate that integrated urban transport policies can help reduce urban traffic problems.


Transport Research Knowledge Centre ( provides information on European transport research programmes that support sustainable mobility.


Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Database ( by Transport Canada, contains profiles and results for transportation management projects that foster energy efficiency, sustainable development, accessibility and increased productivity by influencing urban travel behaviours.


UN-HABITAT, Best Practices & Local Leadership Programme United Nations Human Settlements Programme ( Contains 1,100 demonstrated projects from 120 countries recognized by the Best Practices & Local Leadership Programme (BLP) for addressing common social, economic and environmental problems of an urbanizing world.


USDOT (2010), Advancing Metropolitan Planning for Operations: The Building Blocks of a Model Transportation Plan Incorporating Operations - A Desk Reference, Planning for Operations, US Department of Transportation (; at


USEPA (2001), Directory of Air Quality Economic Incentive Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (


USEPA, Voluntary Emission Reduction Policies and Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ( This website describes the successful implementation of various voluntary mobile source reduction measures.


USEPA (2002), Transportation Control Measures Program Information Directory, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ( This is an on-line searchable database with approximately 120 case studies of programs that reduce transportation pollution emissions.


USEPA (2002), Smart Moves: Transportation and Smart Growth Best Practices ( U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This competition profiles state and local efforts to promote smart growth principles in transportation projects.


WBCSD, Sustainable Mobility Project, World Business Council on Sustainable Development ( includes 200 mobility case studies with brief descriptions and internet links.


WHO (2004), Case Studies On Sustainable Development, World Health Organization (


World Bank, Urban Transport Group Case Studies, World Bank ( includes information on projects in the developing world, with summaries/abstracts and full texts.


WSDOT (2017), Combined Mobility Report, Washington State Department of Transportation (; at


Robert E. Yuhnke and Michael C. Salisbury (2009), Colorado Transportation Blueprint for the New Energy Economy, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (; 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.




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