Institutional Reform

Creating Organizations That Support Efficient Transport


TDM Encyclopedia

Victoria Transport Policy Institute


Updated 19 July 2017

This chapter discusses various changes to transportation organizations’ policies and practices that support Transportation Demand Management.




Institutional Reforms are changes to transportation organizations’ policies and practices to support TDM implementation. This involves expanding by expanding the range of options considered in transport planning to include demand management strategies, and changing the methods used to define problems and evaluate solutions.


Most transportation agencies where created to build roads and are not well structured to support alternatives, particularly those that rely on “soft” programs such as Financial Incentives and Marketing. Transportation planning and funding practices are often biased toward capacity expansion, away from demand management alternatives (Comprehensive Planning). As a result, current planning organizations often overlook or undervalue TDM solutions, and so fail to implement TDM strategies as much as is justified.


TDM Programs bridge traditional institutional and jurisdictional boundaries. For example, implementing TDM often involves coordination between transportation and land use decision-making, innovative public-private partnerships (Engel and Galetovic 2014), and funding for non-traditional transportation programs. This may require new interorganization relationships. Since TDM affects consumer behavior, it may also involve new public participation and Marketing activities.


Below are examples of institutional reforms and implementation activities:


·         Identify and reform current planning and investment practices that unintentionally favor mobility over accessibility and automobile travel over other modes (Elkind 2015)


·         Establish TDM policies, goals, objectives and Priorities.


·         Create a TDM Program within transportation agencies.


·         Educate decision-makers and staff about TDM objectives, techniques and resources.


·         Encourage transportation professionals to learn and apply Change Management skills. Support staff who apply innovative solutions.


·         Developing Multi-Modal Level-of-Service Indicators suitable for evaluating 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.


·         Apply Contingency-Based Planning by identifying solutions that will be deployed if needed to address future problems.


·         Allow and encourage local governments to implement efficient user-based taxes and fees such as road pricing, parking pricing and location-based utility fees (Market Reforms).


·         Implement Complete Streets policies that


·         Implement Smart Growth Policy Reforms that integrate transportation and land use planning and encourage more accessible land use development.


·         Gather information for TDM Evaluation, such as Surveys that collect detailed information on the use of alternative modes, and barriers to increased use.


·         Implement Least-Cost Planning. Correct existing policies and institutional practices that favor highway expansion and automobile travel.


·         Establish a “Fix-it-First” policy, which means that roadway capacity expansion projects are only implemented if operations and maintenance programs for existing facilities are adequately funded (Smart Growth Policy Reforms). This reflects the higher priority of operations and maintenance, and the inefficiency of increasing future financial obligations if a jurisdiction cannot afford to support its existing facilities.


·         Reform Public Transport regulations and agencies to encourage efficiency and diversity, while maintaining strategic planning and quality control (PPIAF 2006; Litman 2010).


·         Change codes and standards to allow Context Sensitive Design, which means that planners and engineers are allowed greater flexibility to accommodate community values and balance objectives.


·         Create special zoning codes and development policies for Transit Oriented Development and other types of New Urbanist communities.


·         Create regional transportation or transit authorities that support alternative modes and mobility management programs, with adequate funding (Public Transportation Group 2002).


·         Develop cooperative relationships with other organizations that may influence travel. For example, transportation agencies can work with planning agencies to implement Parking Management strategies, and with education agencies to help implement School Trip Management programs.


·         Reallocate Road Space to favor alternative modes, when appropriate to help achieve strategic transportation and land use objectives.



Institutional Reform may involve changing the way transportation options are Evaluated. Conventional transportation planning tends to evaluate transportation system quality primarily based on motor vehicle traffic conditions (Measuring Transportation). Transportation planning based on Accessibility expands the range of solutions that can be used to solving transportation problems, including TDM. Similarly, conventional transportation planning tends to focus on a limited set of costs, such as agency expenses, travel time and vehicle costs, but may fail to account for many indirect costs, social costs and environmental costs. More Comprehensive Planning recognizes a wider range of TDM benefits, such as reduced parking costs, improve travel options for non-drivers and land use objectives that are often overlooked in conventional economic analysis.


Current transportation funding practices often make money more easily available for highway projects than for other types of transport improvements (Sussman 2001; Meyer 2001; Madsen, Davis and Baxandall 2010). For example, in the U.S., many federal and state transportation funding accounts are dedicated to roadway improvements – these funds cannot be used for other types of transportation improvements even if they are more cost-effective, and more desirable for social, environmental or equity reasons. Such practices encourage local jurisdiction to focus on highway capacity expansion rather than management solutions to transportation problems, and discourage the use of direct user charges to fund roads and parking facilities. As long as a jurisdiction perceives that there is “free” money from other levels of government to fund highway projects, they will have little incentive to implement road pricing or other demand management strategies (Levinson, 2000).


Conventional planning tends to assume that transport progress is linear, with newer, faster modes replacing older, slower modes. This series model assumes that the older modes are unimportant, and so, for example, there is no harm if walking conditions and transit service decline, provided that automobile ownership and vehicle traffic speeds increase. From this perspective it is always undesirable to give public transit or walking priority over automobile travel. Transportation Demand Management requires a parallel model, which assumes that each mode can be useful, and strives to create balanced transport systems that use each mode for what it does best. Transport progress therefore involves improving all useful modes, not just the newest mode. For example, in many situations the best way to improve urban transportation may be to Improve Walking and Cycling Conditions, Improve Public Transit Service, or even to Restrict Automobile Travel, and give Priority to other modes. Although such an approach does not necessarily increase travel speeds, it improves the overall convenience, comfort and affordability of access to urban destinations.



How it is Implemented

Some institutional reforms require legislative or administrative action by policy makers and organizational executives (Elkind 2015). This may involves establishing goals, objectives and polices that support TDM, establishing a TDM Program or office within existing transportation agencies, budgeting adequate resources (money, staff time, etc.), educating transportation professionals about TDM, and overcoming identified obstacles. Least-Cost Planning can be implemented in conjunction with Institutional Reforms.


Some reforms can be implemented within transportation agencies. Agencies can educate planners and other decision-makers about alternatives, and change the way projects are evaluated to account for a wider range of objectives and impacts. Agencies can develop internal TDM programs.


Land use planning institutions may also require reforms to allow more flexible Parking Management and other Smart Growth policies.



Travel Impacts

Institutional reforms are often a key step in implementing TDM programs and specific strategies. Travel impacts depend on the design of the TDM program that is actually implemented.


Table 1            Travel Impact Summary

Travel Impacts



Reduces total traffic.


Supports all types of TDM strategies.

Reduces peak period traffic.



Shifts peak to off-peak periods.



Shifts automobile travel to alternative modes.



Improves access, reduces the need for travel.



Increased ridesharing.



Increased public transit.



Increased cycling.



Increased walking.



Increased Telework.



Reduced freight traffic.



Rating from 3 (very beneficial) to –3 (very harmful). A 0 indicates no impact or mixed impacts.



Benefits And Costs

Institutional reforms can help support all TDM objectives. These reforms can benefit agencies by expanding the menu of solutions they can apply to transportation problems. They can result in more efficient and accountable management practices, and a fairer distribution of resources. Reforms are often cost effective because they remove distortions and allow more cost effective solutions to transportation problems. Impacts vary, depending on the nature of institutional reforms and how they are implemented.


Costs include transition costs (such as the need to educate staff and reorganize institutions), TDM Program costs, and risks associated with unexpected consequences from new practices.


Table 2            Benefit Summary




Congestion Reduction


Supports TDM strategies that reduce driving and sprawl.

Road & Parking Savings



Consumer Savings



Transport Choice



Road Safety



Environmental Protection



Efficient Land Use



Community Livability



Rating from 3 (very beneficial) to –3 (very harmful). A 0 indicates no impact or mixed impacts.



Equity Impacts

Institutional reforms can provide equity benefits by creating more neutral and transparent planning, resulting in a fairer distribution of resources. It tends to benefit lower-income and transportation disadvantaged people by improving Transportation Choices. Actual impacts vary, depending on the nature of institutional reforms and how they are implemented.


Table 3            Equity Summary




Treats everybody equally.


Reduces existing distortions that favor motorists.

Individuals bear the costs they impose.


Reduces external costs of automobile use.

Progressive with respect to income.


Increases affordable access and travel choice.

Benefits transportation disadvantaged.


Increases travel choice.

Improves basic mobility.


Can improve basic travel options.

Rating from 3 (very beneficial) to –3 (very harmful). A 0 indicates no impact or mixed impacts.




Reforms to support TDM may be implemented within any institution involved in transportation decision-making. They tend to be particularly appropriate in transportation planning and funding organizations. Institutional Reforms are most appropriate for transportation agencies. Businesses may require Institutional Reforms to establish Transportation Management Associations, Commute Trip Reduction and Parking Management programs.


Table 4            Application Summary





Large urban region.


Federal government.


High-density, urban.


State/provincial government.


Medium-density, urban/suburban.


Regional government.




Municipal/local government.


Low-density, rural.


Business Associations/TMA.


Commercial center.


Individual business.


Residential neighborhood.




Resort/recreation area.


Neighborhood association.






Ratings range from 0 (not appropriate) to 3 (very appropriate).




Policy Reform



Relationships With Other TDM Strategies

Institutional Reforms are a necessary foundation for many TDM policies and programs. Least Cost Planning, Complete Streets Policies, Change Management, Regulatory Reform, Market Reforms, TDM Programs, Commute Trip Reduction programs and Contingency-Based Planning often involve Institutional Reforms.




Policy makers and executives are often responsible for Institutional Reforms. Professional and political advocacy groups may provide guidance to reforms that are implemented by policy makers and organizational executives. Some reforms are implemented by private companies, such as Commute Trip Reduction programs and Transportation Management Associations established by businesses.



Barriers To Implementation

Barriers include political opposition, and resistance to change by public officials and staff.



Wit and Humor

If you can start the day without caffeine,

If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,

If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,

If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,

If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,

If you can overlook it when those you love take it out on you when, though no fault of yours, something goes wrong,

If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,

If you can ignore a friend's limited education and never correct him/her,

If you can resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend,

If you can face the world without lies and deceit,

If you can conquer tension without medical help,

If you can relax without liquor,

If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,

If you can honestly say that deep in your heart you have no prejudice against creed, color, religion, gender preference, or politics,

THEN, you have ALMOST reached the same level of development as your dog.



Best Practices

·         Establish an institutional framework for multi-modal, regional transport planning and funding.

·         Apply Least-Cost Planning principles, so demand management strategies are funded if they are more cost effective overall than capacity expansion.

·         Improve Modeling and Evaluation practices to better evaluate alternative modes and TDM strategies.

·         Establish a TDM Program within transportation agencies.

·         Defining transportation improvement goals broadly to include economic, social and environmental objectives.

·         Integrate transit system service, marketing and fare payment systems.

·         Consider a wide range of solutions to transportation problems.

·         Measure transportation benefits in terms of access rather than mobility, and measure all costs, not just financial costs.

·         Develop education programs for transportation agency staff so they can implement innovative solutions.

·         Encourage innovative transportation programs, and reward their success.

·         Develop an effective evaluation program that tracks progress toward goals and objectives.



Examples and Case Studies

TransLink (

The Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority, known as TransLink, was created by the British Columbia Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority Act in 1998. It is an independent organization governed by a board consisting of representatives from regional municipalities. It was established to provide coordination between different jurisdictions and modes, allowing one organization to plan and provide services for all forms of transportation in the region.


TransLink’s mandate is to plan and finance a regional transportation system that moves people and goods efficiently and supports the regional growth strategy, air quality objectives and economic development of the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD). TransLink supports the GVRD’s Livable Region Strategic Plan, a plan developed to address the regional growth we face. The goals of the plan include preserving green space, reducing urban sprawl and protecting our air quality.


TransLink’s subsidiary companies and contractors provide

·         Public transit services (buses, SkyTrain, West Coast Express and HandyDART)

·         Transportation Demand Management - trip reduction programs and promoting transportation alternatives such as cycling and carpooling.

·         Major Road Network - in partnership with municipalities and other agencies, TransLink helps fund the maintenance, rehabilitation and improvement of the Major Road Network - 2,100 lane kilometres of roadways within the GVRD.


TransLink is funded through property taxes, a portion of fuel taxes collected in the region, and special taxes on parking. All revenues collected by TransLink are allocated to its transportation programs and services.



Auckland Transport Governance and Funding (

In 2003 the New Zealand Government began establishing the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA), which will have responsibility for all Auckland area transport, including rail, bus, ferry, pedestrian and cycle transport. ARTA will be responsible for:

·         Operational planning of integrated road and passenger transport infrastructure and services for the region, including consultation as appropriate with Transfund, Transit, TrackCo and territorial authorities, and travel demand management programs.

·         Funding of Auckland transport projects and services including contracting of passenger transport services.

·         Implementation of operational plans.

·         Funding all roads other than state highways, including c0-funding of all local roads in conjunction with territorial authorities.


This new authority will be accountable to the Auckland Regional Council (ARC). The ARC will continue to have statutory responsibility for the Auckland Regional Growth Strategy, Auckland Regional Land Transport Strategy and the Auckland Regional Policy Statement.


The ARTA will receive government and local money to implement the plan and will contract with Auckland transport companies. It will be run by a board, the members of which will appointed by a panel representing the ARC and the seven Auckland city councils. The ARC will have a majority on this panel. Another body, tentatively called Auckland Regional Holdings, is proposed to govern other regional infrastructure, such as the assets of Infrastructure Auckland. The government will provide a number of new funding options to support regional transportation improvements, including additional fuel taxes, and possibly road tolls and parking levies.



Preventive Maintenance (FCM 2002)

Preventive infrastructure maintenance programs tend to be cost effective, but may require institutional reforms that place a greater value on avoided costs and longer-term benefits. As one guidebook explains, “Preventive maintenance is intended to treat small problems before they require more expensive repairs. By slowing the rate of deterioration, treatment can effectively increase the useful life of pavement. However, the practice of systematically identifying payments that would benefit most from preventive maintenance, and of implementing treatments in a timely manner, is often neglected.”



City of Cambridge (

The City of Cambridge, Massachusetts has established a Parking And Transportation Demand Management Planning department, which has its own staff, programs and responsibilities.



Regional Transportation Operations (

Regional Operating Organizations (ROOs) are partnerships among transportation and public safety agencies (police, fire departments, disaster management, etc.) to coordinate transportation operations on a regional basis. These cooperative efforts take different forms depending on needs, available resources, and existing policies, procedures, and institutional relationships of partners within the region. They are increasingly common in North America. They:


·         Bring together transportation, public safety, and emergency management operators to provide more effective management of incidents, disasters, and emergency evacuations.


·         Establish new sources of funding for transportation and regional control of major roadway and transit assets.


·         Reduce construction and incident-related delays through multi-agency coordination and real-time information dissemination.


·         Enable agencies to share transportation data and software resources via an integrated information backbone.


·         Enable public agencies and private partners to combine resources to provide quality public and personalized transportation information services.


·         Improve transit services by implementing a common smartcard fare collection system across transit operators.



State Law Requires Transport Planning Consistency (Steinberg, 2007)

A bill introduced into the California State Senate, SB 375, would compel local planning agencies to make planning choices that reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT). The bill provides incentives for regions to consider the impact of land use on climate change. Under the provisions of the bill, the regions must engage in a process to develop scenarios that show a contribution to climate change, and if they do so but are unable to actually achieve the goal, the state is going to require the region to submit reports demonstrating the strategies they may need to meet the goals. If they don’t choose to engage in the process of developing better planning scenarios, then we’re going to tie transportation funding to that refusal.



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.



Commonwealth of Massachusetts Statewide Road and Bridge Policy

Governor Mitt Romney, January 27, 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.



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.



Cities for Climate Protection (

The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives sponsors the Cities for Climate Protection Program, which helps local governments create programs to encourage more efficient energy use, including transportation demand management.



Bellevue, Washington TDM Ordinance (  

In 1993 Bellevue, Washington passed an ordinance (14.40) that established municipal Commute Trip Reduction program goals and requirements. It requires certain employers to develop a commute trip reduction program, and sets the following single occupant automobile commute reduction goals:

·         After 2 years: 15%

·         After 4 years: 20%

·         After 6 years: 25%

·         After 12 years: 35%



The ordinance identifies which commuters are affected (private and public employers with 100 or more affected employees at a single worksite, with certain exemptions), program components (a transportation coordinator, information distribution to employees, commuter surveys, etc.), what types of commute trip reduction measures may be included in the program, and how travel impacts are measured and reported. The ordinance affects 53 employers with 22,000 employees. Among all CTR-affected worksites, the drive-alone rate has dropped from 77% in 1993 to 69% in 2001, and among downtown Bellevue CTR-affected worksites the drive-alone rate has dropped from 73% in 1993 to 59% in 2001.



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



Oregon Transportation and Growth Management Program (

The Oregon Transportation and Growth Management (TGM) program is a consortium between the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Department of Land Conservation and Development to support improved local planning. The TGM program provides non-regulatory technical assistance and grants funding to local communities. Total funding for the joint TGM program during the 1999-2001 biennium is $11.2 million. Of that, about $9.9 million came from federal transportation funds and the remaining $1.3 million is from state general funds. The TGM program offers four main services to Oregon communities:


·         TGM Code Assistance. The Oregon TGM code assistance services help communities modify their development ordinances, comprehensive plans, and development review procedures to allow and encourage smart development patterns.


·         TGM Consultants. The Quick Response Program (Oregon TGM consultants) provides planning and design services to help developers and communities create compact, pedestrian-friendly, and livable neighborhoods and activity centers. In response to local requests, property owners, local and state officials, and affected stakeholders come together to review development proposals, develop innovative design solutions, and overcome regulatory obstacles to land use, transportation, and design issues. 


·         TGM Grants. Since the 1993-1995 biennium, the Oregon TGM program has distributed $21.6 million in planning grants to local governments to accomplish transportation-efficient planning. In the 2001-2003 biennium, grants of approximately $4.9 million have been awarded to local jurisdictions for Transportation System Planning and Integrated Land Use and Transportation Planning (grants to help local governments develop integrated land use and transportation system plans that promote compact, mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly development and reduce reliance on the automobile.) 


·         TGM Outreach Program. The Oregon TGM Outreach program is aimed at increasing the understanding and acceptance of smart development principles through things like workshops, a partnership program and technical assistance for practitioners. Maine DOT is also looking at creating tools and outreach programs that would link transportation and land use for local decision makers. 


European Planning Innovations (FHWA, 2006)

A comprehensive study of European TDM programs found that European planners tend to use more comprehensive strategies to influence travelers before they get into their cars (promoting nonmotorized modes and alternative destinations of travel) and provide improved options for drivers who choose to use the road system (faster routes and more reliable travel times).


A variety of management systems are used to manage travel demand and traffic. Pretrip traveler information systems are clearly designed to encourage more efficient travel by suggesting routes and times of the day that are less congested and offer more reliable travel times. Pretrip information can also influence the mode selected (e.g., public transport or carpooling) or even the destination of travel (whether to work from home or shop closer to home). In addition, near-trip and even on-trip (en route) information can influence time, route, mode, and destination choice. For example, commuters can be provided with real-time information on travel times to their work location if they continue to drive or shift to a nearby park-and-ride service. Road pricing can clearly affect mode, time, and route choice, and even influence lane choice, as is the case with high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes in the United States. Pricing can also include incentives for changing modes or time of travel.


In the center of the management systems is the transportation management center (TMC), which both manages facilities and provides information to travelers. Traditional transportation demand management (TDM), such as rideshare matching, promotion of alternative modes, and vanpool provision, typically works at the other end of the framework to influence mode and destination choice based on the need to travel, but it can also be an integral part of the information systems linked to the TMC. This comprehensive approach provides a new way of looking at the need for and management of transport and traffic demand.


These programs are designed not just to reduce traffic congestion, they are intended to create more livable, sustainable cities by creating and implementing integrated packages of transportation measures that combined improved alternatives to driving a car; real-time information on traffic conditions; options providing pretrip, near-trip, and on-trip route information; new partnerships to support these enhanced travel choices; and even pricing to reduce the number of cars entering the city centers or on the entire network during congestion periods. Planners are doing so by integrating demand management into both their long-range transportation plans and shorter range operating policies. They are carefully monitoring the performance of the system by looking not only at mobility but also at measures such as accessibility, air quality, and livability.



Moving To Access Initiative (

The Brookings Institution’s Moving to Access (MTA) Initiative aims to inform and promote a more socially focused, access-first approach to urban transportation policy, planning, investment, and services. Cities and metropolitan areas globally are looking to adopt new, actionable metrics to guide more purposeful initiatives to improve accessibility for people of all incomes. The MTA Initiative looks to move beyond theory and accelerate the adoption of these innovative efforts, exploring new tools, techniques, and performance measures across the developing and developed world.


The Innovative DOT

The Innovative DOT: A Handbook of Policy and Practice by Smart Growth America and the State Smart Transportation Initiative describes innovative approaches that state transportation leaders are already using to make systems more efficient and effective in today’s challenging economy.  This handbook provides 34 recommendations transportation officials can use as they position their agencies for success in the new economy. Developed with input from top transportation professionals and officials at state agencies around the nation, the handbook documents many of the innovative approaches state leaders are using to make systems more efficient, government more effective and constituents better satisfied.



FDOT Multi-Modal Level-of-Service Evaluation (

The Florida Department of Transportation has developed several planning tools for evaluating access and multi-modal level-of-service. The state’s “Transportation Concurrency Management Area” defines geographically compact areas where traffic congestion thresholds are reduced due to a high level of accessibility and quality travel options.  FDOT pays particular attention to walking and cycling.



Fort Collins, Colorado

A special Multimodal Transportation Level of Service Manual is used in Fort Collins and nearby urban areas to evaluate accessibility, connectivity and continuity of various modes. The city established varying minimal acceptable levels of service (LOS) depending on street classification and land use. These standards range from LOS B on connectors in low-density, mixed residential areas, to LOS E on arterials in commercial corridors and mixed-use districts. Pedestrian and bicycling LOS standards take into account directness, continuity, street crossings, visual interest, amenities and security of pedestrian and cycling facilities. Specific pedestrian LOS standards are established for transit corridors and around schools.



Redmond, Washington

Redmond’s transportation master plan is based on Washington State growth management requirements. The plan includes integrated transportation and land use planning objectives, concurrency management and performance monitoring. The plan states, “level of service standards should reflect access, mobility, mode split, or capacity goals for the transportation facility depending on the surrounding development density and community goals, and should be developed in consultation with transit agencies serving the planning area.” Local transportation planning decisions are integrated with regional multi-modal planning goals. The country’s multi-modal LOS standards include traffic volume and roadway capacity, regional transit service quality, local transit accessibility, bicycle system implementation, and pedestrian environmental adequacy.



Integrated Planning (European Commission 2002)

A study by leading experts recommends the following general principles to create more integrated and efficient local decision-making in the European Union:


1. Enforce strategic (integration and with a long term perspective) visions, planning ability, capacity to use a wider and more innovative range of tools.


2. Promote management skills to start up and join participatory and proactive processes, involving all relevant actors/bodies and to drive, adapt and implement local strategic planning, influencing and promoting the adoption of self – regulated behaviour from all the partners.


3. Consider and reflect upon national/local specificity and differences, being aware of new urban dynamics and of recent and relevant trends (such as increasing liberalisation of the environmental markets, globalisation of pressures, the need for urban renewal, etc.).



European Transport Policy Successes (Colin Buchanan & Partners, 2003)

A study comparing various European regions and cities identified key transport policy practices and institutional structures that result in successful service delivery. These include:

·         Availability of adequate capital funding for public transport.

·         Relatively low public transport fares.

·         Integration of public transport services (timed connections, new journey opportunities etc).

·         Integration of regional, multimodal ticketing systems.

·         Restraint of parking and reallocation of road space to more sustainable modes.

·         Long-term planning and implementation of these policies. To be effective, these polices must be in place for a long time (a decade or more), which implies consistent political consensus on their efficacy.

·         Adequate regulation of bus transit systems; the most successful systems are run on a franchised (quality contract-type) basis.



UK TDM Policies and Programs

The United Kingdom has made major commitments to TDM as a solution to transportation problems. The UK Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions ( provides information on “Green Transport Plans.”



References And Resources For More Information


Brookings Institution (2016), Moving To Access Initiative, Brookings Institution (; at


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


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


Eduardo Engel and Alexander Galetovic (2014), Urban Transport: Can Public-Private Partnerships Work?, The World Bank (; at


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


European Commission (2002), Towards More Integrated Implementation Of Environmental Legislation In Urban Areas, Working Group on Integrated Implementation of Environmental Legislation (WG/IIEL), European Commission (DG Environment), (


FCM (2002), Timely Preventive Maintenance for Municipal Roads - A Primer, National Guide to Sustainable Municipal Infrastructure (


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


Michael Grant, Jocelyn Bauer, Terence Plaskon and John Mason (2010), Advancing Metropolitan Planning for Operations: An Objectives-Driven, Performance-Based Approach – Guidebook, Office of Operations, US Department of Transportation (; at


Dario Hidalgo and Heshuang Zeng (2013), On The Move: Pushing Sustainable Transport From Concept To Tipping Point, The City Fix (; at  


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


Ajay Kumar and O. P. Agarwal (2014), Institutional Labyrinth: Designing a Way out for Improving Urban Transport Services - Lessons from Current Practice, World Bank (; at


James Leather (2009), Rethinking Transport and Climate Change, Asian Development Bank (; at,Rethinking_Transport_and_Climate_Chan.pdf.


David M. Levinson (2000), “Revenue Choice on Serial Networks,” Journal of Transport Economics & Policy, Vol. 34, Part 1, January 2000, pp. 69-78.


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; at


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


Todd Litman (2010), Contrasting Visions of Urban Transport: Critique of “Fixing Transit: The Case For Privatization”, Victoria Transport Policy Institute (; at


Todd Litman (2013), “The New Transportation Planning Paradigm,” ITE Journal (, Vol. 83, June, pp. 20-28; at


Todd Litman (2014), Economically Optimal Transport Prices and Markets: What Would Happen If Rational Policies Prevailed?, presented at the International Transportation Economic Development Conference, 9-11 April 2014, Dallas, Texas (; at


Ian Lockwood (2017), “Making the Case for Transportation Language Reform: Removing Bias,” ITE Journal (, Vol.87, No. 1, January, pp. 41-43; at


Travis Madsen, Benjamin Davis and Phineas Baxandall (2010), Road Work Ahead: Holding Government Accountable for Fixing America’s Crumbling Roads and Bridges, U.S. PIRG Education Fund (; at


Richard Meakin (2004), Urban Transport Institutions, Sustainable Urban Transport Project ( and GTZ (; at


Michael D. Meyer (1999), “Demand Management as an Element of Transportation Policy,” Transportation Research A, Vol. 33, No. 7/8, Sept./Nov. 1999, pp. 575-599.


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



Eric Morris (2006), “How Privitization Became a Train Wreck,” ACCESS 28, University of California Transportation Center (, Spring 2006, pp. 18-25.


NCSL (2010), Public-Private Partnerships for Transportation: A Toolkit for Legislators, National Conference of State Legislatures (; at


OECD (2002), Road Travel Demand: Meeting the Challenge, Organization for Economic Cooperation  and Development (


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.


PPIAF (2006), Urban Bus Toolkit: Tools and Options for Reforming Urban Bus Systems, Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (; at


Public Transportation Group (2002), Regionalizing Public Transportation Services, Institute for Transportation Research and Education, North Carolina State University, for the North Carolina Department of Transportation, Research Project 2002-11 (


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.


Smart Growth America ( provides information on policy reforms to support more efficient transportation and land use.


Smart Growth America and SSTI (2015), The Innovative DOT: A Handbook of Policy and Practice, Smart Growth America and the State Smart Transportation Initiative (; at


Darrell Steinberg (2007), “SB 375 Connects Land Use and AB 32 Implementation,” The Planning Report (; 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 (


Victor S. Teglasi (2012), Why Transportation Mega-Projects (Often) Fail? Case Studies of Selected Transportation Mega-Projects in the New York City Metropolitan Area, Thesis, Columbia University (; at


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


VAG (2014), Coordinating Public Transport, Victorian Auditor-General (; 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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