Individual Actions for More Efficient Transport

Implementing TDM in Your Own Life


TDM Encyclopedia

Victoria Transport Policy Institute


Updated 6 September 2019

This chapter describes actions that individuals can take to travel more efficiently and support TDM in their community.




Some people assume that reducing automobile travel requires significant personal sacrifice, but this is not necessarily true. Reduced driving can be rewarding and enjoyable. Although driving provides benefits, given good transportation and land use alternatives many motorists would prefer to drive somewhat less and rely more on travel alternatives.


There are many things that individuals can do to reduce their own automobile dependency and increase the efficiency of their travel patterns. These are described below.


Stages of Recovery From Car Addiction (by Dan Burden)

1.       Acceptance that walking is OK, and people who walk may be a lot like us.

2.       Not putting down (or running down) people who walk who are unlike us.

3.       Trying the activity ourselves.

4.       Building walking into daily life.

5.       Choosing to park a minute or two walk from your destination: not driving for four minutes to find the closest space.

6.       Giving up the car for a whole day.

7.       Giving up the car for an entire week.

8.       Giving up the car all the time except when it is needed.

9.       Moving to a part of town and building a lifestyle where you forget where you parked the car.

10.   Selling the car because it is a pain a bother and a nuisance ... and renting one when you really need it.



Minimize Unnecessary Vehicle Trips

Consolidate trips, so you run several errands at once. Before making a special trip, consider if there is an alternative. Is the trip necessary? Is there a closer alternative? Could it wait until you are making another trip to the area? Is there another approach that reduces the need to travel?



Make Walking Convenient

Choose comfortable walking shoes. Bring a backpack or carrying bag when you go out, even if you do not plan to shop, in case you decide to pick up something along the way. Have an umbrella, raincoat, rain boots and flashlight when necessary. (Pedestrian Improvement and Pedestrian Encouragement)


What is a Multi-Modal Lifestyle?

A multi-modal lifestyle uses each mode for what it does best: walking and bicycling for local errands, public transit when travelling on busy urban corridors, and driving when it is truly optimal considering all impacts. This generally requires the following:

  • Walk and bicycle when possible. Even if this takes longer, it reduces the need to devote special time to exercise.
  • Minimal car ownership. As much as possible, rent rather than own vehicles.
  • Rely on local services and activities (shops, restaurants, schools, parks, etc.)
  • As much as possible, choose multi-modal home and worksite locations. Choose a home in a walkable urban neighborhood.
  • Park a few minutes away from destinations.
  • Advocate for multi-modal planning that improves resource-efficient travel options in your community.



Make Cycling Convenient

Set up a bike for each family member (including a bike trailer if you have young children) for transportation purposes. This means a comfortable and reliable bike with a lock, light, rack and saddlebags, and fenders. Have appropriate clothing, including rain gear and specialized cycling clothes for longer rides. A “hybrid” or mountain bike with relatively smooth tires (use Kevlar-belted tires to minimize flats) is a good choice. Find a bikeshop that you trust to provide technical advice and support. (Bicycle Improvement and Bicycle Encouragement)



Make Transit Use Convenient

Learn the transit routes in your area (ride nearby routes when you have some free time to become familiar with them), and carry a bus schedule. Buy a monthly pass or a packet of discount tickets so you don’t need to rely on change. (Transit Improvements)



Make Shopping Convenient

Try to shop close to your home or worksite. If you travel by foot, bicycle or transit, find stores that offer delivery service. (Freight Trip Management)




When possible, organize your travel to Rideshare with other people. Register with rideshare organizations and coordinate travel with friends and colleagues.




For some types of work errands it is possible to use a telephone and Internet communications as a substitute for physical travel (Telework).



Choose Car-Free Holidays

Minimize automobile and air travel during your vacations. Travel by train, bus, bicycle or walking, and share trips with friends. Choose destinations closer to home, and integrate vacations with business trips when possible. Use alternative modes to travel at your destinations. (Tourist Transportation Management).



Learn About Your Automobile Costs

Owning a car is more expensive than most people realize, which means that reducing your car ownership and operating costs may provide more savings than you realize

(Vehicle Costs).


Reduced Driving Can Make You A Millionaire

“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”

David Copperfield, Chap. XII, by Charles Dickens



There are several ways to become a millionaire.


If you are clever and lucky you might win the grand prize in a television game show, but the odds are about one in 10 million. The chances of winning a major lottery are a little better, but the odds are still extremely long. For each million-dollar winner there are hundreds of thousands of losers.


Another strategy is to try to earn a big income, for example, by becoming CEO of a successful corporation. But this requires unique skills, years of hard work, and some luck. Not everybody is suited for such a career.


However, here’s a strategy guaranteed to earn a million with an average income, and it is enjoyable, healthy and ethical. Simply minimize your driving expenses and invest the savings. After a few decades you’ll be rich. It’s as simple as that.


Most households spend more than necessary on vehicles. For example, owning and operating a typical new luxury car, SUV or van costs about $8,000 a year according to American Automobile Association estimates.


Instead, you can buy an old but reliable used car and minimize your driving by using transit, cycling and walking whenever possible. In this way you can reasonably cut your vehicle expenses in half. Although you’ll lead a less mobile lifestyle, you’ll enjoy much greater financial freedom.


What happens if you take the $4,000 annual savings and invest it at 7% annual return? In ten years you have $55,266, in twenty years you have $163,982, and in less than forty-four years you have a million dollars. In other words, excessive car expenditures waste a million dollars of accumulated wealth over a typical working lifetime.


Perhaps you have other priorities besides retiring rich. You can use the savings to buy a nice home, put your children through college, travel, or reduce your working hours in order to have more personal time. The point is that motor vehicles can be a financial trap. The average household devotes 15-20% of net income to car expenses. Many people waste a major portion of their working life paying for automobiles.


This alternative is not transportation deprivation. You can still have a household car that is available when you need it, you simply can’t own a particularly flashy vehicle or lead an extremely automobile-dependent lifestyle.


Of course, the automobile industry doesn’t want you to consider this option. We are inundated with flashy advertisements which assume that everybody dreams of buying a new car, and we just need to choose the model and colour. And by leasing new cars, the industry lets consumers minimizes their monthly expenses, but they gain no equity, and so own nothing after paying many thousands of dollars.


Here’s a little exercise to help you avoid this temptation: Take a $20 bill and a $5 from your wallet and burn them. Do the same thing tomorrow, and the next day, and every day for a month. That is equivalent to what you would spend on a typical new car. If burning all that money seems foolish, forget the car and go for a walk, bike ride or transit trip instead.



Reduce Automobile Ownership

Reducing your household’s car ownership (from 3 to 2, 2 to 1, or 1 to zero) will reduce your temptation to use an automobile when other travel options are available. Use alternative modes and rely on Carsharing and Taxi Service when an automobile is required.



Choose an Accessible Neighborhood

If possible, choose a home in a multi-modal community, where there are sidewalks and good cycling conditions, good transit service, and nearby shops (Location Efficient Development and Transit Oriented Development). Even in automobile-dependent regions some neighborhoods tend to be more accessible, often in the older parts of cities, or toward the center of towns (New Urbanism and Smart Growth). This can significantly increase your Transportation Choices and reduce your automobile use (Land Use Impacts on Transportation).



Encourage Employers to Support Commute Trip Reduction

If appropriate, encourage your employer to implement a Commute Trip Reduction program and offer appropriate Financial Benefits to non-drivers



Mobility Management Employment Opportunities

There are many jobs that involve promoting mobility management and sustainable transportation. For information contact the Association For Commuter Transportation (, a professional organization for transportation managers, and the Planetizen website (, which has job listings for planning professionals.



Support Community Initiatives

You can support transportation alternatives in your neighborhood, community and other levels of government. For example, encourage your neighborhood association to support Traffic Calming and New Urbanist design principles, support municipal Pedestrian and Cycling Improvements and Smart Growth policies, and lobby governments for increased support of TDM Programs and Public Transit Improvements. You can report problems to pedestrians and cyclists to transportation agencies.



Organize an Advocacy Group

You can help form an organization such as a Bicycle User Group (BUG), transit riders’ union, or TDM committee to promote the use of alternative modes and create more supportive policies (BV, 2003).



Choose an Efficient and Clean Vehicle

Choose a motor vehicle, choose the most energy efficient and low-polluting model that meets your needs (Energy and Emission Reductions). If you occasionally need a larger vehicle, rent or Carshare rather than purchasing such a vehicle for full-time use. Detailed information on vehicle energy consumption and emissions is available from the following sources:

·         The Transportation Air Quality Center, USEPA ( provides information on vehicle emissions and emission reduction strategies.

·         The Green Vehicle Guide, USEPA ( reports emissions and fuel consumption rates per vehicle mile for specific model years.

·         The For My World Tail Pipe Tally ( provides motor vehicle fuel consumption, fuel cost and pollution emissions for specific model-years.

·         The Climate Change Cost Calculator ( allows users to estimate a person’s air pollution emissions and how these can be changed.



Develop Efficient Driving Skills

More efficient driving habits can reduce vehicle energy use by 10-15%. The Eco-Drive program by the Swiss Federal Energy Office recommends (SFEO, 2000):



Have a Positive Attitude

Develop a positive attitude toward reducing car use and relying on alternative forms of transportation. For example, think of time you spend walking and cycling a fun and relaxing exercise, rather than wasted time. Find ways to use time spent on public transit productively, by resting or reading. Challenge yourself to find ways to reduce your car use, and reward yourself with the financial savings.


Your Multi-Modal Transportation Kit

1.       Choose shoes for comfort not just style.

2.       Carry a backpack, umbrella and flashlight.

3.       Keep a local street map handy.

4.       Equip your bicycle with basket, lock, light and fenders.

5.       Have a bus schedule and bus tickets.

6.       Maintain an account with your local taxi company.

7.       Choose a home located within convenient walking distance of shops and transit stops.

8.       Maintain a positive attitude about using alternative modes.



Travel Impacts

Various studies suggest that a typical household can reduce its automobile trips by 25-35% by avoiding unnecessary automobile trips and using alternative modes when possible (TravelSmart, 2000).


Many people have a misimpression about the potential for reducing automobile travel. They believe that each mile of reduced driving requires a mile of travel by public transit, and so assume that personal travel reductions are only feasible in dense urban areas with frequent transit service. This is not usually true. In highly automobile-oriented areas people tend to take many, discretionary automobile trips that can be reduced or avoided altogether: a special trip to return a video that could be returned a day or two later when running another errand, a cross-town shopping trip for items that are available nearby at a modest additional price or could be purchased by telephone or internet, chauffeuring friends and family members to the airport when airporter service is available. Most studies suggest that only 10-20% of avoided automobile trips are transferred to transit in urban areas or ridesharing in suburban areas, an equal number of transferred to nonmotorized travel, and many are avoided altogether or shifted to a closer destination.


Table 1          Travel Impact Summary




Reduces total traffic.


Tends to increase TDM effectiveness.

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

Reducing your car use can not only help achieve virtually all TDM objectives, it can also provide you with benefits, including Transportation Choice, financial savings, Health and Fitness, Security and Resilience and Community Livability. Direct financial savings from reduced automobile use averages 20-30¢ per vehicle mile, far greater than many people realize (Costs of Driving).


Table 2          Benefit Summary




Congestion Reduction


Tends to increase TDM effectiveness.

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

TDM marketing can help increase equity by increasing public knowledge and acceptance of transportation alternatives, and creating more effective TDM programs. This tends to benefit lower-income and transportation disadvantaged people by improving their mobility options, increasing access for non-drivers, and reducing the stigma often associated with alternative modes. Actual equity impacts vary depending on circumstances and program design.


Table 3          Equity Summary




Treats everybody equally.


Generally benefits all groups.

Individuals bear the costs they impose.


Requires subsidy.

Progressive with respect to income.


Can improve travel choice and reduce stigma associated with alternative modes.

Benefits transportation disadvantaged.


Can improve travel choice and reduce stigma associated with alternative modes.

Improves basic mobility.


No significant impact.

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




Can be implemented as part of any TDM program.


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).



Relationships With Other TDM Strategies

Many TDM programs can help you reduce your automobile use including TDM Marketing, TDM Programs, Commute Trip Reduction, Transportation Management Associations, Tourist Transport Management, Event Trip Management, and Campus Transport Management, and just about all alternative travel modes.




Involves you, your household members and friends, and ultimately your community, your employer and the businesses you trade with.



Barriers To Implementation

Barriers include the practical problems associated with reducing automobile use in an automobile-dependent society, including inadequate transportation choice and system integration, inadequate information on alternative modes, and social perceptions that automobile ownership and use is Prestigious while alternative modes are stigmatized.



Best Practices

·         Have a positive attitude. Try to make it fun to reduce automobile use.

·         Plan ahead. Have appropriate shoes, bikes, transit information, packs, umbrella, lights and whatever else you may need for convenient and safe use of alternative modes.

·         If possible, reduce your household automobile ownership.

·         If possible, choose a house in an accessible location.



Wit and Humor

Among the English language’s many puzzling words is “economy,” which means the large size in detergent and the small size in automobiles.



Examples and Case Studies

Seattle Way-To-Go Household Car Reduction Program (

Way to Go, Seattle is a new initiative to show people they can save money and make their communities more livable by making more conscious transportation choices, just as they do now with recycling and water conservation. Below is an article and news release about two of the program’s trail projects.


“Program to Get Seattleites Out of Second Cars Successful”

Seattle Times, Saturday, March 10, 2001


 They rode bicycles or car-pooled or took the bus. They saved up errands and ran them in one trip. They walked to the grocery store or to the kids’ soccer match. And, ultimately, they saved themselves hundreds of dollars and avoided dumping 3 tons of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere.


What those 22 Seattle families did not do was use their second cars.


“I didn’t think I could do it, says Sharon Griggins-Davis, a Queen Anne resident. “We’d got into some very bad habits of relying on that car.”


Hers was one of the families that volunteered to give up their second cars for six weeks as part of a city-sponsored experiment.


As volunteers for “Way to Go, Seattle, the families agreed to take $85 a week from City Hall in exchange for promising to get by with one automobile. Just to be sure, the city recorded their odometer readings.


 Participants also agreed to keep journals of how they got around.


 Based on city calculations, taking 22 cars off the roads for six weeks saved each family an average of more than $70 per week - even allowing for bus and taxi fares - officials said. It also led to 1,700 fewer car trips through local neighborhoods, 8,100 fewer car-miles and prevented 6,500 pounds of carbon-dioxide emissions - the gas that causes global warming.


“This was not a scientific survey, said Mayor Paul Schell. “It was an educational experiment into how we can do better with what we have.”


Some of the families found the task too difficult and reverted to their second cars when the program ended, city officials said. But most said they learned how easy it is to get along with one car. One family has sold its second car and others plan to.


“With two cars, there is always the temptation to use a car when you really don’t need it, said Malva Slachowitz, a Ballard participant. “But we learned some things. When we made a shopping list, it was a serious list. When we went on a family outing, we would stop and do an errand.”


The experiment appears to have been successful enough to justify another one, Schell said.



Way to Go Seattle! Families Park Their “Extra” Car; All Save Money, Some Give Up Car For Good

News Release, Mayor Paul Schell, September 22, 2001


23 Seattle families completed a City of Seattle pilot program to see if people could get along without their extra car for six weeks. The results are impressive. At least four families liked it so much that they’re selling the car. Some families didn’t need to participate in the program to be convinced. By determining the cost of owning their car on the City’s website, they sold their extra car without evening participating in the program!


“We can all take small steps to improve our transportation system,” said Mayor Paul Schell. “These families have proven that we can make choices about how to get around and enjoy spending less time in our cars.”


All the families in the study saved money, and most saved about $64 per week. The all found they could get around on transit, walking, bicycling and taking taxis when needed for about $21 a week, far less than the $85 per week cost of an average second car. Most families tell us they will continue to take the bus or ride their bike, and think about whether they need to drive to where they want to go.


“We hope more people will see they don’t need that extra car,” said Jamae Hoffman, project manager. “Families making smart decisions about transportation can cut down on vehicle trips, congestion, gasoline use and, of course, air pollution.”


The best experience for Richard Kielbowitz and Linda Lawson of the Hawthorne Hills neighborhood was “watching the price of gas rise for other people”. “When we heard reports of traffic jams, we counted our blessings that we were not caught up in them,” they said. After participating in the program, Kielbowitz and Lawson sold their second car.


“Before I would have driven north for movies and shopping. Now, I head downtown on the bus,” said Lori Goodwin of the Queen Anne neighborhood. “It was a fun experience. Same movies, same shopping, but it was wonderful not to have to deal with a huge parking lot.”


Seattle’s Strategic Planning Office paid the participating families $85 per week for keeping a daily dairy of their transportation activities and expenses during the six weeks they did not use their extra cars. Families were able to use the $85, the national average cost of owning and operating a second car, for bus fares, joining a Carsharing service, or taxi when needed. Most families spent only about $21 getting around without a car, saving an average of $49 per week. As a result the 23 families made nearly 200 fewer car weekly trips totaling 1,260 miles of travel avoided.


What comes next? Seattle’s Strategic Planning Office plans to use these results to encourage others to think about how much it costs them to own and operate their cars, and decide if they, like other families, would rather have the money. The goal of this project is to demonstrate ways to ease neighborhood traffic and vehicle pollution.


Below are some Way to Go, Seattle tips for reducing car use:


·         Do your “homework” before leaving the house. For example, use the Yellow Pages to locate merchants nearby. Compare prices and check that items are available before you get in your car. Plan trips in advance and consolidate errands.


·         Patronize businesses within walking distance whenever possible. Some business can be handled over the phone, on-line, or through mail-order.


·         Many insurance companies offer reduced rates if you drive your car less often.


·         What would you do with three more hours each week? If you organize a carpool for three other kids, that’s how much time you’ll save.


·         Walk to the bookstore. Ride a bicycle to a movie or your workout. The great thing about self-propelled transportation is that it’s so healthy. You work your heart and muscles, and cut down on traffic congestion – all at the same time.


·         Give carpooling a try. It’s fun and convenient. What’s more, leaving your car at home even once or twice a week will help reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality. Ask if your church or organization saves some “prime” parking spots for carpoolers.


·         Ride the bus. With just seven passengers, the average bus exceeds the fuel efficiency of an average commuter driving alone!


·         Get a basket on your bike…or take a backpack when you ride the bus. That makes it even easier to get errands done.


·         Return your library books and go to the post office on the way to the grocery store.


·         Ride your bike to school or work whenever it isn’t raining.


·         Pair up with a neighbor and take turns driving the kids to school


·         Organize carpools for sports teams and ski groups.


·         Walk your dog to the drugstore to have your prescription filled.


·         Shop with a friend or family member rather than taking separate cars.


·         Use bike trails, sidewalks and quiet streets to make family bike trips fun and hassle-free.


·         For repetitive errands (library, dry cleaners, video store) set a few boxes near the door. Whenever a driving member of the household goes out, they can check the boxes and make the ‘deliveries’ close to where they’re going.


·         Use the bike racks on Metro buses so you can bus one-way and bike the other.


·         Keep a calendar near the phone and cluster your appointments to reduce trips.


·         Put up a family “trip board” where errands are listed. Once a week run the errands in an efficient route.


·         Make sure the whole family knows how to use the transit system.


·         Post a carpool map at your church to make ride sharing easier.


·         Have your youth group create posters to inspire others to drive less.


·         Get a group together and carpool or take the bus to an arts or sport event.



Emission Calculators

Below are various tools for calculating the emissions of various activities and goods:























Auto$mart Student Driver Education Program (

This program provides driving educators with a classroom kit that helps them teach student drivers how to drive more safely while saving money and protecting the environment. The course materials explain how informed decisions regarding car purchases, operating habits, and maintenance can improve fuel economy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.



TravelWise Website (

The Ottawa-Carleton Region established the TravelWise website to provide a one-stop, on-line source for complete information about walking, cycling, carpooling, public transit and more. TravelWise is home base for the Region’s transportation demand management (TDM) program. The site will have an online Cycling Map on-line, information to help drivers reduce their costs and environmental impacts, a “TravelWise at Work” section will focus on workplace commuting, and “TravelWise at School” will be a local resource for International Walk to School Day. The TravelWise web site was produced by the Mobility Management Branch of the Region’s Environment and Transportation Department.



TravelSmart (

TravelSmart is a community-based program that encourages people to use alternatives to travelling in their private car. It provides information, motivation and skills to help people choose alternatives to driving for personal travel. Schools, businesses, local government and major destinations are encouraged to run their own TravelSmart programs. TravelSmart also forms partnerships with environmental, health, cycling organizations and other organizations that have an interest in supporting travel alternatives.


The Perth Metropolitan Transport Strategy targets a 35% reduction in single-occupant-vehicle trips over the next 30 years. TravelSmart is a significant part of that strategy. TravelSmart research indicates that travelers have alternatives to driving for about 45% of all personal trips. Increasing the portion of these trips made by environmentally-friendly modes (walking, cycling, transit and tele-access) from 10% to 25% would achieve the Transport Strategy targets.


The program’s pilot project, started in South Perth in 1997, resulted in a 14% reduction in car travel, a 16% increase in walking, a 21% increase in public transit use, and a 91% increase in cycling. These changes in travel behavior were found to continue when measured one and two years later.



PARK(ing) Day ( and

On PARK(ing) Day people transform parking spots into small parks. PARK(ing) Day seeks to create awareness about the need for more open spaces in cities and challenge the way people think about how streets are used. These places where cars would sit all day became active places of recreation, interaction and play. PARK(ing) Day seeks to create awareness about the need for more open spaces in cities and challenge the way people think about how streets are used. 



Sustainable Community Advice For Consumers (

The Your Next Move: Choosing a Neighbourhood with Sustainable Features, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, ( helps consumers evaluate community sustainability when selecting a home. It describes features that create safe, convenient, environmentally-friendly and affordable neighborhoods.



Park the Car, It's Not That Far (

Park the Car, It’s Not that Far, encourages parents to increase their children’s physical activity levels by walking, biking, in-line skating, or skateboarding to and from places that are short distances away. It is sponsored by, ParticipACTION, a physical activity promotion program that provides a variety of information resources.



Washington State’s Oil-Smart Campaign (

This campaign sponsored by a variety of community organizations and public agencies promotes alternative transportation in the Puget Sound region.



Clean Air Commute, Pollution Probe (

This annual week long event in Toronto (with 105 companies and 87,000 participants in 1998) involves public promotion efforts to encourage alternative commuting.



Government Asks Canadians to Take the One-Tonne Challenge to Help Meet Climate Change Goals

OTTAWA, March 26, 2004 - The Government of Canada officially launched the One-Tonne Challenge today, which calls on individual Canadians to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by one tonne - about 20 percent.


Through their day-to-day activities, each Canadian is responsible, on average, for more than five tonnes of GHG emissions a year. Using both national awareness initiatives and partnerships with communities, provinces and territories, youth, educators and the private sector, the One-Tonne Challenge will raise awareness of how the choices individuals make every day impact on GHG emissions, and provide information, tools and opportunities for Canadians to take action on climate change.


“Canadians have shown time and again that they are prepared to play a leadership role in protecting the environment,” said the Honourable David Anderson, Minister of the Environment. “I have no doubt they are ready to commit to the important national goal of meeting our Kyoto target, and at the same time helping address other key priorities for Canadians, including cleaner air and sustainable communities.”


“Obviously, for Canada to address climate change effectively, we all have to take action. The One-Tonne Challenge is about building partnerships that will help individuals do their part,” said the Honourable R. John Efford, Minister of Natural Resources Canada. “The Government of Canada is also committed to doing its part by reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions. We’re supporting the development of the ‘green’ technologies needed to respond to climate change and that will pay economic and environmental dividends in the future.”


“The transportation sector accounts for about 25 percent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, much of it from personal transportation,” said the Honourable Tony Valeri, Minister of Transport. “The One-Tonne Challenge provides Canadians with some practical and realistic ways to reduce emissions from transportation while helping them use less energy, save money and protect our environment.”


The One-Tonne Challenge is part of the Government of Canada’s investment in climate change action. Public education and outreach is an integral part of the Government of Canada’s strategy. However, it is also investing in the development and deployment of clean-energy technologies, such as hydrogen fuel cells and ethanol.


As an example of the type of partnerships the OTC will encourage, Scouts Canada unveiled its Climate Change Education and Action Program ( “The CCEAP fits in well with Scouts Canada’s mission to help build a better world. We have a long history of environmentalism through planting Scoutrees, bottle drive recycling, community clean-ups, and no-trace camping,” explained Scouts Canada’s Chief Commissioner, Mike Scott. “Climate change is a critical issue for all Canadians. This new program will bring about awareness and action among Canadian Scouting youth and their families.”


Today’s announcement includes the launch of the One-Tonne Challenge Web site ( and a new publication entitled Your Guide to the One-Tonne Challenge. The Guide shows how to create a personal emissions reduction plan, with tips and information about how to reach the one-tonne goal and beyond. Printed copies are available by calling 1-800 O CANADA, and an electronic version is available on the Web site. The One-Tonne Challenge Web site features an on-line calculator that allows Canadians to assess their GHG emissions, as well as information on how to reduce emissions.



Trees for Travel (

Every time someone travels by motor vehicle they contribute to global warming. The Trees for Travel (TM) program makes their travel a “global cooling” experience, by planting trees that will absorb more carbon dioxide (CO2) than their trip generates. The Trees for Travel partnership was formed between Trees for the Future, an international NGO, and travel agents and businesses nation wide. Businesses participating in the program pay US$50 for a kit containing 50 certificates to be used as a customer gratuity. As proof that their trees have been planted, each customer is provided with a Trees for Travel certificate, which states that the participant has sponsored the planting of seven trees on their client’s behalf at one of the Trees for the Future’s tree planting sites.


Trees for the Future has planted over 27 million trees in 64 countries, working with local farmers to ensure trees will reach maturity. In addition, tree species that are planted put nutrients into the soil and reduce soil erosion. Each tree absorbs 50 pounds (22 kg) of CO2 every year for at least 40 years.


The estimated number of trees required to offset different types of travel are listed below:



Related Chapters

For more information see Sustainable Transportation, Transportation Planning and Evaluating Transportation Choice.



References And Resources For More Information

AARP (2010), The Getting Around Guide: An AARP Guide to Walking, Bicycling and Public Transportation, American Association of Retired Persons; at


ACEEE (2001), Green Book; The Environmental Guide to Cars and Trucks, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy ( and ( This publication ranks motor vehicles according to their environmental impacts.


Katie Alvord (2000), Divorce Your Car; Ending The Love Affair With The Automobile, New Society Publishing (, available from Detour Publications (


Chris Balish (2006), How To Live Well Without Owning A Car, Ten Speed Press (


Better World Club ( is an automobile service (roadside assistance, travel information and services, vehicle insurance, etc.) dedicated to balancing economic goals with social and environmental responsibility.


BV (2003), The Workplace BUG Guide, Bicycle Victoria (


Barbara Campbell, Robert Hornung and Kim Sanderson (1997), Taking Charge; Personal Initiatives, David Suzuki Foundation and Pembina Institute (


CMHC (2006), Your Next Move: Choosing a Neighbourhood with Sustainable Features, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, (; at


Commuter Choice Program ( provides information, materials and incentives for developing employee commute trip reduction programs.


Cutting Your Car Use Website ( provides information on ways that individuals can reduce personal automobile use.


EnerGuide Website ( by Natural Resources Canada provides information on fuel consumption ratings of new Canadian automobiles and additional information on vehicle efficiency strategies.


FHWA (1994), A Citizen’s Guide to Transportation Decisionmaking, Federal Highway Administration, (, 1994.


Fuel Economy Website (, by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Agency provides information on fuel consumption ratings of new automobiles and additional information on vehicle efficiency strategies.


Green Vehicle Guide ( by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides information on the fuel use and emissions of automobiles, vans and light trucks.


Personal CO2 Calculator ( calculates personal annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions based on transportation and land use factors.


Information and Publicity Helping the Objective of Reducing Motorized Mobility (INPHORMM) ( is an organization that supports TDM marketing efforts.


Todd Litman (2006), Win-Win Emission Reduction Strategies, Victoria Transport Policy Institute (; available at


Todd Litman (2007), Mobility As A Positional Good: Implications for Transport Policy and Planning, Victoria Transport Policy Institute (; available at


NRC, EnerGuide for Vehicles, Natural Resources Canada (


One-Tonne Challenge Website (, is a Canadian Government program to encourage climate change emission reductions.


Laura Sandt, et al. (2008), A Resident’s Guide for Creating Safe and Walkable Communities FHWA-SA-07-016,  Federal Highway Administration, Pedestrian and Bicycling Information Center (; at


Anna Semlyen (2000), Cutting Your Car Use: Save Money, Be Healthy, Be Green, Green Books (


SFOE (2000), Eco-Drive Program, Swiss Federal Office of Energy (


Lynn Sloman (2006), Car Sick: Solutions for our Car-addicted Culture, Green Books (; summary at,,1735933,00.html.


Take Action website ( provides information and a carbon calculator to evaluate how lifestyle actions affect greenhouse gas emissions.


Peter and Andrea Tombrowski (2006), Urban Camping: A Testament to Living Without a Vehicle, Urban Camping (


Travel Matters ( is a website with interactive emissions calculators, on-line emissions maps and other educational resources to help examine the relationships between transportation decisions and greenhouse gas emissions.


TravelSmart ( is a community-based program that encourages people to use alternatives to travelling in their private car.


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


Undriving Program ( encourages people to reduce their automobile travel by education, promotion and issuing Undrivers Licenses.


VTL (2005), Sustainable Transportation: A Sourcebook for Policy-Makers in Developing Countries, (, by the Sustainable Urban Transport Project – Asia ( and Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (

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 250-360-1560

“Efficiency - Equity - Clarity”