Austin Commute Solutions Review and Opportunities

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Prepared for:

Texas Department of Transportation, Austin District

Capitol Area Metropolitan Planning Organization

Prepared by:

Texas Transportation Institute

David Ungemah, Associate Research Scientist

Casey Dusza, Assistant Transportation Researcher

January 2009
Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                                                                       January 21, 2009


Introduction ......................................................................................................................... 3

TDM Program: Strategies, Benefits, and Effectiveness ........................................................ 5

  Modes ............................................................................................................................................................... 5

  Triggers for Modal Shift .................................................................................................................................. 7

  Measuring TDM Effectiveness ...................................................................................................................... 10

Austin Commute Solutions: Description .............................................................................16

  Austin, TX ...................................................................................................................................................... 16

Case Studies: Peer Cities’ TDM Programs ...........................................................................19

  Atlanta, GA ..................................................................................................................................................... 19

  Raleigh-Durham, NC ..................................................................................................................................... 22

  Portland, OR ..................................................................................................................................................24

  Denver, CO .....................................................................................................................................................28

  Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN............................................................................................................................. 31

TDM Benchmarks: Comparative Results for Austin ........................................................... 35

  TDM Program Survey .................................................................................................................................... 35

  Carpool Programs .......................................................................................................................................... 36

  Vanpool Programs ......................................................................................................................................... 39

  Guaranteed (Emergency) Ride Home (GRH) .............................................................................................. 43

  Marketing and Outreach ...............................................................................................................................46

  Performance Evaluation and Budget ............................................................................................................49

TDM Scenario Analysis for the Austin Area ....................................................................... 53

  Geography of Analysis ................................................................................................................................... 53

  Analytic Foundation ..................................................................................................................................... 60
                                                                                                                                                                            Chapter: Introduction

  Model Results.................................................................................................................................................62

Conclusions ........................................................................................................................ 69

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                      January 21, 2009


The Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) conducted a review of the Austin-area Transportation Demand
Management (TDM) program, comprised primarily of the Commute Solutions Coalition. This report
identifies the 1) benefits and costs associated with implementing TDM, 2) case studies of Austin‟s TDM
efforts in comparison to its peer communities identified by the 2007 Austin Transportation Databook, 3)
the state of the practice of TDM efforts nationally with Austin‟s position within this comparative context,
and, 4) possible reductions in congestion and air emissions with the implementation of TDM strategies at
various worksites in the Austin area.

A variety of terms constitute the reduction of peak period congestion through the use of alternatives to
driving alone: Transportation (or Travel) Demand Management (TDM), Commute Trip Reduction (CTR),
Commute Options, and Mobility Management. Although TDM programs may be well suited to a variety
of transportation and productivity objectives, the core purpose of TDM is to change commuting habits of
single occupancy vehicle (SOV) users by either encouraging high occupancy vehicle (HOV) use (including
carpools, vanpools, and transit ridership), promoting human-powered modal choices (such as walking or
bicycling), and/or shifting travel outside the peak periods, when congestion is at its worst (including
travel during off peak times as well as averted trips through telework and alternative work hours).

Regardless of the outcome, the basis for motivating a conversion from SOV to something else is rooted in
basic economics – the interaction between the supply of infrastructure and services, the demand for those
services and infrastructure, and price (or incentives) of access. The typical individual commuter‟s travel
decision is based on the perceived costs and benefits of each modal option. Primary factors entering the
commute decision include money, time, reliability, and convenience. Secondary factors may be more
visible, but they are almost always rooted in the primary factors. For example, a need for a single parent to
drive alone to work in order to be „on-call‟ for emergencies at daycare is rooted in convenience and
reliability. An effective TDM program will sufficiently either raise the cost of SOV travel relative to the
modal alternatives so that non-SOV travel becomes attractive, or, reduce the cost of the modal alternative
so that it is more competitive with the SOV option. These are not equal equations, as the concept of loss
aversion makes the former solution more effective than the latter for any given normalized cost. 1

Successfully administered TDM programs manage congestion and reduce the number of vehicles on area
highways, while maintaining full accessibility for individual residents, employees, students, and visitors.
Through the use of incentives, pricing, education, and the implementation of viable and desirable travel
services, TDM encourages travelers to shift demand away from trips by personal automobile to trips by
other modes of travel, or, to trips that occur at a more efficient time, route, or place. There are three
components to TDM, all tightly integrated together so as to build synergies and cost efficiencies:

       Providing actual services and travel options. Transit services and bicycle systems are examples of
        actual services/options that are provided to travelers. In order to be successful, TDM must be able
        to demonstrate viable alternatives to the automobile for travel needs.
                                                                                                                Chapter: Introduction

       Promotion and education of alternatives. Through marketing, incentives, and education, non-
        SOV modes of transportation are promoted to travelers. As with consumer products, a potential
        life-long customer of non-SOV modes is always simply one good experience away.

1Kahneman, D. & Tversky, A. Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision Under Risk, Econometrica, Issue
47, 263-291, 1979.
Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                   January 21, 2009

       Management through pricing. Balancing the price of services with the use of services is an
        effective way to create balance in the demand and supply of transportation resources. For
        example, by managing parking supply through the use of variable parking fees, excess automobile
        travel can be reduced. Parking pricing helps encourage more transit and shared-car travel to the
        priced area, and, discourages automobile travel within the priced area.

Altogether, successful TDM programs reduce the number of vehicles using the highway system while
providing a variety of mobility options to those who wish to travel. TDM programs employ a variety of
alternatives and strategies, each mutually supporting the overall objective of SOV trip reduction.2

This analysis provides an opportunity to review the parameters and effectiveness of TDM strategies, with
particular emphasis upon communities with characteristics similar to Austin.

                                                                                                           Chapter: Introduction

2M. Rowell, and F. Buonincontri, and J. Semmens. The Cost Effectiveness and Magnitude of Potential
Impact of Various Congestion Management Measures, Arizona Transportation Research Center Arizona
Department of Transportation, March 1997.
Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                       January 21, 2009




As a discrete transportation strategy for investment, the concept of reducing vehicular trips without a loss
of mobility dates back to World War II, when the Federal government enacted a marketing program for
citizens to share rides with another in order to conserve energy for the war effort. As illustrated in Figure
1, the famous marketing program declared, “When you ride alone, you ride with Hitler.”3

                                                                                                                Chapter: TDM Program: Strategies, Benefits, and Effectiveness
Figure 1. First Known Carpool Marketing Campaign.

Initial efforts concentrated upon carpooling, as robust transit services were already in place. It was
generally assumed that those who had adopted the use of personal vehicles did so out of a desire to avoid
using streetcar and bus services. Hence, reducing SOV use (in order to conserve transportation energy)
seemed to be rooted in encouraging greater numbers of occupants per vehicle. Although distinction is
made between regular carpools (recurring, scheduled carpools) and occasional carpools (situational
carpools only), the basics of carpooling remains the same 60 years later – a minimum of two people with
common commute patterns share one vehicle for their trip. Carpooling itself requires no public
investment, as the decision to carpool remains a private one. However, advocates for governmental and
commercial encouragements to carpool rationalize that, “Every person added to a carpool means another
congestion- and pollution-causing car is taken off the road.” 4 As practice holds, if commuters are
presented a large enough incentive to switch from driving alone to carpooling (or any other non-SOV

3 R. Poole and T. Balaker. Virtual Exclusive Busways: Improving Urban Transit While Relieving
Congestion, Reason Foundation, Policy Study 337, September 2005.
4 The Rideshare Company. Carpools: A Simple Way to Save Time, Money and the Environment
Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                     January 21, 2009
mode), they may do so either formally (through a matching service and/or agreement) or causally
(through situational agreement).

Ridematching serves as the basis for formal carpooling and has been actively conducted for 30 years.
Deployed at either regional or employer levels, formal programs may be administered by employers,
transit organizations, or rideshare agencies, with overlap common. For example, a regional rideshare
program may offer promotional activities and incentives through participating employers. Commuters
provide information to the rideshare agency that assists in matching riders together, such as work hours,
vehicle availability, location of residence, and location of employment if in the case of a non-employer
rideshare program. Typically, successful formal carpooling depends upon a similar employment
destination, so areas with high employment densities are more aptly suited to carpool promotions than
those areas with dispersed employment. Successful ridesharing occurs when potential riders:

    1) travel a sufficient distance to work so that the time required for pick up and drop off does not
       significantly add to the total commute time,
    2) either work together or within a short distance of one another,
    3) have agreeable working hours to carpool schedules, and
    4) consistently use carpools. 5 6 7

Casual or “slugging” carpool formations began in the late 1970s and have since emerged in Virginia,
California, and Texas. Not officially administered or sanctioned by governmental entities, slugging
involves drivers picking up a random carpool partner to access HOV lanes at pre-identified locations. 8 9
Casual carpooling avoids pre-arrangement and fixed schedule hassles of formal carpooling, but does add a
layer of uncertainty and risk for drivers and riders alike. 10


Vanpool programs are typically structured in one of three ways:

                                                                                                            Chapter: TDM Program: Strategies, Benefits, and Effectiveness
       Owner operator, which allows individuals to purchase a van and charge passengers for
        commuting costs only (not for profit). These programs can be supported by subsidies from
        employers or facilitation from public agencies. With owner-operated vanpools, individual owners
        pay the maintenance and insurance costs. In some areas, public agencies and private, non-profit
        groups have encouraged owner-operated vanpools through offering low-interest loans, arranging
        for the purchase of vehicles at wholesale prices and helping operators secure better maintenance
        and insurance rates.
       Employer sponsored, where employers purchase vans, provide insurance and maintenance and
        administer ridesharing. Employers have the option of either purchasing or leasing vehicles, with
        cost recovered through passenger fares, reduced parking, and improved employee productivity.

5 K.F. Turnbull, P.A. Turner, and N.F. Lindquist. Investigation of Land Use, Development, and Parking
Policies to Support the Use of High-Occupancy Vehicles in Texas. College Station, Texas: Texas
Transportation Institute, 1995.
6 Department of Environmental Quality. Guidance for Estimating Trip Reductions from Commute

Options. 2000.
7 Best Workplace for Commuters. Carpool Incentive Programs: Implementing Commuter Benefits as One

of the Nation‟s Best Workplaces for Commuters. United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office
of Air and Radiation. March 2005.
8 M. W. Burris and J.R. Winn, Slugging in Houston – Causal Carpool Passenger Characteristics.

Submitted for Publication and Presentation at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, 2006.
9, About Slugging,
10 Environmental Defense, What are Casual Carpools? February 11, 2002.
Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                           January 21, 2009

        Third-party programs, involving a ridesharing organization, public transit agency, public-private
         partnerships, or van leasing companies. Leasing and maintenance are handled by the third-party.
         Van drivers are often allowed to drive for free and use the vehicle for some personal travel not to
         exceed a certain amount each month (such as 100 miles per month). 11


A safe and convenient environment for pedestrians can dramatically increase the number of commuters
walking to offices, stores, or schools during the day. Walking then enables sharing a ride or using transit
as realistic commute alternatives. Similar to walking, bicycling can serve as a complement to transit
services, extending the reach of these non-SOV modes of travel to commuters. Bike and pedestrian
amenities, as well as incentives are critical in encouraging these modes.


The rationale for telework in terms of TDM is simple: home based telecommuting reduces the total
number of trips. The participation rate is the key variable that will determine a telecommuting project‟s
effect on total VMTs. Any such project must be voluntary since the feasibility of telecommuting depends
on the situation of individual employers and employees.


Studies have shown there are three main reasons commuters switch from driving alone to non-SOV

        Travel Time. Research has shown that commuters are likely to alter their commute choice if it
         reduces their commute time. As driving alone is typically the quickest means from home to work
         (or the reverse), total travel time is one factor that makes driving alone attractive to drivers. 5 12 13

                                                                                                                         Chapter: TDM Program: Strategies, Benefits, and Effectiveness
         14 In particular, HOV lanes have been shown to reduce travel time, thereby making carpooling

         more appealing and counteracting the disposition toward driving alone. 14 15 16

        Convenience. Studies have also confirmed convenience is a factor in determining mode choice.
         Driving alone is seen as the most convenient mode for most commuters. However, this can
         change if employers or municipalities have incentives in place making non-SOV modes more

11 Ungemah, D. and Anderson, S. TDM Overview: The TDM Toolkit, City of Boulder, Transportation
Master Plan Update, 2002.
12 Crain and Associates. San Bernardino Freeway Busway Evaluation of Mixed-Mode Operations. Los

Angeles, California: California Department of Transportation, 1978.
13 R. Valdez and C. Arce. “Comparison of Travel Behavior and Attitudes of Rideshare, Solo Drivers, and

the General Commuter Population.” pp.105-108. In Transportation Research Record 1285. Washington,
D.C.: Transportation Research Board, 1990.
14 R. Cervero and B. Griesenbeck. “Factors Influencing Commuting Choices in Suburban Labor Markets:

A Case Study of Pleasanton, California.” pp.151-161. In Transportation Researcher Volume 22A, Number
3. Washington, D.C.: Transportation Research Board, 1998.
15 D.L. Bullard. An Assessment of Carpool Utilization of the Katy High-Occupancy Vehicle Lane and the

Characteristics of Houston‟s HOV Lane Users and Nonusers. College Station, Texas: Texas
Transportation Institute, 1991.
16 K.F. Turnbull. An Assessment of High-Occupancy Vehicle Facilities in North America: Executive

Report. College Station, Texas: Texas Transportation Institute, 1992.
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         suitable for their needs, such as conveniently located parking spaces reserved for carpoolers. 5 12 13
         14 17 18

        Cost. Although many commuters do not use the most cost effective commute choice, it is an
         influential factor. Cost savings can be realized simply through the sharing of costs between driver
         and passenger(s), although additional financial incentives and subsidies may be offered by
         governmental and/or employer entities. This is especially true with vanpool programs. 14 17 18
         Researchers note that free or low-cost parking tends to influence a greater use of single-occupant
         vehicles. 17

Promotions and incentives can encourage mode shift and can be offered in forms of subsidies, parking
management, reward programs, and guarantees, and are funded using a combination of public, private,
and non-profit sector sources.


Subsidies for non-SOV mode use may take many forms. In the late 1990s, Congress endorsed a new tax
incentive designed to encourage the commuter use of vanpools and transit, deployed through
participating employers. Currently, IRS tax code 26 CFR Section 132 (f)(3) offers a $115 per month tax-
free spending account for transit or vanpool costs ($220 for parking). For employees who are regular
vanpoolers and transit riders, the tax-free spending account provides an additional positive effect on
disposable income and serves to subsidize the cost of using these options. 19 20

Additional subsidies depend upon mode of travel. Many regions, such as Atlanta, Austin, and Houston,
subsidize the cost of vanpools, dramatically reducing the out-of-pocket cost for commuters. For example,
in the Atlanta region, a $50 per month flat rate fee is charged for vanpoolers (which may, in turn, be paid
out of tax-free spending accounts, extending the subsidy further). The total average cost of the vanpool
service per person yields a 70 percent subsidy paid for by federal, regional, and local sources of funding. 21

                                                                                                                  Chapter: TDM Program: Strategies, Benefits, and Effectiveness
Other communities provide direct subsidies to commuter travel by any non-SOV mode. For example,
Aspen (Colorado) and Riverside County (California) have provided “commuter club” programs, where a
small payment (such as $0.50) was paid to the commuter per day for carpooling. Employers around the
United States have often participated in similar programs, particularly in parking-constrained areas or in
communities with mandated employer participation (such as the states of Washington, Oregon, and
California). 22

17 K.F. Turnbull. High-Occupancy Vehicle Project Case Studies: Historical Trends and Project
Experience. College Station, Texas: Texas Transportation Institute, 1992.
18 Strgar-Roscoe-Fausch, Inc. I-394 Phase III Evaluation – Final Report. Minneapolis, Minnesota:

Minnesota Department of Transportation, 1995.
19 Best Workplace for Commuters. Transit and Vanpool Benefits: Implementing Commuter Benefits as

One of the Nation‟s Best Workplaces for Commuters. United States Environmental Protection Agency,
Office of Air and Radiation. September 2004.
20 Best Workplace for Commuters. Commute Tax Benefits: Implementing Commuter Benefits as One of

the Nation‟s Best Workplaces for Commuters. United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of
Air and Radiation. September 2004.
21 D. Ungemah, M. Rivers, and S. Anderson. The World Can Be Flat: A Case Study in Flat Rate Pricing

for Vanpool Operations, 2006 Annual Meeting, Transportation Research Board, 2006.
22 Department of Environmental Quality. Guidance for Estimating Trip Reductions From Commute

Options. 2000.
Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                     January 21, 2009


Parking management applied at the employer level may positively affect the use of non-SOV modes of
travel. The cost, availability, and location of parking have a considerable effect on commuters‟ travel
choices. 23 24 25 When parking is expensive or located far from an employee‟s work site, transit and
rideshare may be a more attractive alternative.

A variety of techniques are included under the broad heading of parking management, including: pricing
strategies (such as eliminating parking subsidies, parking cash-out, and transportation allowances) and
providing preferential parking spaces for carpools. Parking management strategies work best when used
in connection with other incentives. 5, 22, 26 Eliminating parking subsidies (considered a benefit, as the
parking comes at a cost) altogether is another method employers may use as a parking incentive against
driving alone, and potentially reducing employer costs. 2 22


In some instances, gifts or awards are given to commuters who use an alternative mode of transportation
to work. This gift or award may be part of a drawing, or participating commuters may accumulate points
every time they carpool. The employer‟s transportation coordinator or agency in charge of establishing
carpools designates the type of program used to distribute the prizes. 22 Some employers offer time off
with pay to those employees who use non-SOV modes to work. The amount of time off differs, depending
on the number of times the employee used the mode within a certain time frame. 22


A critical barrier to commuter use of non-SOV modes is the perceived dependence on a vehicle during
work hours. Commuters desire having a vehicle ready for use in order to run an errand, have an off-site

                                                                                                             Chapter: TDM Program: Strategies, Benefits, and Effectiveness
meeting, or just in case an emergency occurs. Employers have provided services to alleviate these
concerns by locating on-site amenities for common errands (such as restaurants, dry cleaners, and day
care centers), providing company or subscription-based vehicles for daily use (including bicycles,
scooters, and automobiles) and offer guaranteed ride home programs for emergencies or unexpected
working hours (such as a late meeting). The specific combination of services and amenities will influence
the amount of trip reduction that can be achieved. 22 The evidence suggests that a guaranteed ride home
program will encourage some commuters who would not otherwise use non-SOV modes to do so, as the
service appears to provide peace of mind to commuters, although they may never find a need to use it. 2


HOV lanes reserve highway capacity (typically) for vehicles with more than one occupant. HOV lane users
can save substantial time over comparable trips in congested general purpose lanes and provide more

23 T.J. Higgins. Parking Management and Traffic Mitigation in Six Cities: Implications for Local Policy,
Transportation Research Record 1232. Washington, D.C.: Transportation Research Board, 1981.
24 D. Shoup and R. Willson. “Employer-Paid Parking: The Proposed Solutions,” Transportation

Quarterly, 46:169-192, 1992.
25 R.H. Pratt. “Employer Parking Pricing and Incentive Programs that Change Modal Split.” TDM Review,

1:13-17, 1993.
26 Best Workplace for Commuters. Parking Cash Out: Implementing Commuter Benefits as One of the

Nation‟s Best Workplaces for Commuters. United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air
and Radiation. March 2005.
Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                            January 21, 2009
predictable travel times to buses, carpools, and vanpools. During peak periods, these lanes are less
congested and have a considerably improved traffic flow over standard lanes. Carpool and vanpool
programs are likely to be more successful where these lanes exist, because they reward commuters with
travel time savings, in addition to monetary incentives as identified above. 5 7 HOV lanes and carpooling
have an overlapping purpose: encourage greater person throughput through greater vehicle occupancies.
By encouraging people to rideshare, particularly during peak periods, person throughput on congested
corridors can increase without a corresponding significant increase in capacity. 2



The benefits from non-SOV modes of travel can be articulated for both users and society. User benefits
include personal cost savings and perceived quality of life enhancements. Many commuters
underestimate the true cost of driving alone to and from work. For example, the potential savings of
carpooling or vanpooling are shown in Table 1. The table indicates an estimated monthly cost savings of
$257 for a 30-mile round trip commute if a drive-alone person rideshares with two other people. If a
person has a round trip commute of 80 miles, the estimated savings increases dramatically to $686 a
month in a three-person carpool. The monthly savings more than doubles if a commuter switches modes
from a three-person carpool to a 10-rider vanpool. As shown in Table 1, the cost of commuting may be
significantly reduced when carpoolers or vanpoolers share the costs. This is especially true in situations
with added costs, such as parking fees. 27 28 Survey data has shown that commutes are increasingly
becoming congested and stressful, which can be carried over into professional and social situations,
exacting a social cost not accounted for in financial accounting. Carpools, vanpools, and transit enables
the riders to relax and allows them to arrive at their destination stress-free. 27 29

Table 1: Estimated Monthly Commuting Cost

                                                                                                                   Chapter: TDM Program: Strategies, Benefits, and Effectiveness
             Round Trip Miles         Drive Alone      3-Rider Car Pool        10-Rider Van Pool
             30                       $386             $129                    $39
             40                       $515             $172                    $52
             50                       $643             $214                    $64
             60                       $772             $257                    $77
             70                       $901             $300                    $90
             80                       $1,029           $343                    $103

            Source: Littman, Todd, updated to reflect $0.585/mi cost based upon U.S. IRS distribution, effective
            July 1, 2008. 28

Societal benefits are most typically associated with reduction in vehicular use (and corresponding
reduction in vehicle miles traveled) and a resulting improvement in air quality. In areas of serious air

27 Model Transportation Demand Management Program. Explore Your Commute Options: It’s the
SMART Thing to Do, Detailed Program Description and Policy Guidelines, Washington State Department
of Transportation, June 15, 1996.
28 T. Littman. TDM Encyclopedia: Ridesharing, Victoria Transport Policy Institute, December 14, 2005.
29 Pollution Probe. SMART Movement: Save Money and Air by Reducing Trips, Trip Reduction Manual.
Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                      January 21, 2009
quality concerns, non-SOV commute alternatives together with managed infrastructure (such as HOV
lanes and busways) constitute important elements in achieving conformity with air quality targets. 30


Although air quality benefits are the primary reason for regional and statewide financial investment in
rideshare incentive programs (most notably, through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality [CMAQ]
program), the benefits‟ estimation for conformity purposes lacks consistent application throughout the
United States. Communities may directly model trip-reduction and vehicle-miles traveled (VMT)-
reduction benefits of ridesharing and HOV lanes, produce estimates off-model, or directly measure the
results of implemented programs. 30 Altogether, the variety of estimation methodologies yields a
noticeable lack of measurement of the direct benefits upon air quality. Various research efforts have
attempted to evaluate the pollutant and travel reduction effectiveness of various TDM strategies, but this
research has yet to provide solid evidence of the longitudinal impacts of these incentives either on a
regional or sitewide scale.

As evaluated within the literature, the effectiveness of TDM strategies varies greatly upon the following

     1) the type and degree of strategies (incentives),
     2) the affected area, and
     3) extent of concurrent supporting strategies.

The first factor pertains to what strategy is deployed and how much resources are applied to that strategy.
For the second factor, the effectiveness of a strategy will differ depending upon the comparative scale – an
extremely successful employer-based vehicular-reduction program may not even be measurable within a
half-mile radius of the employer. As evaluated in the literature, almost all programs have less than a 1
percent affect upon regional tripmaking. 31 32 Third, the effects of non-SOV commute programs are not

                                                                                                                Chapter: TDM Program: Strategies, Benefits, and Effectiveness
mutually exclusive from one another. Often, a combination of strategies is present when modal use is
measured, complicating the isolation of strategies for effectiveness.

Two cross-cutting efforts serve as the principal body of knowledge regarding the effectiveness of non-SOV
commute option programs – one in 1994 and the other in 2002. 30 33

The former study involved a bounty of data primarily accumulated by the State of California during a
period of mandated trip reduction efforts. The results of this data analysis were used to create a post-
process model for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), known as the TDM Model. To this day,
the TDM Model remains the only official model capable of evaluating the regional impacts of various TDM
promotion and incentive activities through modified trip tables. However, California discontinued its
mandatory trip reduction program in December 1995 (as did Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and
Delaware). The state of Washington, as well as select regions such as some cities throughout the U.S.,
maintained trip reduction ordinances / programs to some extent.

30 Committee for the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program. The Congestion
Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program: Assessing 10 Years of Experience, Transportation
Research Board, Special Report 264, National Academy Press, 2002.
31 Cambridge Systematics, Inc. Quantifying Air Quality and Other Benefits and Costs of Transportation

Control Measures. Final Report. NCHRP Project 8-33, 2000.
32 Ferguson, E. Travel Demand Management and Public Policy. Ashgate Publishing Co., Burlington,

Vermont, 2000.
33 Apogee Research, Inc. Cost and Effectiveness of Transportation Control Measures (TCMs): A Review

and Analysis of the Literature, January 1994.
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The impact of TDM in a non-mandatory setting, though, is relatively unknown when compared to the
FHWA TDM Model data, as data collection has not been as robust. As such, practitioners often question
the use of the TDM Model to reflect TDM effectiveness in contemporary settings.

Evaluating worksite-based and regional travel data, the 1994 study concluded rideshare incentives could
potentially eliminate up to two percent of regional VMT and one percent of regional trips (if applied
regionally) or up to three percent of VMT and four percent of trips when promoted at employment sites,
as shown in Table 2. For example, HOV lanes alone can provide up to one percent of regional VMT
reduction and a half-percent of regional trip reduction. 33 There is a limitation to the use of these
findings, however. Continuing with the example of HOV lanes, at first glance it appears that rideshare
incentives are generally more effective. But, further research indicates:

     1) HOV lanes‟ regional impact is affected primarily within particular corridors (unlike rideshare
        programs, which have a regional scope), and
     2) additional studies have identified a synergistic relationship between rideshare programs and HOV
        lanes, in so much that the likelihood of carpooling or vanpooling as a result of an HOV incentive
        program increases with the availability of HOV lanes. Error! Bookmark not defined. 32 34

Additionally, Table 2 implies that employer trip reduction programs have a greater impact than area-wide
rideshare efforts. This conclusion is derived from the impact of mandated programs. The data for
Employee Trip Reduction in the 1994 study is derived primarily from California Regulation XV
employers, who were mandated to affect trip reduction. By comparison, data for area-wide rideshare
programs was a synthesis of efforts around the United States, where trip reduction was neither mandated
nor often a priority. As stated in the report, “A vigorous area-wide promotion program might have greater
impacts than current programs, but it appears unlikely that it would have a greater effect than the
concentrated efforts required by Regulation XV (page 24).”33

Table 2: Travel Impact Estimates: Range of Daily Regional Reductions (percent).

                                                                                                                Chapter: TDM Program: Strategies, Benefits, and Effectiveness
          TCM                                       VMT (percent)                 Trips (percent)
          Employer trip reduction                     0.2 - 3.3                       0.1 - 4.1
          Area-wide rideshare                         0.1 – 2.0                      0.5 – 1.1
          Transit improvements                        0.0 – 2.6                      0.6 – 2.5
          HOV lanes                                   0.2 – 1.4                      0.5 – 0.6
          Park-and-ride lots                          0.1 – 0.5                         0.0
          Parking pricing
          Work                                           0.5 – 4.0                  0.4 – 4.0
          Non-work                                       3.1 – 4.2                  3.9 – 5.4
          Congestion pricing                             0.2 – 5.7                  0.4 – 4.2
          Compressed work week                           0.0 – 0.6                  0.0 – 2.8
          Telecommuting                                  0.0 – 3.4                  0.0 – 0.5
         Source: Apogee Research, Inc., January 1994.   33

The latter study pertained to a review of data submitted by regional and statewide entities participating in
the CMAQ improvement program. For most very large and large metropolitan areas, and some medium
sized areas, CMAQ provides a significant amount of funding for rideshare programs. Additionally, to the
extent that local and regional transportation service providers use their funding to leverage CMAQ
funding, local and regional funds are also reported under CMAQ performance reviews. According to the
Committee for the CMAQ Improvement Program, “Few retrospective analyses of projects are conducted
to determine whether estimated changes in travel behavior and emission benefits have actually occurred.

34E. Schreffler. Alternative Modes as an Air Quality Mitigation Strategy, Report No. FHWA-AZ-04-566,
June 2004.
Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                          January 21, 2009
Local agency staff members cite the small size and large numbers of projects as a deterrent to conducting
such evaluations cost-effectively. Nor is it easy to conduct such evaluations in a methodologically sound
way.” 30 This has made the evaluation of the effectiveness of TDM programs problematic.

Examining evaluation studies of CMAQ programs where the methodology of evaluation was considered
sufficiently robust, the 2002 Transportation Research Board (TRB) study yielded the following illustrative
summary of cost effectiveness from CMAQ projects. 30 As seen in Table 3, rideshare and TDM programs
tend to be among the more cost-effective of CMAQ projects, yet the extent of effectiveness is cautiously
positioned as indicated. It should be noted that the cost-effectiveness for telecommuting / telework
projects in this analysis reflect capital projects (often telework centers) that go above-and-beyond the
typical telecommute / telework promotion program. As such, the TRB study suggests these findings
should not be viewed as conclusive for comparative cost-effectiveness.

Table 3: Summary of Cost-Effectiveness of CMAQ-Eligible Projects.

                                                       Cost-per-ton of pollutants           1992-1999
CMAQ Project Sponsored                    No. of
                                                       removed (2000$)                      CMAQ Outlay
Category                                  Projects
                                                       Low       High                       (%)
Traffic flow improvements                                                                   33.1
Traffic signalization                     5            6,000        128,000                 8.5
Freeway/incident management               4            2,300        544,000                 8.1
HOV facilities                            2            15,700       337,000                 4.6
Intersections, traveler info., other      0            NA           NA                      11.9
Ridesharing                                                                                 3.8
Regional rideshare                        5            1,200        16,000
Vanpool programs                          6            5,200        89,000
Park-and-ride lots                        4            8,600        70,700                  1.4

                                                                                                                Chapter: TDM Program: Strategies, Benefits, and Effectiveness
Travel demand management                                                                    2.9
Regional TDM                              8            2,300        33,200                  2.1
Employer trip reduction programs          7            5,800        176,000                 0.8
Telework                                  10           13,300       8,230,000               0
Bicycle/pedestrian                        14           4,200        345,000                 3.2
Transit improvements                                                                        28.3
Shuttles, feeders, paratransit            15           12,300       1,970,000               7.4
New capital systems/vehicles              6            8,500        471,000                 12
Conventional service upgrades             10           3,800        120,000                 7.4
Park-and-ride lots                        15           6,000        56,000                  1.5
Fuels and technology                                                                        20.6
Conventional-fuel bus replacements        5            11,000       39,900                  12.7
Alternative-fuel buses                    11           6,700        569,000                 3.1
Alternative-fuel vehicles                 2            4,000        31,600                  0.6
Inspection and maintenance                5            1,800        5,800                   4.2
Surface Transportation Program                                                              8.2
Total                                                                                       100

Source: Committee on the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program, 2002.   30

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                      January 21, 2009

In a parallel assessment of CMAQ projects using data provided in the 2002 TRB report, an Arizona
Department of Transportation report identifies the comparative relationship between strategies for the
cost of air quality improvement. In this analysis, carpool and vanpool promotion programs, including
cost subsidies and other incentives, are shown in Table 4 to be far more cost effective in reducing pounds
of volatile organic compounds (pollutants) than infrastructure activities such as HOV facilities and transit
systems. However, as noted in the report, the effectiveness of those rideshare and TDM programs is
enhanced with the availability of these HOV and transit facilities. 34

Table 4: Cost Effectiveness of CMAQ Programs.

 CMAQ Strategy                                         Cost per Pound of Emissions Reduced
 Inspection and maintenance                            $0.95/lb.
 Regional rideshare programs                           $3.70/lb.
 Charges and fees (parking pricing, tolls)             $5.15/lb.
 Vanpool programs                                      $5.25/lb.
 Miscellaneous TDM                                     $6.25/lb.
 Conventional fuel bus replacement                     $8.05/lb.
 Alternative fuel vehicles                             $8.09/lb.
 Traffic signalization                                 $10.05/lb.
 Employer trip reduction                               $11.35/lb.
 Conventional transit service upgrades                 $12.30/lb.
 Park-and-ride lots (rideshare and transit)            $21.50/lb.

                                                                                                                Chapter: TDM Program: Strategies, Benefits, and Effectiveness
 Modal subsidies and vouchers                          $23.30/lb.
 New transit capital systems/vehicles                  $33.20/lb.
 Bicycle and pedestrian programs                       $42.05/lb.
 Shuttles, feeders, and paratransit                    $43.75/lb.
 Freeway/incident management                           $51.20/lb.
 Alternative fuel buses                                $63.20/lb.
 HOV facilities                                        $88.10/lb.
 Telework                                              $125.90/lb.

Source: Schreffler, E. 34

Showing this enhancement when combining infrastructure with TDM services, survey data have
previously shown that HOV lanes are attracting younger, educated white-collar professionals to transit
and ridesharing. Carpoolers and vanpoolers indicated that their occupational characteristics and
motivation to carpool / vanpool are supported by the HOV lanes incumbent travel-time savings and
congestion avoidance, as well as TDM marketing and organizational campaigns which made them aware
of these benefits. Control surveys of non-HOV lane users showed that their trip characteristics were more

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                      January 21, 2009
dispersed than carpoolers, providing some indication of their limited ability to take advantage of HOV
lanes. 35

Undervaluing the role of marketing and education has been a challenge for the encouragement of non-
SOV commute options. In particular, the case of carpooling and HOV lanes illustrates that, “If you build
it, they will come,” is an insufficient policy position for the realization of mode shifts. Since the early
1990s, carpooling itself has declined significantly, both in absolute numbers of commuters as well as
percentage of overall population. 36 As shown in Table 5, declines have occurred consistently as measured
by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Table 5: National Principal Means of Transportation to Work [thousands (percent)].

              1985          1989          1993      1997         1999          2001      2003
 Drive        72,137        81,322        79,449    90,207       92,363        93,942    91,607
 alone        (72.4)        (76.3)        (76.6)    (77.5)       (78.2)        (78.2)    (79.4)
 HOV-2        10,381        9,708         9,105     9,294        8,705         9,036     7,866
              (10.4)        (9.1)         (8.8)     (8.0)        (7.4)         (7.5)     (6.8)
 HOV-3        2,024         1,748         1,684     1,526        1,454         1,635     1,351
              (2.0)         (1.6)         (1.6)     (1.3)        (1.2)         (1.4)     (1.2)
 HOV-4+       1,606         1,165         1,063     881          945           973       840
              (1.6)         (1.1)         (1.0)     (0.8)        (0.8)         (0.8)     (0.7)
 Transit      5,091         4,880         4,740     5,337        5,779         5,627     5,081
              (5.1)         (4.6)         (4.6)     (4.6)        (4.9)         (4.7)     (4.4)
 Cycle        958           795           744       738          749           847       691
              (1.0)         (0.7)         (0.7)     (0.6)        (0.6)         (0.7)     (0.6)
 Walk         4,032         3,634         3,227     3,869        3,627         3,408     3,171
              (4.0)         (3.4)         (3.1)     (3.3)        (3.1)         (2.8)     (2.7)
 Telework     2,947         2,736         3,137     3,611        3,288         3,401     3,536
              (3.0)         (2.6)         (3.0)     (3.1)        (2.8)         (2.8)     (3.1)

                                                                                                               Chapter: TDM Program: Strategies, Benefits, and Effectiveness
Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics 36

This noticeable decline in carpooling has affected the consideration of HOV lanes and other managed
infrastructure. Critics of HOV lanes claim carpooling as a choice of travel for work peaked at the time
when HOV lane planning hit its stride, thereby exacerbating the rationale for continuing to offer HOV
lane incentives to carpools. Potential reasons for the decline in carpooling may include an increase in
disposable income, increase in car ownership, dispersed employment locations, trip-chaining, and
availability of in-car entertainment. 3

35 W.R. Stockton, V.F. Daniels, D.A. Skowronek, and D.W. Fenno. An Evaluation of High Occupancy
Vehicle Lanes in Texas, 1997, Research Report 0-1353-6, College Station, Texas: Texas Transportation
Institute, 1999.
36 Bureau of Transportation Statistics. National Transportation Statistics: 2005, U.S. Department of

Transportation, 2005.
Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                    January 21, 2009



In 2005, the Austin metropolitan population was 855,000. This was an increase of 11 percent from
770,000 in 2000. Despite Austin‟s growth, it remained the 49th largest urban area. Austin includes TDM
resources and programs in their long-range transportation plan to assist in regional congestion reduction.


Austin‟s long-range Regional Transportation Plan, the Mobility 2030 Plan, was prepared by the Capital
Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO). The Mobility 2030 Plan includes TDM specific goals
and services to help reduce SOV commute trips.

        This plan supports energy conservation through a mix of projects and programs designed to
        improve the efficiency of the transportation network and to reduce the overall vehicle miles
        traveled. In particular, the plan:

               Encourages a shift to alternative modes of transportation such as public transportation,
                carpooling, biking, and walking through projects that provide facilities for these
                activities, and through programs such as Commute Solutions, that are aimed at
                affecting travel demand behavior;
               Reduces wasted energy by implementing a Congestion Management System that
                increases system efficiency and reduces vehicle delay; and
               Works toward other energy conservation measures, such as more fuel efficient vehicles,
                through a regional air quality program described under the plan.


The region‟s Commute Solutions program provides regional public education to employees and employers
on the benefits of alternative transportation modes and commuter practices. The Commute Solutions
Coalition, a group of government and non-profit agencies, promote the Commute Solutions mission by

                                                                                                              Chapter: Austin Commute Solutions: Description
providing literature and community outreach on carpooling, vanpooling, transit use, bicycling, walking,
teleworking, flex-scheduling, and parking management.


River Cities Rideshare, a collaborative effort between Commute Solutions and San Antonio‟s Alamo Area
Council of Governments, provides carpool and vanpool matches, biking and pedestrian information, and
public transportation options. Employees commuting from surrounding areas or between cities have one
website with rideshare matching and public transportation information.


The Let’s Ride program provides Commute Solutions implementation tools to area employers. These tools
include Employer Transportation Coordinator (ECT) training, a training manual and CD-ROM, and
assistance with employer planning and outreach. The training focus includes promotion of carpooling,
vanpooling, and telecommuting.

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                       January 21, 2009


Capital Metro provides bus service at approximately 3,000 bus stops in the Austin region. Their fixed
route bus service includes 53 routes, five downtown circulators, eight Express routes and 20 university
shuttle routes. Capital Metro also offers 56 Austin school routes, van and carpooling coordination,
shuttles to special events and special transit services for the elderly and disabled. Capital Metro maintains
the highest per capital ridership in Texas, with approximately 140,000 daily boardings. They also offer
on-line trip planning at Google Transit as well as trip planning available by text-messaging.


Capital Metro provides vanpools for five to 12 passengers. For $25 per person (driver does not pay) each
month, Capital Metro will maintain the van and pay for gas and insurance. Vans are available outside the
Capital Metro service area at a mileage-based rate in addition to the $25 fee vanpool.


Capital Metro offers emergency taxi service for Express/Park & Ride, Flyer and vanpool participants, to
anywhere in its service area. A GRH annual membership is available for anyone using an eligible
commute mode. The $5.00 membership reimburses each participant up to four taxi rides per year.


In the fall of 2008, Capital Metro will begin operation of a 32-mile commuter rail system. Nine rail
stations are included in the long-range transit plan, All Systems Go Plan.


No comprehensive evaluation data is available for the Commute Solutions program.


                                                                                                                 Chapter: Austin Commute Solutions: Description
Prior to 2003, the City of Austin used a Smart Growth Matrix to analyze development proposals within
certain development zones around Austin. The matrix was designed to compare a project‟s development
to the City's Smart Growth goals such as: 1) the location of development; 2) proximity to mass transit; 3)
urban design characteristics; 4) compliance with nearby neighborhood plans; 5) increases in tax base. If a
project, as measured by the matrix, significantly advanced the City's goals, financial incentives may have
helped offset the high cost of developing in urban areas.

However, in June 2003, the Smart Growth Matrix incentive program ended. During the program‟s
existence, financial incentives helped encourage the construction of almost 400 new residences and over
550,000 square feet of retail, restaurant, and office space in Austin‟s urban core. The projects
incorporated livable features such as downtown residences and retail, mixed use, pedestrian-oriented
development. These developments encouraged transit use and overall SOV trip reductions. The Smart
Growth Matrix added almost $200 million to the tax roll with the additional localized development.

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                               January 21, 2009

      Annual budget
          o MPO: $60,000
      Sources of funding:
          o Surface Transportation Program (STP)
          o Regional contributions

      Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, Mobility 2030 Plan,, June 2008.
      River Cities Rideshare,, June 2008.
      Commute Solutions,, June 2008.
      Capital Metro, Commute Options,, June
      Capital Metro, A Ride Home: Guaranteed,, June 2008.
      Capital Metro, All Systems Go! Capital MetroRail,
       metrorail.shtml, June 2008.

                                                                                                     Chapter: Austin Commute Solutions: Description

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                     January 21, 2009


This section presents a comparison of Austin‟s TDM program with other select peer cities – the same as
used for the 2007 Austin Transportation Databook. The peer cities were chosen by metrics including
similar sizes, growth rates, or economic bases, and many have large college campuses or are their
respective state's capital. The cities comprising the following peer city comparison are Atlanta, Denver,
Minneapolis/St. Paul, Portland, and Raleigh/Durham. Insufficient information was available for Salt
Lake City and Tucson.


Atlanta‟s metropolitan population was 4,170,000 in 2005. This is an increase of over one million residents
since 2000. During this time, Atlanta‟s growth moved the city from 12th to 8th largest in the United


The Atlanta Regional Council (ARC) details the region‟s trip reduction purpose and objectives in the long-
range Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and Regional Development Plan (RDP), a process called

        …Projects, such as ridesharing and bicycle/pedestrian programs, can lead to reductions in
        congestion at a lower cost than major system expansions. Three percent of the RTP funding,
        $2.1 billion, supports these critical programs and projects. Transportation Demand
        Management (TDM) includes strategies that help make travel more efficient and effective by
        reducing auto trips — shortening some and eliminating others — and spreading demand across
        the peak hours of road use. These strategies include carpooling, vanpooling, biking, walking,
        transit, teleworking and alternative work schedules, including flextime, compressed workweek
        schedules and staggered shifts. Bicycle and Pedestrian projects comprise the largest category of
        the projects at $944 million. The LCI program, a critical regional initiative, is funded in
        Envision6 at $439 million, the remaining balance of the total $500 million funding commitment

                                                                                                              Chapter: Case Studies: Peer Cities‟ TDM Programs
        made in the Mobility 2030 RTP. The TDM Division serves as the focal point at ARC for
        providing TDM services, working with individual commuters, partnering with TDM
        organizations, and managing projects in order to integrate TDM strategies into long range
        transportation solutions.


The Atlanta region, along with providing a regional trip reduction vision, provides a multitude of
programs for employers and employees to promote non-SOV commute trips.


RideSmart is Atlanta‟s on-line ridematching tool. This joint effort between the ARC, the Georgia
Department of Transportation (GDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provide Atlanta
commuters a method to find possible carpool partners or open vanpools. Commuters are able to obtain
ridematch results on-line ( or by phone. RideSmart helps employees, employers, and

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                        January 21, 2009
Transportation Management Associations (TMAs) reduce the number of single occupant vehicle (SOV)
trips in the Atlanta region.


TMAs are typically organized by employers to serve employee commute needs. Typical characteristics of
TMA‟s include:

       Organized by a group of businesses or community members who are willing
        to contribute private resources to improve transportation for themselves, their employees and
        their neighbors
       Organized into a non-profit corporation whose members pay dues to help support the budget
       Seek additional funding through public grants (such as the Congestion Mitigation Air Quality
        [CMAQ] funds)

Although historically TMAs have been formed to serve a geographic area, they could also be formed to
serve an industry group, an economic cluster of businesses, or a trade association. The strength of a TMA
is in its ability to convene groups of people with similar needs and to use their collective need to apply for
a greater package of transportation benefits from public providers (such as subsidized transit passes and
guaranteed ride home programs). Atlanta TMAs help employers provide cost-effective commute options
for their employees such as transit discounts, carpool and vanpool incentives, and overall encourage
Atlanta commuters to change from driving alone to another mode. The Atlanta region has nine TMAs:

       Buckhead Area TMA
       Downtown TMA
       Clifton Corridor TMA
       CobbRides
       Commute Club: A Program of the Cumberland CID
       Hartsfield Area TMA
       Midtown Transportation Solutions
       Perimeter Transportation Coalition
       Atlantic Station Access + Mobility Program

                                                                                                                 Chapter: Case Studies: Peer Cities‟ TDM Programs

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) provides Atlanta regional transit service,
including bus and rail transit. There are currently 15 small buses and 609 full-sized buses in operation.
These buses operate 120 routes on approximately 2,831 million annual vehicle miles. The rail transit
includes five double track lines connecting 38 stations for a total of 47.6 miles. As an additional
convenience for Atlanta transit riders, MARTA offers on-line trip planning at Google Transit.


Atlanta‟s GRH works through employers and TMAs to provide up to five free rides annually
to commuters who carpool, vanpool, walk, bike or take transit to work and have an emergency requiring
them to leave work. Throughout the Atlanta region, 13,300 employees have access to GRH services at
1,981 worksites. However, only four percent of those registered have used the GRH program.


Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                     January 21, 2009
Atlanta‟s Commuter Rewards is a rewards program for commuters who choose an alternative to SOV
trips. Commuting by carpooling, vanpooling, riding transit, bicycling or walking to work, or even
teleworking are eligible reward trips. Commuters who choose an alternative and log their travel on-line
have the opportunity to earn cash and win prizes by registering for one of the following, based on their
commute alternative:

       Cash for Commuters. Participants, who carpool, telework, use transit, walk or bicycle to work, are
        eligible to earn $3 per day up to $180 over a 90-day period.
       Commuter Prizes. Commuters enter each alternative commute into a random monthly drawing
        for $25 gift cards.
       Carpool Rewards. 3+ carpools can earn up to 12 monthly gas cards. The more carpool partners,
        the bigger the reward:
             o $40 gas card each month for three carpool passengers
             o $60 gas card each month for four or more carpool passengers


HOV lanes exist on I-75, I-85, I-285 and I-20. The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is
planning to expand HOV operations to high congestion areas along I-85, I-985, State Highway 316, and
both east and west of Atlanta on I-20. Additional HOV lanes are planned on I-75 and I-575 north of
Atlanta to Georgia 400 and to I-675 south of the city. GDOT‟s LUV-the-HOV website states “Most days,
the busiest HOV lanes near the Downtown Connector carry between 7,000 to 11,000 vehicles, while I-75
(which sees the least traffic) is handling 2,000 to 5,000.” GDOT permits 2+ carpools, motorcycles, bus,
emergency vehicles, and alternative fuel vehicles to use the HOV lanes. The HOV lanes on I-75, I-85, and
I-20 operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


Atlanta‟s 2004 1-87-RIDEFIND Placement Survey reported the percentage of new commuters shifting to
alternative modes or increasing their use in alternative modes during 2004 was 26.8 percent. The
percentage of commuters retained from previous years of using alternative modes during 2004 was 18.9
percent. With nearly 29,400 rideshare participants in FY 2004, both new and retained percentages

                                                                                                               Chapter: Case Studies: Peer Cities‟ TDM Programs
equaled 13,460 commuter placements. The commuter placement rates for FY 2004 represent an
improvement from the previous evaluation in 2002. In the 2002 assessment, the new placement rate was
22.5 percent and the retained placement rate was 17.7 percent. Both these percentages equaled a total
placement of 11,193 commuters. In 2004, commuters using alternative modes (carpool, vanpool, and
transit/non-motorized) resulted in a total reduction of about 10,870 vehicle trips per day. The reduction
in 2002 was 6,935 daily trips. The 2004 daily trip reduction equaled nearly 2,718,240 vehicle trips for the
entire year. The number of daily vehicle miles traveled (VMT) reduced was approximately 292,600 in
2004, an increase from 204,365 daily VMT reduced in 2002. The 2004 daily VMT equaled nearly
73,152,460 vehicle miles traveled for the entire year.

       Annual budget
           o MPO: not reported
           o Universities: $65,000
           o Non-profit organizations: $9,500,000
       Sources of funding:
           o Congestion Mitigation / Air Quality (CMAQ)
           o FTA 5307 / 5311

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                   January 21, 2009
            o   Transportation impact fee
            o   Special district assessments
            o   Employer / developer contributions
            o   State contributions

       Atlanta Regional Council. Envision6: Planning for a Region of 6 Million, Volume I: 2030
        Regional Transportation Plan. Adopted September 2007, published June 2008.
       RideSmart, Employer Service. June
       Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority,, June 2008
       Atlanta Regional Council, Regional Snapshot: Promoting Alternative Transportation in the
        Atlanta Region,, June 2008.
       Commute Rewards,, June 2008.
       George Department of Transportation, HOV System Implementation Plan,, June 2008.


With a 26.7 percent population growth for the Raleigh-Durham region from 750,000 in 2000,
the Research Triangle region totaled 950,000 in 2005.


By state statute (SB 953), the Raleigh / Durham region is required to reduce 25 percent of the growth in
Vehicle Miles Traveled from 2000 levels. In 2006-2007, the Triangle Transit Authority brought together
organizations in the Research Triangle area addressing TDM projects to create a TDM long-term plan.
The result was the Triangle Region 7-Year Long Range Travel Demand Management Plan. This plan
called for the two Metropolitan Planning Organizations (Triangle J Council of Governments and Capital
Area MPO) and the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to combine funds and create
a competitive call for TDM projects. The Triangle J Council of Governments (JCOG) was charged with

                                                                                                           Chapter: Case Studies: Peer Cities‟ TDM Programs
staffing this effort on behalf of the funding organizations.

The Triangle TDM Program purpose is to coordinate and evaluate regional commute activities such as
transit, carpooling, vanpooling, biking and telework. The goal is to promote alternative commute modes
to reduce traffic and air pollution in the area. The program is organized under five performance areas,
with extensive interaction between all five: 1) services/operations, 2) program administration, 3)
marketing and branding, 4) outreach, and 5) planning. For each area, the plan identifies specific
performance elements, and corresponding activities.

The long-range plan determined meeting the VMT goal of reducing regional growth in VMT by 25 percent
by 2015 will require converting approximately 5,000 commuters to alternative modes in year one and
approximately 2,000 commuters to alternative modes in subsequent years.


Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                     January 21, 2009
One TMA currently operates in the region called SmartCommute@RTP. The organization was formed in
1999 in response to growing transportation concerns in the Research Triangle Park.
SmartCommute@RTP currently has 24 members representing between almost 90 percent of the Triangle
Area employees. The TMA promotes and markets regional transportation alternatives and administers
transit incentives.

TJCOG, along with Triangle Transit, conducts the Triangle Best Workplace for Commuters program,
promotes transit use, carpooling, and vanpooling. Participants in this program include the state and local
governments in the downtown area and many large employers located in the Research Triangle Park. The
Livable Communities Incentive Fund is another program used to promote commute alternatives by
encouraging communities to create transit oriented development along the proposed major transit
corridors of the region.


Share the Ride NC is a North Carolina rideshare matching service, allowing commuters to find possible
carpool or vanpool partners. In addition, Share the Ride NC provides commuters information to locate
park and ride lots, public transit services, bike routes, and more.


Triangle Transit, formally Triangle Transit Authority (TTA), serves as the regional transit and TDM
service provider. Triangle Transit provides direct services and employer outreach to commuters in their
service area. Some of the services provided are:

       Support for employers, commuters and TMAs
       Regional administration of Share the Ride NC
       Emergency Ride Home
       Vanpool operation, marketing and outreach
       Employer Recruitment and Marketing/Promotion Activities
       Support for local Universities, including the Redefine Travel student campaign

                                                                                                             Chapter: Case Studies: Peer Cities‟ TDM Programs

Triangle Transit has three different vanpool options for commuters: 7, 12, and 15-passenger vans. Triangle
Transit provides the van, pays for gas and insurance, and takes care of all maintenance. Riders pay a low
monthly fee based on the average daily round-trip mileage. To participate in a vanpool, one portion of the
trip must begin or end in Wake, Durham, or Orange County.


The Smart Commute Incentive Fund offers financial aid to commuters who purchase homes close to work
so they can commute to work by walking or bicycling. Moving near a usable transit stop also merits
financial aid to commuters. The program provides financial incentives on the premise automobile
operation and maintenance costs will be lower.


Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                     January 21, 2009
In 1999, North Carolina approved the Ambient Air Quality Improvement Act to reduce air pollution.
Section 1.1 states:

        ― It shall be the goal of the State to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from all sources by
        at least twenty-five percent (25%) by 1 July 2009. It shall be the goal of the State to reduce the
        growth of vehicle miles traveled in the State by at least twenty-five percent (25%) of that growth
        that would otherwise occur by 1 July 2009.‖

       Annual budget
           o Regional district: $1,300,000
       Sources of funding:
           o Congestion Mitigation / Air Quality (CMAQ)
           o Employer / developer contributions
           o State contributions
           o User / employee fees
           o Parking fees

       UrbanTrans Consultants, Triangle Region 7-Year Long Range Travel Demand Management
        Plan,, June 2008
       Share the Ride NC,, June 2008.
       Triangle J Council of Governments,,
        June 2008.
       SmartCommuter@RTP: The Smart Way to Work,, June 2008.
       Triangle Transit Authority,, June 2008.


In 2003, Portland‟s population was approximately 1,670,000. This is double the population of Austin.
Although Portland in 2003 was slighter larger in area than Austin at 500 square miles, it has twice the

                                                                                                               Chapter: Case Studies: Peer Cities‟ TDM Programs
population density. Portland‟s population density has been consistent since 1982.


Portland‟s short-term Regional Transportation Plan, the 2008 – 2013 Strategic Plan: Regional Travel
Options, was prepared by Metro, the local Metropolitan Planning Organization. The 2008 – 2013
Strategic Plan includes TDM specific goals and services to help reduce SOV commute trips, as articulated

        The program maximizes investments in the transportation system and relieves traffic
        congestion by managing travel demand, particularly during peak commute hours. Regional
        strategies offer low-cost solutions that:

               Address employer and commuter transportation needs
               Save consumers money
               Reduce vehicle emissions that contribute to air pollution and global warming
               Encourage active travel modes that enhance public health and increase physical activity
               Increase public awareness of the personal and community benefits of travel options.

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                     January 21, 2009



Metro coordinates collaborative marketing activities such as the Drive Less/Save More marketing
campaign that encourages people to think before they drive in order to reduce single-person car trips, use
travel options for non-work trips, and adopt cost-saving driving habits. In addition, individualized
marketing projects (TravelSmartTM and SmartTripTM projects) use personal, individualized contact to
motivate people to think about their travel options.


Multiple agencies directly implement and support commute options programs in the Portland
metropolitan area. Metro, Oregon Division of Environmental Quality (DEQ), TriMet (the transit
operator), Wilsonville SMART, Vancouver (WA) Commute Trip Reduction Program, Portland
Transportation Options, and TMAs (see below) carry out employer and commuter programs. These
programs are expected to reduce approximately 47,660,000 vehicle miles of travel per year.


Metro works with employers to market rideshare services to employees and provides customized
rideshare matching services and vanpool incentives. Incentives for vanpools are provided in partnership
with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and C-TRAN (bus transit).


C-TRAN (Clark County, Washington) and TriMet (Portland area) provide bus transit within the Portland
region. A streetcar loop run by TriMet currently exists around downtown Portland, with an expansion of
the system in the planning stages.

                                                                                                             Chapter: Case Studies: Peer Cities‟ TDM Programs

The City of Portland owns an aerial tram that provides service between the Oregon Health Sciences
University (OHSU) main campus and its Center for Health & Healing in the South Waterfront District.
OHSU oversees operation of the tram, while the city is responsible for the maintenance of the upper and
lower stations and the tower. The city‟s $8.5 million share of the construction costs (OHSU paid $40
million) will be recouped over time from the rising property values in the South Waterfront caused by its


The Portland area will unveil the Westside Express Service (WES) commuter rail in fall 2008. The
commuter rail line runs from Beaverton to Wilsonville, with four of the five stations providing about 700
free park-and-ride spaces. Stations will also provide bicycle racks and lockers. The I-205 light rail (MAX
Green Line) and the Portland Mall Light Rail (downtown portion of the Green Line) are both currently
under construction. The I-205/MAX Green Line will run 6.5 miles along I-205 between the Gateway
Transit Center and the Clackamas Town Center. In addition, a Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Line is in
the planning stages.

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                    January 21, 2009


Three regional traveler information tools provide commuters and tourists with methods to get around the
Portland area using alternate means to SOV. is the carpool and rideshare-
matching site serving Oregon and SW Washington, with over 8,800 commuters registered. Bike There! is
a bicycle route rating map that can be bought in area bike shops and retail outlets, or accessed online at Walk There! 50 Urban Treks in Neighborhoods, Natural Areas, and Cities is a guidebook to
encourage walking for transportation purposes.


TMAs are nonprofit coalitions of local businesses and/or public agencies that work to strengthen
partnerships with business to reduce traffic congestion and pollution by improving commuting solution
options for their employees. There are six TMAs in the Portland region that develop and implement area-
specific strategies for reducing drive-alone commute trips. A feasibility study for a South Waterfront TMA
is in progress. Portland-area TMAs receive annual grants from the Regional Travel Options (RTO)
program to implement trip reduction strategies and are expected to reduce 3,500,000 vehicle miles of
travel per year.


The Clackamas Regional Center TMA (CRC-TMA) addresses the growing transportation and transit
accessibility needs of the Clackamas Regional Center business community. CRC-TMA is a local
organization of business leaders and government agencies that provides solutions to combat traffic
congestion and promote transit and other employer/employee transportation options.


The GRCTMA was created in 2001 with the intent of bolstering economic development for the Gresham
area by providing safe and viable transportation options for employees, customers and visitors to the
regional center.

                                                                                                             Chapter: Case Studies: Peer Cities‟ TDM Programs

A non-profit business association representing large and small employers in the Lloyd District of
Northeast Portland, Lloyd TMA provides transportation programs and services with clear member
benefits and assists employers with ECO Rule (see below) compliance. The TMA also provides a forum
for businesses and neighborhood associations to work together and coordinates committees working
directly on Lloyd District transportation issues.


A project of the Swan Island Business Association, the TMA works with employers to expand
transportation options for Swan Island employees to facilitate the continuing growth and success of area
businesses and improve the movement of people, products, services, and freight.


Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                   January 21, 2009
A program of the West Columbia Gorge Chamber of Commerce, Troutdale TMA works to promote the use
of transportation options in Troutdale to tourists, employers, and employees and supports the
development of infrastructure that supports increased use of travel options.


The Westside Transportation Alliance (WTA) is an association of businesses and public agencies in
Washington County that offers workplace services and programs to help employees commute to work by
transit, carpool, vanpool, walking, and cycling.


According to the strategic plan, vehicle miles reduced (VMR) annually is expected to increase from a 2006
level of approximately 42,000,000 annually to 101,000,000 annually in 2013. This represents an
expected 140% increase. The great majority of this increase is expected to arise as a result of
individualized marketing strategies. Accompanying the increase in VMR, annual emissions are expected
to be greatly reduced. CO2 emissions, for example, are expected to decrease by 214,000 tons over the next
five years, and carcinogenic particulate matter by 18.3 tons.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is responsible for overseeing adherence to the
Employee Commute Options (ECO) rules which affect employers in the Portland area with over 100
employees. The ECO rules, Oregon Administrative Rules, Chapter 340, Division 242, are part of
Portland‟s Ozone Maintenance Plan that ensures that the Portland-Vancouver area will meet the federal
health-based ozone standard in spite of continued population growth. Employers must provide incentives
for employee use of alternate commute options. The incentives must have the potential to reduce
commute trips to the work site by ten percent from an established baseline. The rules were last changed
and took immediate effect on February 22, 2007. The changes at that time included:

       Raising the compliance threshold from more than 50 to more than 100 employees at a work site,
       Changing the survey requirement from every year to every other year, and
       Requiring employers who are not meeting the 10% trip goal to either submit a trip reduction plan
        to DEQ or document they are participating in an equivalent program.

                                                                                                            Chapter: Case Studies: Peer Cities‟ TDM Programs
       Portland METRO:
            o TDM Strategic Plan –
            o TDM Strategic Plan Appendices –
       City of Portland:
       Transportation Management Associations (TMAs):
            o Clackamas Regional Center TMA –
            o Gresham Downtown Development Association/Regional Center TMA –
            o Lloyd TMA –
            o Swan Island TMA –
       TriMet:
            o TMA listings –
            o MAX Light Rail –
            o WES Commuter Train –

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                     January 21, 2009

       Oregon Department of Environmental Quality:


Denver‟s population in 2003 was roughly 2,050,000. This is 2.5 times the population of Austin. Because
Denver covers a larger area at 855 square miles in 2003 – twice the size of Austin – its population density
is only 1.25 times that of Austin.


The Denver Regional Council of Governments‟ (DRCOG) 2035 Metro Vision Regional Transportation
Plan (MVRTP) addresses the challenges and guides the development of a multimodal transportation
system over the next 28 years. Adopted in December 2007, and last amended August 20, 2008, it reflects
a transportation system that closely interacts with the growth, development, and environmental elements
of Metro Vision. Two policies in the MVRTP are applicable to commute trip options:

               Policy #2. Transit. Provide increased transit service and facilities that stimulate travel
                by means other than single-occupancy motor vehicle, encourage transit-oriented
                developments, and provide mobility options.
               Policy #8. Management and Operations. Make the best use of existing
                transportation facilities by implementing measures that actively manage and integrate
                systems, improve traffic operations and safety, provide accurate real-time information,
                and reduce the demand for single-occupant motor vehicle travel.


The DRCOG has run a program called RideArrangers for 30 years. Other organizations such as the
Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) and various transportation management associations also
provide programs to encourage the reduction of SOV travel in the Denver area.

                                                                                                              Chapter: Case Studies: Peer Cities‟ TDM Programs

RideArrangers provides a free online database for individuals to find others interested in carpooling, and
will also provide employers with complimentary assistance to help employees use the free carpool


RideArrangers offers vanpools for groups of five or more who are traveling more than 15 miles, and will
provide the van, fuel, insurance, maintenance, and Guranteed Ride Home.


The guaranteed ride home service offered by RideArrangers is for individuals who use their vanpool
program, or who use discounted transit passes, including RTD‟s EcoPass or ValuePass. The service can
also be purchased as a stand-alone product for individuals not participating in the above programs. The
service provides a cab ride home from the office in case of emergency.

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                      January 21, 2009


RTD operates 175 bus routes with over 10,000 bus stops. It also offers up 66 park-and-ride locations,
many of which have bike racks and lockers available. The Front Range Express (FREX) provides
commuter bus service between Colorado Springs and downtown Denver. This would be similar to an
Austin-San Antonio bus service.

The Denver light rail system consists of 49 vehicles on six routes containing a total of 23 stations.
Additional lines are under construction, a program known as RTD FasTracks. The taxpayer-approved
package includes 122 miles of new light / commuter rail lines, 18 miles of bus rapid transit, 57 rail
stations, and over 21,000 of park-and-ride spaces.


DRCOG‟s telework program, run through RideArrangers, offers free assistance to employers interested in
creating a telework policy for employees. The program offers:

       one-on-one consultation with telework experts
       presentations on teleworking geared to upper and middle management
       hand-on assistance with the implementation of a new program or an existing program
       review and development of policies and forms, evaluation and survey tools
       sample materials, case studies and implementation kits, and
       training for both managers and teleworkers.


RideArrangers offers a free carpool matching service specifically for parents who drive their children to
and from school. Individual schools agree to participate, and they either provide school directory
information or they give applications to families, and the parents provide the information to
RideArrangers. The parents then receive a list of potential carpool partners, and contact each other to
make arrangements.

                                                                                                              Chapter: Case Studies: Peer Cities‟ TDM Programs

In 2007, RTD-Denver sponsored RideSmart Thursdays, a community campaign that encourages
participants to commute differently just one day a week. The program promoted vanpools, carpools,
bicycling, walking, telecommuting, and transit use. Ninety-two businesses and 8,000 individual
participants joined the challenge, reducing vehicle-miles by an estimated 1,404,763 during the campaign
period. The DRCOG also promotes an annual Bike-to-Work Day, similar to those found in other
metropolitan areas, including Austin. For 2008, 25,173 bicyclists registered to participate, with an actual
total of closer to 35,000 counted at the 120 breakfast stations set up around the region. This represents
an increase of 43 percent over the 2007 event. First time riders accounted for 10,352 of the participants.


Seven of the eight TMAs in Colorado can be found in the Denver region.


Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                     January 21, 2009
Fifty-six percent of employees in the downtown area take the bus, light rail, walk, or carpool to work. The
Downtown Denver Partnership provides information on downtown parking, offers members free on-site
transportation consultation to help companies develop transportation plans that address the commuting
needs of their employees.


The Fitzsimons TMA provides support for sustainable growth around the Anschutz Medical Campus and
Fitzsimons Life Science District by developing and promoting coordinated transportation improvements
and services designed to enhance access and mobility, reduce congestion, and improve the quality of life
for employees, visitors, patients and students. The TMA helps to connect people with a variety of services
to campus partners.


The FlatIron Improvement District was created to operate the free Zip Shuttle, and provide employees
with discounted RTD bus passes and ticket books. The shuttle is paid for by a $0.002 sales tax, and moves
riders between three retail areas.


The SE 1-25 Urban Corridor TMA is a coalition of local governments, the Southeast Public Improvement
Metropolitan District, and the local business community. The TMA, in partnership with the RTD, created
the Transit Rider Incentive Program (TRIP). This program provides a 50 percent discount on transit
passes to riders of the bus, Call-n-Ride, or light rail which are employed in the Southeast Corridor.


The Stapleton Area TMA works closely with employers to identify and solve employee transportation
issues. Outreach efforts include transportation fairs, one-on-one employer transportation consultation,
“Lunch and Learn” events, information for new hire orientations, and EcoPass distribution for qualified

                                                                                                              Chapter: Case Studies: Peer Cities‟ TDM Programs


Transportation Solutions was founded in 1997. The TMA focuses on issues in the Cherry Creek and
Glendale areas, and the Colorado and University Boulevard corridors.


Created in 1998 to reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, and offer commuting solutions along the
U.S. 36 corridor, 36 Commuting Solutions operates today as a not-for-profit, public-private membership
organization consisting of nearly 50 businesses and seven municipal governments between Westminster
and Longmont. The TMA provides free commuter outreach information, including materials, assistance,
and resources. It also provides a Workplace Ambassador Network for dues-paying employers and their
employees to encourage commuting options.

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                     January 21, 2009


A comprehensive evaluation of TDM program performance will be conducted by CDOT and DRCOG in
late 2008 / early 2009.

       Denver Regional Council of Governments:
       Colorado DOT Commuter Choices:
            o CMAQ Annual Report (2003) –
       Transportation Management Associations:
       TMA/TMOs:
            o Downtown Denver Partnership –
            o Fitzsimons TMA –
            o Flatirons TMA –
            o SE-125 Urban Corridor TMA –
            o Stapleton Area TMA –
            o Transportation Solutions –
            o US 36 TMO –
       Transit:
            o Front Range Express –
       RTD –


The population of the Twin Cities area of Minnesota in 2003 was approximately 2,475,000. This is almost
three times the population of Austin. The combined cities covered an area of 1,245 square miles in 2003,
making that urban area likewise three times the size of Austin. The resulting population density was
comparable to that of Austin, being only 3 percent more dense.

                                                                                                            Chapter: Case Studies: Peer Cities‟ TDM Programs

The 2030 Regional Development Framework is the Metropolitan Council‟s overarching outline for the
future of the Twin Cities region. The Council‟s Transportation Policy Plan takes the goals from the
Framework and applies them to the region‟s transportation system. According to the plan,

        The Council supports aggressive use of travel-demand management techniques to reduce peak-
        period vehicle trips.



The Metropolitan Council has offered the Metro Transit Rideshare program since 1977. The program‟s
mission is “to reduce the number of single-occupant vehicles on the roads and highways by providing
information and services for alternatives to drive-alone vehicles.” These alternatives include carpools,

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                      January 21, 2009
vanpools, and other travel-demand management strategies. To this end, the rideshare program provides
an online interactive ride-matching service.


In conjunction with the Metro Transit Rideshare program, the Minneapolis/St. Paul area also has access
to the Van-GO! Commuter Vanpool Program. This program is sponsored by the Metropolitan Council
and accommodates groups of 5 to 15 that meet the eligibility requirements.


Metro Transit‟s program is available not only to carpool and vanpool participants, but also to anyone that
registers who walks, bicycles, or takes the bus or train at least three times per week. Registered
participants receive two $25 coupons each month which can be used for reimbursement of cab or train
fare, or payment of bus fare.


Metro Transit Rideshare offers two programs that provide tax breaks for using alternative modes of
transportation. The first is the Metropass program, which allows employers a tax advantage of up to $105
per month per employee if the employer underwrites the cost of annual unlimited-ride transit passes for
all employees. The second program, Commuter Check, provides vouchers that are redeemable for transit
passes, tickets, or tokens, or to pay for vanpool fares. The vouchers are provided to employees for free, up
to an amount of $105 per month.


The Metropolitan Council, through the Metro Transit Rideshare, also works with employers, cities, and
owners of ground and garage parking to free, discounted, and preferred parking spaces for registered
carpools and vanpools, mostly in the St. Paul and Minneapolis downtown areas.

                                                                                                               Chapter: Case Studies: Peer Cities‟ TDM Programs

The Metropolitan Council runs the largest transit system in the State of Minnesota. Metro Transit
provided 77 million bus and rail rides in 2007 to locations in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and a number of
suburbs. Besides Metro Transit, the region is also serviced by approximately a dozen smaller suburban
transit providers, which carried 4.1 million riders in 2007. There are also private companies that provide
contracted regular-route service for the Metropolitan Council. These companies carried 2.3 million
passengers in 2007. In the planning stages is a bus rapid transit system for Cedar Avenue and I-35W,
south of Minneapolis.


The Minneapolis-St. Paul area has the only light rail system in the State of Minnesota. The system, called
the Hiawatha Line, runs 27 cars on 12 miles of track, going from Minneapolis‟ Warehouse District to the
international airport, and onward to The Mall of the Americas in Bloomington. The line has 17 stations,
13 of which provide connections to 46 bus routes. In 2007, the line averaged 27,000 riders per weekday.
This was 8% more than preconstruction ridership estimates for the year 2020. The success of the line has

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                       January 21, 2009
increased public support for light rail in the area, and a second phase servicing the Central Corridor is
expected to open in 2014. In addition to the light rail line, the Northstar commuter rail line is currently
under construction and expected to open in 2009.


There are four regional TMA programs, referred to in Minnesota as Transportation Management
Organizations (TMOs). These organizations service the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as
Anoka County to the north, and the I-494 Corridor that runs through the southwestern suburbs.


Established in 1986, 494 Commuter Services serves the cities of Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Edina,
Minnetonka, Richfield, and Plymouth. This corridor contains 19% of the metro area‟s population and 21%
of its jobs. The corridor commission‟s board is made up of representatives from each of the six cities, as
well as representatives from the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Council, and
local business leaders. Besides providing commuters with information about local carpools, vanpools,
and transit service, the 494 Commuter Services also offer tips on bicycle commuting, including free copies
of the Hennepin County Bike Trail map, and outreach assistance to employers in promoting alternative
transportation options for their employees.


The Anoka County TMO provides information on road construction detours and project timelines in
addition to promoting commuter options. In addition to information on mass transit and ridesharing, the
TMO also provides tips for creating a telecommuting policy at work and explains how flextime and
compressed work weeks can benefit employees and employers. The TMO also uses marketing campaigns
such as Rideshare to Work Week, to encourage people to make less single-occupant vehicle trips.


                                                                                                              Chapter: Case Studies: Peer Cities‟ TDM Programs
Created by the City Council in 1991, the Downtown Minneapolis TMO exists to promote congestion
mitigation strategies and advocate for environmentally sound transportation policies. The TMO provides
several programs, including the Commuter Connection resource store, and employer outreach and
advocacy efforts.


Formerly known as the St. Paul and Midway TMOs, the St. Paul Smart Trips currently offers Smart Trips
Summit-U, a program that connects people with free resources, events, and activities that will help them
make “smart” trips. The TMO also offers employer consulting services to identify, develop, and support a
variety of employee transportation options. The TMO also participates in marketing campaigns such as
Rideshare to Work Week, and Walk to School Day, as well as providing links to information on parking,
bicycle routes, and transit information.


No comprehensive evaluation of program effectiveness was available.

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                          January 21, 2009

      Report, Transportation Demand Management and Commuter Options in the Twin Cities:
      Metropolitan Council:
           o Policy document:
           o Rideshare:
           o GRH:
           o Vanpool:
           o TDM Fact Sheet:
      Transportation Management Organizations:
           o 494 Commuter Services –
           o Anoka County TMO –
           o Downtown Minneapolis TMO –
           o St. Paul Smart Trips –

                                                                                               Chapter: Case Studies: Peer Cities‟ TDM Programs

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                     January 21, 2009


To date, limited research has identified comparative metrics for TDM programs throughout the United
States. Whereas every community is different, and hence, the specific activities and strategies employed
by a TDM program will likewise differ, commonalities between programs can be illustrated for
comparison and benchmarking purposes. In April 2008, the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI)
conducted a comprehensive survey of TDM programs in the United States. Initial results from this effort
are presented side-by-side with Austin‟s (Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and Capital
Metro) responses, for benchmarking purposes.


The purpose of the 2008 TDM Program Survey was to assemble a comparative benchmark for TDM
programs, whether they are employed on a regional or localized scale. Contributions from survey
participants were not independently verified for accuracy; as a result, findings are reliant upon the
individual‟s knowledge and access to appropriate data. TDM service providers were limited to those
entities that provide service to more than one worksite; individual employers and property management
TDM providers were excluded from the survey. It should be noted university programs were included if
their operations extended beyond the direct campus (such as operators of Transportation Management

After compiling a listing of known TDM service providers in the United States, and selecting prospective
contacts (typically the director or coordinator) for each service provider, TTI sent a series of email
solicitations (an initial solicitation, plus reminder follow-up emails), requesting participation in the
research effort. Participants completed an online survey developed expressly for this research. In total,
289 agencies across 38 states (including the District of Columbia) were solicited. Of these, TTI received
122 unique agency responses comprising a 42 percent response rate.

                                                                                                            Chapter: TDM Benchmarks: Comparative Results for Austin
This analysis concentrates upon citywide, countywide, and/or regional TDM programs, as these programs
are the equivalents for the Austin-specific analysis. As a result, subarea programs (including
Transportation Management Associations and Universities) and agencies with only a minimal
involvement in TDM (such as transit agencies which did not expressly state involvement in TDM) are
excluded from this analysis, although the survey contains data for these entities. In total, 67 programs
across 46 urban and rural areas are represented in this analysis, shown in Figure 2.

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                     January 21, 2009

Figure 2: Regions Responding to the TDM Program Survey


Nationally, carpooling is the most common modal alternative to the single-occupant vehicle. If a TDM

                                                                                                              Chapter: TDM Benchmarks: Comparative Results for Austin
agency wishes to encourage carpooling outside household arrangements, ridematching is typically
employed. Typically, ridematching is most effective when offered region-wide, large enough to provide
multiple viable matches, and current for contact information.

Interestingly, most ridematching programs have small-sized ridematching databases. As shown in Figure
3, approximately half of all programs, regardless of urban area size, have less than 2,500 people in their
regional ridematching databases. That said and to be expected, larger database sizes correspond with
larger urban areas, with over 30 percent each of large and very large urban areas with more than 15,000
registrants. The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) stated their database is sized
less than 2,500 members. Whereas this is in keeping with a plurality of medium-sized communities, a
majority of other such communities have well over double the size of a rideshare database.

Annual additions to the ridematch database are fairly proportionate to the size of the database as shown
in Figure 4; however, it should be noted that most agencies are more aggressive with new entries, typically
exceeding the 10 percent annual threshold for new entrants. For the Austin area, the annual addition rate
is well below the national pace, and, significantly less than medium-sized community peers.

Figure 5 shows the placement rates for ridematch participants. Interestingly, over one-third of all TDM
programs do not track the placement rates (percentage of ridematch participants who are successfully
placed in a carpool) for their ridematching systems. Small and medium-sized communities, in particular,
report unknown placement rates (exceeding three-fourths of all responding agencies). Furthermore, less

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                        January 21, 2009
than 30 percent each of large and very large metropolitan areas report more than a 20 percent placement
rate. Like many of its medium-sized peers, CAMPO had an unknown placement rate.

Figure 3: Size of Carpool Database




                                                                                                    Very Large

      20.0%                                                                                          Austin



                                                                                                                 Chapter: TDM Benchmarks: Comparative Results for Austin
              Less than   2,500 -    5,000 -   7,500 -   10,000 -   15,000 -   20,000 - 30,000 or
                2,499      4,999      7,499     9,999     14,999    19,999      29,999    more

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                      January 21, 2009
Figure 4: Annual Carpool Database Additions





      40.0%                                                                                      Large
                                                                                                 Very Large


              Less than 250 - 499 500 - 749 750 - 999   1,000 -   1,500 -   2,000 -   3,000 or
                249                                     1,499     1,999      2,999     more

                                                                                                              Chapter: TDM Benchmarks: Comparative Results for Austin

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                       January 21, 2009
Figure 5: Placement Rates for Carpools / Vanpools





      40.0%                                                                                      Large
                                                                                                 Very Large


              Unknown    1 - 3%     4 - 6%    7 - 9%   10 - 14%   15 - 19%   20 - 24%   25% or

                                                                                                               Chapter: TDM Benchmarks: Comparative Results for Austin

Unlike carpooling, even the most successful vanpool programs are limited to the number of vans
available. As such vanpools tend to be viewed as an overall mobility option for regions with disaggregated
employment nodes, or, a means of addressing trip-making for specific employers.

As could be expected, the larger the metropolitan area, the greater the number of operational vanpools in
the region. As shown in Figure 6, though, large urban areas tend to lag their medium-sized and very
large-sized counterparts in the total number of vanpools in service. Indeed, half of responding medium-
sized communities has more than 100 vanpools in operation, whereas none of the responding large-sized
communities exhibit the same. Capital Metro indicated the Austin area had 100 – 124 vans in operation
in 2008.

Figure 7 shows the mean percentage of a region‟s vanpool fleet that corresponds with different size
categories. Despite the recent trends towards the use of minivans and the discontinuation of large-size
vans (such as the Chevrolet Astro), over 60 percent of the operational vanpool fleet fall in the mid-range
and large categories, with no clear favoritism across urban area size save for small urban areas‟ preference
for minivans.

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                     January 21, 2009
Figure 8 shows who has primary responsibility for various administrative tasks: the agency itself (or
regional partner), a third-party entity/vendor, or individual vanpools. In general across the country, the
agency tends to be almost universally responsible for placing riders in vans, whereas the individual
vanpool is responsible for gasoline, tolls, and other fees associated with operating the vanpool on a day-
to-day basis. Besides these two general categories, the division of responsibility is conducted by various
entities based upon their institutional arrangements.

Figure 9 shows the types of vanpool subsidies that are used by various agencies. Almost one-third of all
vanpool service providers do not offer any subsidies for service. However, for those that did offer
subsidies, agencies in all urban area sizes offered, on average, more than one type of subsidy. Capital
Metro indicated they offer four different types of incentives, much more than their peers. Incentives for
drivers (such as free use of the van) are the most common, followed by flat-rate pricing per seat and/or
empty-seat subsidies.

Figure 6: Number of Operational Vanpools in Region






                                                                                                              Chapter: TDM Benchmarks: Comparative Results for Austin
       40%                                                                                       Large
                                                                                                 Very Large


               None        1 - 49     50 - 99    100 - 199   200 - 299   300 - 499 500 or more

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                  January 21, 2009
Figure 7: Mean Percentage of Van Size by Size Category

      90.0%                                                                                 Small
                                                                                            Very Large
      60.0%                                                                                 AUSTIN






                 Minivan (5-6)       Midrange (7-10)     Large (11-14)   Very Large (15+)

                                                                                                          Chapter: TDM Benchmarks: Comparative Results for Austin

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities   January 21, 2009
Figure 8: Administration of Vanpools






      30.0%                                           In house
                                                      Third Party
      20.0%                                           Individual Vanpools



                                                                            Chapter: TDM Benchmarks: Comparative Results for Austin

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                       January 21, 2009
Figure 9: Vanpool Subsidies Offered by Agency

             Average Number of Subsidies for Those Agencies
  70.0%      That Provide Subsidies:
             Rural: 2.0   Medium: 1.8    Large: 1.5   Very-Large: 2.18






          DiscountedTrial pricingFixed-price Percent     Payroll    NONE   Empty seat Flat-rate    Driver
           gasoline                per seat discount of deduction           subsidies pricing per subsidies
                                               total    incentive                      vanpool

                                                                                                              Chapter: TDM Benchmarks: Comparative Results for Austin

A critical barrier to commuter use of non-SOV modes is the perceived dependence on a vehicle during
work hours. Commuters desire having a vehicle ready for use in order to run an errand, have an off-site
meeting, or just in case an emergency occurs. One strategy offered is guaranteed (emergency) ride home
(GRH) programs for emergencies or unexpected working hours (such as a late meeting). The evidence
suggests that a GRH program will encourage some commuters who would not otherwise use non-SOV
modes to do so, as the service appears to provide peace of mind to commuters, although they may never
find a need to use it. 2

Figure 10 shows the maximum number of GRH rides per year that are offered to program participants. As
seen, most programs limit the number of GRH trips to 4 or less per year (including Austin), although
many programs do not confine their trips to a set number of trips (represented as “other” in this graphic).
Figure 11 shows the average number of program participants who use GRH services. Notably, three-
quarters of all responding agencies report that less than 500 individuals use GRH services per year.
Finally, Figure 12 indicates the process for payment for GRH services. Approximately half of responding
agencies use vouchers provided to individual participants. A notable percentage of rural, large and very
large urban areas use direct transaction payments to GRH service providers, such as taxi, rental-car, and
transit services.

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                         January 21, 2009
Figure 10: Maximum Number of GRH Rides Per Year Per Participant




       40%                                                                                        Rural
                                                                                                  Very Large


              4 or less rides per   5 to 8 rides per year 9 to 12 rides per year   Other

                                                                                                               Chapter: TDM Benchmarks: Comparative Results for Austin

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                         January 21, 2009
Figure 11: TDM Program Participants Using GRH Services Each Year

    60%                                                                                           Rural
                                                                                                  Very Large

    40%                                                                                            Austin




          Less than 25   25 - 99     100 - 499    500 - 999 1000 - 1499 More than         Other
          participants participants participants participants participants    1500

                                                                                                               Chapter: TDM Benchmarks: Comparative Results for Austin

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                      January 21, 2009
Figure 12: Payment Process for GRH Services

       70%                                                                                       Rural

                                                                                                 Very Large





                      Voucher                 Reimbursement             Direct transaction

                                                                                                                Chapter: TDM Benchmarks: Comparative Results for Austin

Marketing and outreach for modal alternatives form the foundation of many TDM programs. As is seen in
the survey results, marketing is conducted through a variety of strategies and mechanisms, with the
attempt to find “what works” for each community. Figure 13 illustrates the types of employer outreach
conducted by regional TDM programs. Maintaining a personal level of contact with employers, either
through site visits, participation in employer associations, or presentations to businesses, rates highly for
TDM programs incorporating an employer outreach program. With the exception of email solicitation,
impersonal attempts for outreach (such as direct mail and newspaper advertising) are not used as often.

As shown in Figure 14, employer outreach programs incorporate a variety of marketing and education
strategies, with no strategy particularly dominant. Figure 15 shows the specific marketing strategies
deployed in a regional setting, for which no survey data was available for Austin. The most common
strategy is a program website, followed by employer marketing and commuter fairs. The use of social
marketing, an emerging concept for TDM promotion, is limited to less than 20 percent of responding
programs. As could be expected, peer-to-peer promotional efforts tend to be more common in smaller

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities   January 21, 2009
Figure 13: Methods for Employer Outreach

   100%                                                     Rural
   80%                                                      Large
                                                            Very Large







                                                                         Chapter: TDM Benchmarks: Comparative Results for Austin

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities               January 21, 2009
Figure 14: Employer Outreach and Marketing Strategies Deployed






       40%                                                              Small
                                                                        Very Large
       10%                                                               Austin

                                                                                     Chapter: TDM Benchmarks: Comparative Results for Austin

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                      January 21, 2009
Figure 15: Regional Marketing Strategies Deployed






      50%                                                                                         Rural

      40%                                                                                         Small
      20%                                                                                         Very Large



                                                                                                               Chapter: TDM Benchmarks: Comparative Results for Austin

As seen in Figure 16, a majority of programs evaluate its performance, in order, for program awareness,
vehicular trip reduction, modal shifts, and outreach measures. CAMPO only uses goals achievement and
program awareness metrics for evaluation. The survey did not address nor examine the robustness of
these evaluations; it simply asked respondents as to whether they do the evaluation for the criteria or not.
The least common criteria evaluated were customer satisfaction, goals achievement (for which, CAMPO
does conduct), and cost effectiveness.

Figure 17 provides the specific metrics used in performance evaluation. Metrics for which the agency
likely has the requisite data available – such as number of individuals participating in events and number
of operational vanpools – rate highly in terms of employment. By comparison, those metrics whose data
may be external to the agency – such as travel time delay reduction or emissions reduction – are only
employed by a small percentage of TDM programs. Interestingly, over 70 percent of respondents stated
they evaluate their program for vehicular trip reduction, yet slightly over 60 percent claimed number of
vehicular trips reduced as a metric (with lesser rates for SOV rate, transit ridership, and mode shifts,
additional components to vehicular trip reduction).

Finally, Figure 18 provides a comparison of regional expenditures for TDM services. Comparing total
annual budget to size of metropolitan area, the Austin area lags significantly behind its peers, and has one
of the lowest expenditure programs for a metropolitan area its size.

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities   January 21, 2009
Figure 16: TDM Performance Evaluation





     30%                                                    Medium
     20%                                                    Very Large

     10%                                                     Austin


                                                                         Chapter: TDM Benchmarks: Comparative Results for Austin

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                           January 21, 2009
Figure 17: Performance Evaluation Metrics Employed

      Event participation
          VMT reduction
   Vanpool participation
        Operational vans
      Employer contacts
 Vehicular trip reduction
    Carpool participation
     Assistance requests
  Employer participation
        Transit ridership
                SOV rate
         Placement rate
         Retention rates
             Mode shifts
      Bicycle commuters
      Emissions reduced
  Telework participation
     Cost per participant
       Parking reduction
         Delay reduction
                            0%   10%       20%       30%   40%   50%   60%       70%     80%

                                                                                                 Chapter: TDM Benchmarks: Comparative Results for Austin

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                                                                                                        January 21, 2009
Figure 18: TDM Program Expenditures by Size of Metropolitan Population


  Annual Total Budget for TDM and Related Services

                                                                                                                        Riverside / San Bernardino, CA


                                                                                                                                                                  Washington, DC


                                                      $3,000,000                                                                                                     Miami -Dade
                                                                                                                                               San Francisco / Oakland
                                                                       Tucson     Raleigh-Durham

                                                                        Salt Lake City                                              Phoenix                       Philadelphia
                                                                   -     1,000,000        2,000,000          3,000,000            4,000,000         5,000,000            6,000,000   7,000,000
                                                                                                      Population of Metropolitan Statistical Area

                                                                                                                                                                                                 Chapter: TDM Benchmarks: Comparative Results for Austin

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                     January 21, 2009


TDM strategies not only work best when combined with complementary strategies, but they also can be
analyzed for effectiveness in summary packages. In order to leverage regional opportunities and be
cognizant of limitations in analysis and implementation, this analysis endeavored to develop a range of
TDM possibilities and evaluate their effectiveness upon key performance metrics.

Key measures of effectiveness in the performance analysis included:

           Reduction in Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT)
           Reduction in vehicular trips
           Modal shift for person throughput



There are thirteen major employment centers in the Austin area, defined as discrete areas containing
more than 10,000 employees, as shown in Figure 19. These employment centers comprise easily
identifiable areas (such as Downtown Austin and University of Texas) as well as more spread-out areas
without conventional names. In the circumstance of the latter, geographic or topical descriptions are
used, such as the "Urban Retail" employment area, including areas directly to the west of Downtown
Austin and north of Town Lake. This study will examine twelve of the thirteen employment areas. The
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport will not be examined because the available data is not reflective of
current employment statistics, as the basis for data (2000) was prior to the opening of the airport in this

                                                                                                              Chapter: TDM Scenario Analysis for the Austin Area

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities   January 21, 2009
Figure 19: Austin Area Employment Centers

                                                                        Chapter: TDM Scenario Analysis for the Austin Area

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                     January 21, 2009


The downtown area holds the single largest concentration of jobs in the Central Texas area with 61,640
total employment with 40,314 office and 21325 non-office jobs. Commuters traveling into downtown
from inside Travis County accounted for 80 percent of the employment in the downtown area. Most of
the commuters traveling into the downtown area, 48,745 or about 80 percent, drove alone while 14
percent commute by carpool or vanpool. Due to its central location, the use of public transit into the
downtown was the highest for the region - four percent of the total commute.

Due to the large number of office jobs, available parking, and employment density, the downtown
employment area is an opportune location to apply a variety of TDM strategies. Such strategies include
and are not limited to preferential carpool/vanpool parking, transit/rail pass subsides, shuttles/carshare
from rail station, and alternative mode subsides or promotions.


The Capitol Complex area is another centrally located employment center. The area employs 15,585 office
and 8,699 non-office employees. Travis County residents account for 78 percent of the Capital Complex's
total employment. Williamson County accounts for the greatest number of out-of-county workers with 12
percent while Hays County accounts for six percent. While 80 percent of workers drive alone to the
Capital Complex, 15 percent take multiple-person carpools with 11 percent using two-person carpools and
four percent using carpools of three or more. Like other adjacent employment centers, the Capitol
Complex has a slightly larger percentage of workers utilizing public transit with four percent.

Similar to the Downtown employment area, the Capital Complex will benefit from a range of TDM
policies. Parking management techniques for carpools/vanpools could include preferential parking,
reduced parking rate, or free parking. Because the Capital Complex is slightly outside walking distance
from any rail station, shuttles or carsharing options would be beneficial. Site improvements for the
complex could promote walking and biking as commute options.

                                                                                                              Chapter: TDM Scenario Analysis for the Austin Area

The Urban Retail employment center is centrally located to the west and south of downtown Austin. The
Urban Retail employment center is the smallest of the employment centers with a total employment of
23,612 (12,560 office and 11,052 non-office). The majority of the Urban Retail area workers reside in
Travis County. The largest out-of-county source of workers is Williamson County. In spite of its
centralized location, the Urban Retail area does not have high levels of public transit use. Most of the
area's workers drive alone.

Possible TDM strategies for the Urban Retail area could include increased transit, site improvements, and
preferential parking. Employer provided transit passes could increase transit use in this centrally located
area. Site improvements could include a complete sidewalk network, additional bicycle parking, and
transit stop shelters. This area would benefit from preferential parking for carpools and vanpools due to
limited parking.


Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                      January 21, 2009
The University area has the second highest concentration of jobs in the Central Texas region with 27,485
total employed (11,065 office and 16,404 non-office). Students are not included in this analysis. Most of
the University-area workers (88 percent) reside in Travis County. Williamson County residents account
for the largest share of out of county workers with seven percent of the total workforce. As so many of the
University area's workers reside so close to where they work, this employment center has the lowest
percentage of workers who drive alone of any other major employment center (about 60 percent). The
area also has a large number of workers who travel by bus (14 percent) and a substantial number of
walkers (2,635 or ten percent). Multiple person carpools account for 12 percent of the total commute into
the University area.

Flexible work schedules and teleworking are not likely to substantially reduce peak period commute trips
for the University area, due to already atypical business hours and (for faculty) a need to be available for
students during established class time and office hours. The University area would benefit from TDM
applications promoting alternative commute modes such as preferential parking, transit subsides, and
monthly promotions or incentives.


The Medical Park area encompasses the area around the intersection of Lamar Boulevard and West 38th
Street. Employment for the area totals 15,935 with 7,805 office and 8,130 non-office jobs. Travis County
residents account for 79 percent of the Medical Park employment area's total employment, while
Williamson County residents account for 12 percent and Hays County residents for four percent. Bastrop
County residents account for three percent of the area‟s total employment. Due to the diversity of
residence areas for Medical Park area workers, there are larger numbers of commuters driving alone (81
percent). For the remaining commuters carpooling accounts for 12 percent, public transit three percent,
bicycling for two percent, and walking for one percent.

Similar to the University area, the Medical Park employment area would not significantly benefit from
flexible schedules or teleworking. This employment area already has a large portion of its employees
working staggered shifts. Carpooling and vanpooling promotion could be ideal for this area, since almost
20 percent of employees live outside Travis County.

                                                                                                               Chapter: TDM Scenario Analysis for the Austin Area

The Arboretum employment area straddles MoPac (Loop 1), the Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360),
and north U.S. 183. This employment area consists of 24,193 total employment (17,805 office and 6,388
non-office occupations). Williamson County contributes 22 percent of those that work in the area with 56
percent living in tracts immediately adjacent to U.S. 183. Very little of the total commute into the
Arboretum area is from outside of Williamson or Travis counties. While 84 percent of Arboretum area
workers commute alone, twelve percent utilize carpools and vanpools. Only two percent of the area's
workers use public transit as a commute option.

Due to the amount of parking in the Arboretum area, parking pricing is not suitable. However,
preferential parking for carpools and vanpools could be valuable. Since a large portion of Arboretum,
area workers live nearby, walking and bicycling promotion would be beneficial. Employers in this area
should strongly market alternative commute modes to support trip reduction. Alternative works
schedules could also provide an option for employees to alter their commute pattern.

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                      January 21, 2009


Most of the commuters coming into the NW Tech area originate from the northern areas of the Central
Texas region due to the center's location north of U.S. 183 and east of Loop 1. Total employment for the
area is 22,040, divided into 17,550 office and 4,490 non-office occupations. Commuters from Williamson
County make up 25 percent of the area's employment, while North Travis County accounts for 24 percent.
The NW Tech area has one of the highest percentages of single occupant vehicles (SOV) commuters of any
of the major employment centers with 84 percent. Twelve percent of the area's workers utilize multiple
person carpools.

A multitude of TDM strategies can be utilized to target the 84 percent SOV rate for the area. The NW
Tech employment area would use similar TDM applications as the Arboretum. The area‟s close proximity
to the rail station provides an opportunity for employers to supply subsided rail passes and shuttles to and
from the station. While preferential parking, alternative work schedules, and site improvements could be
useful TDM applications to promote alternative commutes.


The largest employment center within Williamson County is the city of Round Rock with a total of 17,945
jobs with 13,715 office and 4,234 non-office. Most workers in the Round Rock employment center (50
percent) reside in Williamson County. While the north portion of Travis County accounts for 34 percent
of the area's workers. Even with most of its workforce living close by, the Round Rock employment center
has very high levels of commuters driving alone with 86 percent, the second highest in the region.
Multiple person carpools account for 13 percent of commuters. Bus riders, bicycle riders and walkers
combined to account for less than one percent of the area commute.

The Round Rock area could benefit from TDM strategies such as monthly incentives for using alternative
commute modes, alternative work schedules, and area based rideshare matching. Network improvements
could also encourage those employees living close to work to walk or bicycle as a commute mode.


                                                                                                               Chapter: TDM Scenario Analysis for the Austin Area
The Light Industrial employment center is located in North Austin between Lamar Boulevard and IH-35
and between U.S. 183 and Koenig Lane. This employment area has a total employment of 17,423 (office
11,055 and non-office 6,368). Travis County residents account for 74 percent of the Light Industrial
employment center's workers. Williamson County residents account for 16 percent of the area's workers
while Hays County accounts for three percent. While 79 percent of commuters traveling into the Light
Industrial employment center drive alone, 17 percent utilize carpools, the second highest rate in the
region. Travel by automobile accounts for 94 percent of the commute into the area with only two percent
of workers using public transit.

The Light Industrial employment area would benefit from specific TDM strategies. Flex or alternative
schedules would not be useful since employees have staggered shifts. Instead, strategies such as
carpool/vanpool incentives or transit passes would encourage trip reductions. There are two planned rail
stations within the Light Industrial employment area. These stops will provide employees an alternative
commute mode. Similar to other employment centers located near rail stops, this employment area could
profit from shuttles to and from the rail stations.


Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                     January 21, 2009
San Marcos is the largest employment center (15,115 jobs) within Hays County, yet it accounts for only
two percent of Central Texas employment. Office jobs make up a majority of employment with 8,060
while non-office makes-up 7,055. The majority (82 percent) of San Marcos workers reside in Hays
County. Eight percent commute from Caldwell County, while five percent commute from the southern
Travis County. Due to the proximity of its workers to their place of residence, the San Marcos
employment center has lower levels of commuters driving alone (75 percent) than what is found
elsewhere in the region. Carpooling accounts for 14 percent of the commute into San Marcos. The San
Marcos area has the highest level of workers walking to work with nine percent.

San Marcos‟ TDM focus should target its employment types and density. The San Marcos employment
area would benefit from alternative mode promotion and alternative work schedules. Parking
applications for this area would not be an incentive for commuters to switch from a single occupant
vehicle to another mode.


West Lake has 20,548 jobs with 14,180 being office and 6,368 being non-office. The majority (83 percent)
of the West Lake workforce resides in Travis County. Williamson County is the largest source of out of
county workers with nine percent of the area workforce while Hays County residents account for four
percent of the area workforce. Because such a large percentage of the workforce lives around the
employment center, a large percentage of them drive to work. While 84 percent of the workers in the
West Lake area drive alone, eight percent utilize two-person carpools and two percent utilize carpools of
three or more. Automobile travel accounts for 94 percent of the commute into the area. West Lake has a
slightly larger percentage of residents who work at home with three percent. Another three percent of the
area's commuters use bicycles, public transit, and walking.

Due to the large number of employees who live around the employment center, site improvements and
monthly alternative commute mode incentives would provide the greatest peak period trip reduction
benefit. Also, alternative work schedules and telework options would be an option for many employees.


                                                                                                             Chapter: TDM Scenario Analysis for the Austin Area
The Northeast Technology employment center is located north of U.S. 290 East and East Anderson Lane
and between Dessau Road and Springdale Road, with an employment base of 11,185 office and 7,425 non-
office 3,760 workers. Travis County residents account for 70 percent of the Northeast Tech area's
workers. The area's location in Northern Travis County means that a large percentage of the workforce
(22 percent) resides in Williamson County. Automobile travel accounts for 98 percent of the commute
into the area with 86 percent of workers driving alone, the highest percentage of any of the regional
employment centers.

Due to the area's distance from the central business district and major residential developments, it would
benefit from carpool and vanpool promotion along with alternative work schedules.


In the 1980s, Transportation Management Associations (also called Transportation Management
Organizations) began to emerge as public-private partnerships designed to address local traffic congestion
and air quality problems. Over 150 TMAs are in operation today in the United States and Canada,

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                      January 21, 2009
including large cities such as Houston, Los Angeles, Seattle, Atlanta, and San Francisco, as well as Austin‟s
peer cities of Portland, Denver, Raleigh/Durham, Salt Lake City, and Minneapolis.

TMA services vary by organization. The most common service is member advocacy and regional service
brokerage. Advocacy can range from working with the local transit provider to improve routing and
service to lobbying federal decision-makers on laws that can impact the commute. Brokerage provides a
localized mechanism to connect employees and employers to regional transit and vanpool service
providers. Other typical services include conducting ridesharing promotional events at employment sites,
producing materials that promote multimodal forms of transportation that are specific to local employers,
forming vanpools and carpools, managing parking resources, selling transit passes, promoting the use of
bicycle facilities, and much more. Nearly one-third of the TMAs operate a shuttle service within their
service area, connecting regional rapid transit facilities. The average annual budget for TMAs is between
$100,000 and $250,000. Two of the largest sources of revenue for a TMA are dues (47 percent on
average of total revenue) and grants (40 percent).

The reasons for forming a TMA are largely based on the need to address parking constraints and
mobility/accessibility problems experienced in the TMA service area. A TMA can provide a forum for
collective planning and action among private sector interests and a means for ongoing coordination with
the public sector. Working together can have a greater impact on traffic than the summed efforts of each
private and public interest working alone. Typically, the criteria for determining TMA potential requires
an area that is definable, growing, and currently experiencing severe transportation problems.

Using criteria for TMA designation, the Austin region has four possible opportunities from the twelve
employment centers. These possible TMAs are located Downtown, in the University area, in the
Arboretum area, and in Round Rock.

       Downtown TMA (Downtown, Urban Retail, and Capital Complex): The Downtown TMA would
        also include the Capital Complex and Urban Retail areas. These three employment areas have
        blurred boundaries creating one definable area. Due to its location, these areas have terrible
        congestion and parking problems. Most medium-sized and larger cities have a downtown TMA,
        including Atlanta, Houston, Minneapolis, Denver, Portland, and Salt Lake City.
       University TMA (University and Medical Park): The University TMA includes both the

                                                                                                                Chapter: TDM Scenario Analysis for the Austin Area
        University (of Texas) and Medical Park areas. Unlike the Downtown TMA, these two employment
        areas are not directly adjacent to one another. Even though they are not geographically merged,
        they have similar growth, development, and commute characteristics which make a combined
        effort feasible. Models of University / Medical TMA‟s are found in Houston, Denver, and Los
       Arboretum TMA (Arboretum and NE Tech): The Arboretum TMA not only includes the
        Arboretum area but also the NE Tech employment area. These two employment areas have
        similar land use patterns. They are removed from the dense downtown area; however, they have
        similar trip reduction opportunities. Surburban TMA‟s are typically more limited in their scope,
        and tend to take on an enhanced advocacy role as a part of their services.
       Round Rock TMA: The Round Rock employment area has a limited possibility as TMA. As
        mentioned previously Round Rock‟s employment density restricts the amount of TDM
        possibilities. This area is growing rapidly, but it does not have large enough transportation
        problems to influence personal commute patterns. Nonetheless, sufficient positive indicators
        suggest a Round Rock TMA may be feasible.

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                      January 21, 2009


The principal tool used to examine the effects of TDM upon local and regional travel was the
Environmental Protection Agency‟s COMMUTER (version 2.0) model. The COMMUTER model is not a
micro-simulation model with pinpoint accuracy for specific TDM strategies. Rather, COMMUTER
aggregates the effects of various TDM strategies and models how those effects translate into the
performance metrics identified above. To the extent individual strategies are not effectively evaluated,
TDM packages are deployed for analysis. Furthermore, TDM strategies have the most application and
demonstrable success when actively implemented at worksites. As national evidence shows, employers
can be very successful at reducing vehicular trips on-site. When aggregated into employment nodes, as
done in this analysis (using metrics originally developed for the Austin Transportation Databook, these
worksite trip reductions can have an impact on not only local trips, but also regional commute trips. The
program elements contained within the national evidence is used to synthesize TDM strategies for the
primary transportation scenarios to be analyzed per employment node.

Commute trips, it should be noted, account for less than 25 percent of all vehicular trips in the Austin
area. As such, affecting residential and visitor trips is important towards reducing the overall impact of
vehicular use growth on traffic in the region. Unfortunately, non-commute TDM programs have limited
effectiveness. Although work-based-other (WBO) trips (such as an employee who travels at noon for
lunch) are technically considered non-commute, they are affected by TDM programs at the employer.
Furthermore, the COMMUTER model (as the name implies) only evaluates commute trips. For
universities, this means that staff and faculty trips to work are evaluated, but student trips are not.


A variety of strategies can be used to influence the demand for travel in the Austin area. Already, many
efforts are already at play throughout the region and have generated improvements to mobility and travel
options. TDM strategies focus on encouraging different forms of commute travel and alternative work
arrangements. Primary transportation modes include carpooling, vanpooling, public transit, bicycling,
and walking. Alternative work arrangements include flex-time, compressed work weeks, and teleworking.

                                                                                                             Chapter: TDM Scenario Analysis for the Austin Area
The following scenario packages identify the range of TDM strategies that were examined in greater depth
for employment centers throughout Austin. Each scenario package is introduced in three levels of
potential application. The level demonstrates both the intensity of application and resource commitment
needed. Additional expectations for effectiveness are included.

The three levels are defined as:

       Basic – using generally existing regional financial and staff resources to implement the scenario.
        Most elements that fall under “basic” implementation have already been successfully applied in
        the Austin region, so this package serves as a baseline.
       Moderate – applying strategies from successful applications around the country and adding
        resources to the basic services. These resources may come from either the public or private
        sectors. Generally, moderate strategies tend to be those that are accomplished within existing
        statutory guidance, but require a formal commitment of resources and mindset to demand
       Aggressive – moving beyond current experiences from around the country to create a new level
        of implementation. In some cases, concepts may be experimental or require new statutory

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                     January 21, 2009
        authorization. In many regards, an aggressive stance would place the Austin region at the
        forefront of demand management in the United States.

It should be noted that the “Basic” strategy package is applied to the Austin region-as-a-whole, without
consideration to subregional differences. This is an important distinction from the “Moderate” and
“Aggressive” packages, as one of the principal efforts for this project is to provide eventual TDM guidance
and strategy for different employment centers in the Austin area. For example, it is likely that TDM
options for the Downtown / Capital Complex areas will be different from those recommended and applied
in the Arboretum area, due to differing extent of commuter services and expectations. As a result, due to
differing land use and commuter service expectations, the TDM options for the Downtown area vary from
those recommended in the Arboretum, University, and Round Rock area.

Two package levels were modeled for each employment area - a moderate and an aggressive package.
These packages differed by TDM application intensity and employer support.


The following is a list of possible moderate TDM applications (with differing rates of adoption and
deployment across the employment centers). It should be noted that many (if not most) of these
strategies are already pursued to some extent within the Austin region. What makes these strategies
“moderate” as opposed to “basic” is the level of adoption by employers, which in turn requires a
substantially greater level of effort in promotion and enrollment.

       Promote and assist use of pre-tax incentives –employers subsidize and/or establish HR
        mechanisms for the use of pre-tax salary set-asides to assist in paying for employees‟ commute
        related expenses (vanpool and transit: $115.00 and bicycle: $20)
       Trial bus / rail transit passes – employers provide a free pass (weekly or monthly) to get
        employees to use transit or rail as a commute option
       Preferential parking for carpools / vanpools – parking spots located closest to the building
        are reserved for carpool and vanpool commuters by employers and property managers
       Basic on-site marketing for transportation – posters, flyers, and newsletters are used to

                                                                                                               Chapter: TDM Scenario Analysis for the Austin Area
        promote commute mode alternatives on-site
       Site improvements – provide or upgrade bike racks, sidewalks, and transit stops
       Monthly incentives / promotions – commuters who take advantage of alternative modes are
        given either monetary or product incentives, based upon performance metrics
       Onsite employee transportation coordinators (ETC) – provide help and information to
        individual employees on the benefits of commute alternatives


The aggressive level goes beyond the moderate TDM strategies, both in types of strategy applied and in
the level of employer dedication to implementing the strategies.

       Parking cash-out / transportation allowance – Parking cash out offers commuters the cash
        equivalent of subsidized parking if they use alternative travel modes. Transportation allowance is
        a financial payment provided to employees instead of parking subsidies.
       Inclusive bus/rail transit pass program –free transit or rail passes to all employees within
        the employment zone.

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                        January 21, 2009

       Financial incentives for alternative commute trips – provide financial incentives to all
        employees who commute using an alternative mode.
       Telework program promotion and assistance – aggressively incentivize and promote
        employers to adopt work from home or other locations for employees
       Improved transit service – more frequent / direct service along existing routes to
        employment centers. New routes, although certainly an aggressive TDM strategy, was not
        included due to model constraints.
       Shuttles / carshare from rail stations – provide highly frequent shuttles or carsharing to
        and from rail stations to employment centers
       Network improvements – create a cohesive network of sidewalks and bike lanes surrounding
        the employment area
       Trip reduction / incentive ordinance – provide incentives to employers who achieve an
        optional trip reduction goal


Low, medium, and high scenarios modeled for each of the TDM package levels provided a peak period
commute trip and VMT reduction range for each employment zone. These scenarios reflected employer
participation rates and eligibility rates for alternative work schedules and telework for the different levels.
All the possible TMA eligible employment areas had an input employer participation rate varying from 15
percent for the moderate low package to 65 percent for the aggressive high package. The eligibility rate
for alternative work schedules and telework ranged from 5 percent to 40 percent. While those
employment areas outside identified TMA analysis zones varied 5 percent to 35 percent employer
participation and eligibility rate ranged from 5 percent 25 percent. The employment areas fitting the
TMA criteria had higher employer participation and eligibility for alternative schedules and telework due
to the nature of these organizations. These adjustments only pertain to the participation rates of
employers directly. The COMMUTER model adjusts the results based upon office and non-office
employment, and as such the effectiveness on employees is reflected in the results.


                                                                                                                  Chapter: TDM Scenario Analysis for the Austin Area
Some notes on the model results pertain to all employment zones:

       Commute trips only. Trip reductions were modeled against commute trips only, with the basis
        being the U.S. Census for Transportation Planning Package (2000) Part 2 database, extrapolated
        to 2006 (the basis for the 2007 Austin Transportation Databook). As a result, the following
        results do provide commute trip reductions for university faculty and staff, but not students.
       Parking charges. There are existing parking charges in many of the employment zones. The
        effect of this existing parking pricing is an amplification of pricing effectiveness in the model, as
        the model assumes no parking costs when pricing is imposed. As a result, in order to reduce the
        net impact of parking pricing and/or parking cash-out in the aggressive packages, parking pricing
        rates were lower-than-market-rate.
       Range of effectiveness. From a forecasting perspective, the model represents 1) adoption rate
        of TDM by employers, and, 2) applicability of TDM. As the COMMUTER model already adjusts
        results based upon office and non-office employment, much of the effectiveness on employees is
        already reflected in the results. These adjustments only pertain to the participation rates of
        employers directly.

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                                          January 21, 2009

         Similar results. The results for each employment zone will look similar, as the strategies
          selected are likewise similar. Differences will primarily be found in those areas were strengths
          compound the strategies deployed.


Across all employment zones, as shown in Figure 20 and Figure 21, the variation in performance of the
TDM program between employment areas is greater in the aggressive packages than the moderate
packages. This is to be expected, as the moderate packages involve primarily “doing more with what you
already do,” whereas the aggressive packages provide new strategies and actions that leverage the
strengths of each employment area.

Moderate implementation of TDM per employment area could reduce up to 3 percent of peak hour
vehicular trips whereas aggressive implementation could yield up to 12 percent reduction.



  10.0%                                    9.7%


                                 6.3%                6.5%

   6.0%                                                        5.5%
             5.3%      5.1%
                                                                                    4.6%                4.6%
                                                                                                                  3.9%      4.0%
   4.0%                                                                                       3.7%

                                                                                                                                   Chapter: TDM Scenario Analysis for the Austin Area
          2.2%                2.2%      2.3%                                     2.2%                2.3%
                                                  1.9%                                                         1.7%
   2.0%                                                                                    1.6%                          1.4%


                                                  Moderate            Aggressive

Figure 20: Percent Reduction in Peak Hour Vehicular Trips (by employment area)

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                                                            January 21, 2009







  4.0%                                                                                                        3.6%          3.6%                    3.6%

  2.0%    1.8%                    1.7%          1.8%                           1.8%          1.8%                    1.7%
                                                                    1.2%                               1.2%                        1.2%


                                                             Moderate         Aggressive

Figure 21: Percent Reduction in Single Occupant Vehicle Mode Use (by employment area)

The following figures show the relative effectiveness of the TDM packages upon the four identified
candidate TMA regions: Downtown (which includes the Capital Complex, and Urban Retail zones),
University (which also includes the Medical Park), Arboretum (including Northwest Tech), and Round

                                                                                                                                                           Chapter: TDM Scenario Analysis for the Austin Area

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                              January 21, 2009

  1,380,000                    35,629
  1,340,000                                                          120,840
  1,280,000                   1,364,258
  1,240,000                                                         1,279,047
                            Moderate                               Aggressive

                                       Remaining      Eliminated

Figure 22: Downtown TMA Peak Vehicle Miles Traveled Eliminated



  112,000                      2,826


                                                                                                   Chapter: TDM Scenario Analysis for the Austin Area

  104,000                    110,855


                           Moderate                                Aggressive

                                       Remaining      Eliminated

Figure 23: Downtown TMA Peak Vehicular Trips Eliminated

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                              January 21, 2009



  500,000                                                            38,305


  460,000                                                           481,619

                           Moderate                                Aggressive

                                       Remaining      Eliminated

Figure 24: University TMA Peak Vehicle Miles Traveled Eliminated



   37,000                                                             3,645


                                                                                                   Chapter: TDM Scenario Analysis for the Austin Area

   34,000                                                            35,043

                          Moderate                                 Aggressive

                                       Remaining      Eliminated

Figure 25: University TMA Peak Vehicular Trips Eliminated

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                               January 21, 2009



  600,000                                                             33,682

  560,000                                                             582,586

                           Moderate                                 Aggressive

                                        Remaining     Eliminated

Figure 26: Arboretum TMA Peak Vehicle Miles Traveled Eliminated




                                                                                                    Chapter: TDM Scenario Analysis for the Austin Area


                          Moderate                                 Aggressive

                                      Remaining      Eliminated

Figure 27: Arboretum TMA Peak Vehicular Trips Eliminated

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                              January 21, 2009


  240,000                     5,647


  200,000                   236,207


                          Moderate                                 Aggressive

                                      Remaining     Eliminated

Figure 28: Round Rock TMA Peak Vehicle Miles Traveled Eliminated





                                                                                                   Chapter: TDM Scenario Analysis for the Austin Area
  18,800                    19,438


                         Moderate                                  Aggressive

                                      Remaining     Eliminated

Figure 29: Round Rock TMA Peak Vehicular Trips Eliminated

Austin Commute Solutions: Review and Opportunities                                   January 21, 2009


The combined findings of the national survey of TDM program operators, peer city case studies, and TDM
scenario analysis yielded the following conclusions to guide the Austin Commute Solutions program into
the short-term future.

   1. Austin lags behind its medium and large sized peers in implementing demand
      management. The Austin region has registered certain successes in demand management over
      the years. The vanpool program, in particular, has proven to be popular and robust. Additionally,
      governmental and private sector partners have successfully experimented with contemporary
      transportation solutions, such as the City of Austin‟s Smart Growth incentive program, a fixed-
      rate vanpool pricing scheme, and proactive incident clearance and management. However, the
      annual investment by the region in demand management is marginal when compared to its peers,
      despite the region leading its medium-sized city peer group in annual congestion.

   2. Budgeting for a proper transportation demand management program in Austin is a
      concern. Although the level of resources devoted to TDM in Austin greatly lags its peers, the
      primary funding mechanism available to those peers – the Congestion Mitigation Air Quality
      (CMAQ) program – is not available to Austin. As a result, finding appropriate sources of funding
      will be a significant concern.

   3. Austin has possible Transportation Management Association opportunities that
      should be explored. TMA‟s can be effective at closing the gap between regional demand
      management initiatives and the application of said initiatives at area worksites by commuters.
      TMA‟s require sufficient aggregation of employment, interest, localized mobility concerns, and
      financial resources to be successful. Possibilities that may meet these criteria include the
      Downtown / Capital area, University / Medical area, and the Northwest. Private sector employers
      can be engaged through these organizations to serve as a vested partner in Austin mobility.

   4. Clear and measurable goals and objectives for the regional program should be
      established. Peer city evidence indicates that the establishment of clear expectations and
      objectives from a program is a significant contributing factor towards receiving funding to achieve
      those expectations. Commensurate with these objectives is an evaluation program that
      sufficiently determines the program‟s performance over time.

                                                                                                            Chapter: Conclusions


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