STEP 1: LEARN THE LINGO
Transportation Demand Management (TDM) planning – also known as commuter benefit planning – is the practice of improving transportation access and reducing traffic congestion by encouraging employees and other visitors at a specific location to use sustainable transportation options such as carpools, vanpools, buses, bikes, walking, ferries, trains or telecommuting. TDM/commuter benefit plans often include incentives for using regional transportation resources. These plans are most effective when they are developed in cooperation with municipal governments, planning agencies and transit providers. This web site, developed with a grant from the Portland (Maine) Area Comprehensive Transportation System (PACTS), has been designed to be an easy guide for employers and developers that are creating TDM plans – required or voluntary – for their site.
The first step is to understand the purpose of TDM planning. Cities and towns encourage – and often require – employers and developers to create TDM plans, because they are a cost-effective way to reduce traffic congestion, promote sustainable transportation and improve the livability of a community. It is also important to know that there are many economic benefits to TDM planning – for our communities, for individuals and for businesses (see TDM Benefits).
But first, here are some key terms and definitions:
Employee Transportation Coordinator (aka TDM coordinator): A company representative who promotes transportation options within their company.
Transportation Demand Management (TDM): The use of policies, programs, services and products to influence why, how and when people and goods move.
Modes / alternative modes: Denotes different transportation options, including carpools, vanpools, cycling, walking, transit (buses, trains and ferries) and telecommuting.
Single-Occupant Vehicle (SOV): A person traveling by him or herself in a car.
Sustainable transportation: A transportation system that is safe, affordable, efficient, offers a choice of transportation modes and supports a vibrant economy.