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Transportation Demand Management

Transportation Demand Management (TDM) is a layer of policies, programs, information, services, and tools that work with the transportation infrastructure and operations to support the use of sustainable modes for all trips. Together, TDM strategies result in reducing the need to rely on single occupant vehicle (SOV) trips and can help reduce households' need for car ownership. The goal of TDM is to help households, employees, and visitors make more of their trips on transit, by bike or on foot, or in shared vehicles like taxis and carshare cars. Not only do TDM strategies reduce congestion, they improve the utilization of existing services and can result in cost savings to companies and individuals.

Project Status 
Planning

WHAT IS TRANSPORTATION DEMAND MANAGEMENT?

Transportation Demand Management (TDM) is a layer of policies, programs, information, services, and tools that work with the transportation infrastructure and operations to support the use of sustainable modes for all trips. Together, TDM strategies result in reducing the need to rely on single occupant vehicle (SOV) trips and can help reduce households' need for car ownership. The goal of TDM is to help households, employees, and visitors make more of their trips on transit, by bike or on foot, or in shared vehicles like taxis and carshare cars. Not only do TDM strategies reduce congestion, they improve the utilization of existing services and can result in cost savings to companies and individuals.

San Francisco has one of the most dynamic economies and beautiful environments in the world. It is also the center of one of the most congested and most expensive regions in the nation and is experiencing a growing demand for transportation. Simply put, we cannot accommodate the increasing demand for travel within the city through driving—limited roadway space, as well as the impacts of driving on public health and the environment, makes the increased proportional use of the other modes more critical to ensure and enhance our quality of life.

The SFMTA’s goal is that at least fifty percent of all trips should be made by these sustainable modes by 2018. TDM policies, projects, and programs support this goal by making it more convenient, cost-effective, and easier to take transit, walk, bicycle, taxi, car sharing or ride sharing for more trips.

TDM programs function in several key ways:
  • Provide easy to understand information about all travel choices
  • Use marketing and incentives to shift trips to more sustainable modes
  • Influence land use to improve viability of sustainable modes
  • Use market pricing to balance transportation demand

 

SFMTA TDM PROGRAM FRAMEWORK

The SFMTA’s broad portfolio of services allows it to look at the big picture of transportation and seize those opportunities and partnerships with three strategic TDM focus areas:

  1. Land use and policy coordination
  2. Citywide parking demand management
  3. Customer oriented travel choice marketing, education and outreach

Land-use/TDM Policy Coordination: The SFMTA partners with land-use agencies to ensure mixed land-use planning that results in developments with small street block sizes, activated ground floors, facilities that promote sustainable modes of travel. The goals of this work are to:

  • Minimizing distances between jobs, housing and services to minimize the need for driving trips
  • Create the demand for, and viability of high quality transit, bicycle and walking opportunities to shift demand from driving

These development designs also create new opportunities for private investment to support the city’s transportation choices by:

  • Investing development funds into transit, bicycle and walking infrastructure through cost savings from reduced parking
  • Including transit passes, and bike sharing and carsharing memberships as part of housing costs
  • Unbundling parking and requiring peak hour parking access fees for commercial uses when garage entries and exits have the most impact on the transportation network

 Citywide parking demand management: Managing parking well is one of the most powerful strategies to affect travel choices. The SFMTA leverages the existing and new development designs to manage congestion, auto trips and VMT generation by:

  • Managing on-street and off-street parking pricing to ensure optimal usage and availability
  • Removing policies that encourage driving to congested areas/ periods of the day
  • Promoting incentives to reduce on-site auto parking
  • Supporting shared trips through policies that support taxis, carsharing, scooter sharing, and bicycle sharing to scale on our streets, in garages, and in new developments
  • Investing money generated from parking fees into the sustainable transportation system

Multi-modal marketing, education, and outreach programs: Clear information, promotion and encouragement can shift trips for residents, workers, students, and visitors. The SFMTA is pursuing communication strategies including:

  • User-friendly information about transit routes, payment, and availability
  • Wayfinding signage designed for people on foot, on bike, and on transit
  • Multi-media encouragement campaigns in partnership with businesses and other institutions
  • Targeted education campaigns about transportation options

TRANSPORTATION DEMAND MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS

Examples of TDM programs currently underway in San Francisco include:
  • Demand-Responsive Parking Pricing:  collects and distributes real-time information about where on-street and off-street parking is available, so that car drivers can quickly find parking spaces. To help achieve the right level of parking availability, SFpark periodically adjusts meter and garage pricing to match the level of demand, which encourages drivers to park in underutilized areas and garages, reducing demand in overused areas.
  • Travel Time Reduction Program: These delay-reducing treatments on the Muni Rapid Network make transit more reliable and appealing for customers.
  • Wayfinding: Temporary installations for special events (like Fleet Week 2012 an America’s Cup 2013) and permanent installations (Balboa Park station, Muni Metro hub stations) provide information about destinations and transit hubs for people on foot and on bike
  • Fast Pass, Class Pass programs: Reduced price monthly and semester Muni passes make transit even more affordable.
  • Bicycle Sharing: San Francisco is piloting a network of shared bicycles for short-term use.
  • NextMuni: Provides real-time information at bus stops, on the web, and on smart phones.
  • Emergency ride home program: Provides a guaranteed ride home in case of emergency for those who travel to work by bike, on foot, in a carpool, or in transit.
  • San Francisco Rideshare: Provides carpool and vanpool trip matching service.
  • Safe Routes to School: Promotes safe walking and biking to school.
  • TDM for Tourism: Working with the travel and tourism industry to promote transit, walking, biking and other sustainable modes for recreational and business visitors. Visitor-focused maps, communications, and transit passes and cards.
  • Commuter Shuttles Pilot: A pilot that would test sharing a limited number of Muni stops with commuter shuttles through a permit program.
  • Commute by Bike: A 2013-2014 pilot education, encouragement, and technical assistance program that works with employers on the bike network to increase bike commuting among employees.
  • TDM Partners Program: A multi-agency collaboration to pilot new programs with private sector partners to reduce drive-alone trips. Pilots include parking cashout and parking management and innovative ridesharing programs.
  • TDM for special events: Strategies to promote sustainable travel for special event trips. These include collaborations with regional transit agencies on communications, provision of enhanced transit, temporary wayfinding, satellite parking, and inclusion of transit fare in tickets/passes.