In November 1999, the National Center for Transit Research
(NCTR) located at the University of South Florida, the
Commuter Transportation (ACT), and the
International Telework Association
and Council (ITAC) teamed up to improve
the delivery of transportation demand management (TDM) and telework
programs (defined at the right).
This USDOT-funded project includes information about alternatives to driving alone and telework programs to meet the congestion, air quality,
and mobility challenges facing our communities.
Purpose of the National TDM and Telework
The need to influence travel
behavior becomes clearer as we examine recent trends. During the past
several decades, commuting behavior could be described as more people in
even more vehicles traveling to more places. Although the population
increased nearly 22 percent from 1976 to 1996, licensed drivers increased
34 percent. The suburb-to-suburb commute became the dominant commuting
pattern. Not only were there more drivers, there were 77 percent more
vehicle miles of travel (VMT).
Nevertheless, supply has increased
at a much slower rate than demand. When adjusted for inflation, highway
capital outlay in constant dollars increased by 56 percent from 1976 to
1996, but road mileage only increased 2 percent. In fact, highway
expenditures by all units of government, with inflation removed, were
about 56 percent of what they were for each vehicle mile of travel in
1976. The result of these growth and demographic trends is more traffic
By 1996, about half of peak-period
VMT occurred under congested conditions. According to the Texas
Transportation Institute (TTI), which has been measuring road congestion
since 1982, “[I]t is very difficult to maintain the financial and public
support to add roads and lanes as fast as travel volume grows. There are
only 2 of the 70 areas studied—Houston and Phoenix—with congestion
levels lower … in 1996 than in 1982”.
Automobile travel as measured by
VMT has grown at an annual rate of about 3.2 percent, whereas the
population has grown at an annual rate of 1.0 percent.
Sitting in traffic is not the only
impact from these demographic trends and travel habits. The Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that mobile sources of air pollution
account for as much as half of all cancers attributed to outdoor sources
of air pollution. The vehicle emissions control program has achieved
considerable success in reducing emissions that contribute to smog. Cars
coming off today's production lines typically emit 70 percent less
nitrogen oxides and 80 to 90 percent less hydrocarbons over their
lifetimes than did their uncontrolled counterparts of the 1960s. The
introduction of lower-volatility gasoline combined with the replacement of
older cars has resulted in air quality improvements in many U.S. cities.
However, unhealthy ozone levels are a problem across the United States,
with nearly 100 cities exceeding the EPA National Ambient Air Quality
Standard. Fifty-seven million people live in the nine cities that are
considered "severely" polluted, experiencing peak ozone levels
that exceed the standard by 50 percent or more (2).
People who will benefit from the
Contents of the
The most comprehensive and up-to-date information
on TDM and telework:
Researchers at the Center for Urban Transportation Research
(CUTR) have been compiling information
and organizing it into databases. These
researchers are specially trained to give you the information you need to
make TDM programs more effective.
The Clearinghouse also provides
several methods to allow you the opportunity to contribute information as well. The
Clearinghouse manages a TDM
listserv and a Telework
listserv so you can reach literally hundreds of colleagues around the
world who may have dealt with your problem or question.
No Cost to Use the Clearinghouse
Most services will be provided at no cost. The
Clearinghouse will also be able to answer most of your questions within 48
Sponsors and Endorsers of the
The Clearinghouse is a cooperative venture
between the National Center for Transit Research (NCTR),
the Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT),
and the International Telework Association and Council (ITAC).
CUTR is responsible for the Clearinghouse’s operations. Through grants
received from USDOT and Florida Department of Transportation, NCTR is
providing leadership and funding assistance to this project. CUTR operates the Clearinghouse, while ACT and ITAC assist CUTR in
marketing and publicizing it.
1 Center for Urban Transportation Research.
"Commute Alternatives System Handbook". University of South
Florida. Tampa, Florida. May 1996
Transportation demand management (TDM)
congestion and pollution by influencing changes in travel
behavior. Rather than building or widening roads or improving signal
timing, TDM increases the passenger capacity of the
transportation system by reducing the number of vehicles on the roadway
during peak travel times. This is accomplished
through a variety of strategies aimed at influencing mode choice,
frequency of trips, trip length, and route traveled.
Convenience, cost, and timing of alternative modes of travel are among the
issues addressed in a TDM program.1
Telework/ telecommuting is
a work arrangement in which an employee regularly works at an
alternate worksite such as the employee's home, a telecommuting
center (Telecenter), or other alternate
worksite. A telecommuting alternate worksite is any facility,
in which the employee works, which time-wise)
to a main worksite or (2) otherwise affords
the employee, the employee’s organization, and/or its customers
conveniences/benefits from not having to travel to the main worksite.
A main worksite is any facility where the employee
would normally perform work if there were no
To be considered telecommuting, the work done must
be in paid status. Thus, for example, working
at home extra hours for which the employee is not paid is
not telecommuting. The arrangement must be an
on-going, regularly used activity; to satisfy this definition, a worker must
telework a minimum
average of once per week in a continuous
arrangement that is on-going for a minimum of at least a year.