Search the USF Web site Site Map USF home page

Home
About This Web Site

logo of the Best Workplaces for Commuters

About Us

About the Clearinghouse

In November 1999, the National Center for Transit Research (NCTR) located at the University of South Florida, the Association for 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 Clearinghouse

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 congestion. 

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 Clearinghouse

Contents of the Clearinghouse 

The most comprehensive and up-to-date information on TDM and telework:

Clearinghouse Operating Procedures

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 hours.

Sponsors and Endorsers of the Clearinghouse

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

 

 

     

Terms

 

Transportation demand management (TDM) reduces traffic 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 alternate worksite.

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.

Source: ITAC
 

Copyright © 2010, University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., CUT 100, Tampa, FL 33620-5375
813.974.3120 | 813.974.5168 fax |  www.nctr.usf.edu/clearinghouse  | Privacy Policy | webmaster

National Center for Transit Research's National TDM and Telework Clearinghouse is located at the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida