Connecting TDM and Climate Change Netconference

On February 12, 2009, the National Center for Transit Research’s National TDM and Telework Clearinghouse at the University of South Florida and the Association for Commuter Transportation held a netconference entitled Connecting TDM and Climate Change.

Summary:  Does this sound familiar?

  • The cost to commute is impacting my company’s ability to recruit and retain employees.
  • The parking at my college or hospital campus is maxed out – additional parking is cost or land-use prohibitive.
  • Our community is concerned about reducing our carbon footprint and expanding mobility options

According to the US EPA, the transportation sector directly accounted for approximately 28 percent of the total U.S. GHG emissions in 20051 – higher than that of industrial, commercial, and residential sectors. Transportation is the largest end-use of carbon, which is most prevalent in GHG. Simultaneously, our urban and suburban areas are expanding causing an increase in vehicle miles traveled. VMT per household has increased from 12,400 miles (20,000 km) per year in 1969 to 21,200 miles (34,000 km) per year in 2001, a 70% increase. During the same period, VMT for commuting to work increased from 4,180 miles to 5,720 miles (6,730 km to 9,200 km), or 37%. As energy prices sky rocket and global climate change becomes an increasing concern, there has been a focus on alternative fuels and smart-growth land-use practices to address greenhouse gas emissions. Both are valuable tools in tackling climate change. But these are only two legs of a three-legged stool. Many businesses, organizations, and communities are focusing their efforts on providing alternative options, incentives, and enhanced infrastructure that promotes and fosters non-single-occupant vehicle commuting – in other words, TDM.

The Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT) is an organization whose members are in the forefront of researching and implementing sustainable transportation demand management (TDM) programs across the U.S. ACT provides the opportunity and resources for its members to work together and share knowledge to support their individual and corporate/institutional growth.

The panel framed the connection between TDM and climate change and showcased businesses and communities that have developed and implemented sustainable TDM programs that reduce mobile source greenhouse gas emissions creating improved access, reducing energy consumption, and achieving cost savings.

Speakers:

  • Dr. Daniel Rodriguez, University of North Carolina provided the overview and context.
  • Paulo Nunes-Ueno, Seattle Children’s Hospital provided details about their Corporate TDM Program and associated carbon benefit.
  • Erika Vandenbrande, City of Redmond, WA planning department presented information on an excellent municipal TDM program that promotes TDM and collects CO2 reductions.

This 74 minute netconference was moderated by Donna Smallwood, MassRides/URS

Click here to view the streaming media replay 
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