Florida Statewide Transportation Demand Management Clearinghouse

(Center Identification Number: 77963-00)

Principal Investigator:

Philip L. Winters, Director, TDM Program
National Center for Transit Research (NCTR) at the
Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR)
University of South Florida
4202 E. Fowler Avenue, CUT 100
Tampa, Florida  33620-5375
winters@cutr.usf.edu
(813) 974-9811

Co-Principal Investigator:

Julie Bond, Senior Research Associate
National Center for Transit Research (NCTR) at the
Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR)
University of South Florida
4202 E. Fowler Avenue, CUT 100
Tampa, Florida  33620-5375
bond@cutr.usf.edu
(813) 974-9799

Administrative Officer:

Sharon Pinson, Division of Sponsored Research
Office of Research and Innovation
University of South Florida
3702 Spectrum Blvd, Suite 165
Tampa, Florida  33612-9445
spinson@research.usf.edu
(813) 974-0360

Project Description

The Florida Statewide Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Clearinghouse provides technical assistance in support of Florida’s commuter assistance program to achieve Florida’s 2060 vision and goals as identified in the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) 2060 Florida Transportation Plan (and shown below).

According to the Federal Highway Administration, TDM is “any action or set of actions intended to influence the intensity, timing and spatial distribution of transportation demand for the purpose of reducing the impact of traffic or enhancing mobility options. Such actions can include offering commuters one or more alternative transportation modes and/or services, providing incentives to travel on these modes or at non-congested hours, providing opportunities to better link or “chain” trips together, and/or incorporating growth management or traffic impact policies into local development decisions. [1]

Specifically, the 2060 Florida Transportation Plan (FTP) summarizes the vision for the state of Florida in 2060 as follows:

  • A globally competitive economy serving as a hub for international and domestic trade and investment, and attracting and retaining skilled workers.
  • Vibrant urban and rural communities where Floridians have greater choices about where to live, work, learn, play, and shop.
  • A healthy environment with improved air and water quality, as well as conservation of critical lands, waters, wildlife, habitat, energy, and other natural resources.

The vision for Florida’s transportation system in 2060 was

  • Safe and secure travel, as Florida moves toward eliminating fatalities on the transportation system.
  • A reliable, efficient, and well maintained transportation system.
  • Multiple options for moving people and freight within and among Florida’s urban and rural areas, working together as an integrated transportation system.
  • Enhanced stewardship of transportation resources through effective planning, efficient decision making, wise investments, proper accountability, and rigorous performance measurement and reporting.

2060 FTP Goals

  • Invest in transportation systems to support a prosperous, globally competitive economy
  • Make transportation decisions to support and enhance livable communities
  • Make transportation decisions to promote responsible environmental stewardship
  • Provide a safe and secure transportation system for all users
  • Maintain and operate Florida’s transportation system proactively
  • Improve mobility and connectivity for people and freight

The overall objective of the Clearinghouse is to improve the ability of operating agencies (e.g., transit authorities, commuter assistance programs, transportation management associations, etc.) to plan, market, provide and evaluate their commuter assistance services in a manner that is efficient, productive, and attractive to the traveling public in Florida, supports FTP goals, and in a manner that creates value for the communities they serve.  To achieve this objective for the Florida TDM Clearinghouse, CUTR will provide on-demand, short-term technical assistance and take proactive steps to support current and planned efforts in TDM throughout the State of Florida.

Contract Type

The Florida Statewide TDM Clearinghouse grant is a fixed-price, lump sum task work order contract, 24 month contract.

Statement of Work (SOW)

Technical assistance shall be made available to those responsible for the planning, administration and operation of Florida’s commuter assistance programs (CAP) including, but not limited to, regional commuter assistance programs, transportation management associations/initiatives (TMA/TMI), and FDOT.  The purpose of this Statement of Work is to define the operational and administrative tasks required by a contractor to support the program.

Project Tasks

The three tasks that make up the core of this contract – (1) technical assistance support, (2) outreach and communications, and (3) special projects are explained below:

Task 1: Technical Assistance Support

CUTR will provide technical assistance using a range of methods from fostering self-service to short-term on-site support as described below.

  1. Listserv. CUTR will manage the TRANSP-TDM listserv to foster nearly instantaneous peer-to-peer interactions among TDM professionals across the world.  Since this internationally renowned listserv was started in late 1998 by FDOT and CUTR, the listserv has grown to over 2,200 active members.  This task will include the creation and/or support of CAP-related listservs (e.g., telework, parking management, sustainable transportation, etc.)
  2. Online TDM knowledge base. CUTR will continue to develop and maintain the online knowledge base (KB) – a common method by businesses for building and managing customer relationships.  The purpose of the TDM knowledge base is to reduce the inquiry burden on Clearinghouse staff by providing an intelligent self-service option by providing information on hundreds of frequently asked questions as well as case studies and examples. This approach provides a means to reduce the total number of basic inquiries or repeat requests that require personal attention. It also allows staff to quickly respond to inquiries drawing on the information in the KB.  The objective is to be more cost-effective as CUTR seeks to handle more interactions by providing lower cost transactions with the KB’s self-service feature. The tool has substantial tracking and reporting mechanisms that will help the Clearinghouse identify which topics are receiving the most questions. This information can help the Clearinghouse prioritize products and services as well as identify research needs.
  3. On-demand short-term technical support and limited on-site technical assistance. This level of service may include, but not be limited to, providing assistance to FDOT districts, local city or county commissions, commuter assistance program boards or advisory committees, transportation management associations, transit agencies, and metropolitan planning organizations on TDM-related subjects as requested.  These include responding to telephone and email inquiries.  Short-term technical support includes preparing reports on TDM-related issues at the request of FDOT, commuter assistance programs, or other public agencies as requested.

In summary, three technical assistance fulfillment methods will be available from the Clearinghouse.

  1. Listservs to foster peer-to-peer exchanges
  2. The online TDM knowledge base to capture the peer-to-peer exchanges and make it easier to have questions answered
  3. On-demand requests for information will be provided by mail, fax, telephone, E-mail, and/or Internet with on-site assistance by the Clearinghouse experts provided, as required.
Deliverables:

CUTR will promptly respond to all direct technical assistance requests for assistance.  CUTR will submit a quarterly progress report attesting to level of services provided. The report will include information on increasing memberships in listservs designed to foster peer-to-peer interactions.

Quarterly reports will provide updates on the members and activity levels.  Currently, the TDM listserv has about 2,200 subscribers and averages about 77,000 delivered messages per month.  Telework listserv has 390 subscribers and averages 164 message deliveries per month.  Parking management (376 subscribers) listservs averages 168 delivered messages per month.

The report will report on knowledge base content additions and modifications and activity level. The self-service knowledge base contains over 400 frequently asked questions and handles over 30,000 sessions per year.

The report will include summaries of other forms of technical assistance will be tracked and reported.  These include making presentations to groups in Florida on TDM in person when requested.

Task 2: Outreach and Communications

The Clearinghouse will provide a variety of methods to reach out to the TDM community and other stakeholders to foster incremental and breakthrough improvements while coping with changing conditions.  Specifically, the Clearinghouse will:

1. Host the annual Florida Commuter Choice Summit.

Clearinghouse staff will oversee the annual Florida Commuter Choice Summit, which brings representatives from each district together to share information, resources, and ideas on TDM initiatives, activities, and successes.  Associated activities may include, but are not limited to, designing programs, obtaining speakers, and providing necessary logistical support.   This task includes the announcement of call for nominations for FDOT’s Florida Travel Choices Awards and the securing of award recognition plaques and/or certificates. FDOT will select the award winners. The current Florida Travel Choices Awards are divided into three categories but may change with the approval of the FDOT project manager:

a. Travel Choices Marketing Excellence Award:

This award recognizes excellence in Florida public transportation-related marketing including, but not limited to the following: advertising campaigns, social media, electronic media, print media and special events. Marketing program must have been implemented within the past two years. Submissions should specify objectives and demonstrate results.

b. Travel Choices Leadership Award:

This award honors a Florida individual who has made outstanding contributions to the public transportation industry. This award may be conferred upon a public transportation policy maker or private citizen who has made outstanding contributions at the local or state level to public transportation. Submissions should describe the nominee’s exceptional achievement or contributions to the advancement of the public transportation industry.

c. Travel Choices Innovative Program Award:

This award recognizes a Florida public transportation system, commuter assistance program, transportation management organization or other Florida entity that has designed and implemented specific public transportation-related programs that demonstrate innovative concepts or effective problem-solving techniques. The program should be of proven value and adaptable for use by others. Programs must have been implemented within the past two years and submissions should quantify results.

Additional award categories may be created with the approval of the FDOT project manager.

2. Maintain and enhance the Clearinghouse website.

The Clearinghouse website, www.commuterservices.com, has served as a portal to TDM organizations throughout Florida. With a new requirement for common branding of FDOT-sponsored websites, the current website will need to be updated to comply with the new requirements.  This site will provide Florida planners, policymakers, TDM professionals, and media with featured information on innovative programs, available resources, and successes in Florida; information that could potentially be applied to improve programs in other districts.  Google Analytics code inserted on each page allows CUTR to understand how people find, explore and take action on the site.

3. Organize and host at least eight netconferences for learning and information sharing.

The Clearinghouse will organize and host net conferences/webinars for Florida TDM professionals as needed to communicate information on “best practices,” innovative program strategies, and other relevant topics.  Net conferencing technology allows the Clearinghouse to connect large or small groups of people in diverse locations, instantly, using the Internet, so transportation professionals can collaborate more effectively, more efficiently, and for less money. Bringing together groups of two or more people can happen faster and at a fraction of the cost of what it would have cost for an in-person meeting or event. All participants need is an Internet connection, a web browser, and a phone. The Clearinghouse will support the web conferencing services.  CUTR will be able to cost-effectively deliver live content to the desktops so Florida transportation professionals can “Learn More. Collaborate More. Travel Less.” In addition, sessions will be recorded and available for on-demand viewing.

The use of this technology is not limited to netconferencing panel presentations.  It can also be used for public outreach, training, and net meetings.  Net meetings are slightly different applications of the same technology.  With net meeting applications, a small group can use tools such as online white boards, web touring, real-time and pre-planned polling, live application viewing (e.g., can demonstrate software on screen), and interactive chats. In this way, practitioners from anywhere in the country or abroad can work together without the need for expensive travel.

4. Best Workplaces for Commuters

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2012, only 6 percent of civilian employees had access to subsidized commuting benefits.  Best Workplaces for Commuters can provide an additional stimulus to encourage employers to participate in such activities. In support of commuter assistance programs/transportation management associations’ efforts to provide a range of travel choices to workers and provide access to jobs, CUTR will develop informational materials, guides, and other tools to private and public employers and provide to each CAP for distribution to their existing and potential employer contacts.

CUTR will maintain the Best Workplaces for Commuters™ (BWC) website (www.bestworkplaces.org) and social media elements. Google Analytics reports will be prepared to track activity, usage, etc. and submitted with quarterly reports.

Under the BWC banner, CUTR will work with CAPs to reach out to Florida businesses and other employers to recognize those employers that meet the National Standard of Excellence which recognizes employers that offer commuter benefits such as free or discounted transit passes and/or vanpool vouchers, extensive telework programs, or compressed work week programs.  These employers serve as role models for other Florida employers.  A list of Florida BWC workplaces will be provided quarterly. As of 8/31/13, 36 employers in Florida have met the standard and been declared a Best Workplace for Commuters.

Florida employers meeting the National Standard of Excellence will have the annual fee waived (currently $230 per year per qualified workplace).

5. Professional Development and Organizational Learning

This subtask is focused on building and sharing knowledge to increase productivity and effectiveness in the use of Clearinghouse’s resources.  Clearinghouse staff and FDOT project managers will actively participate in transportation-related trade associations and professional societies in leadership capacities (e.g., Association for Commuter Transportation, Transportation Research Board, Florida Public Transportation Association, and Institute of Transportation Engineers).  Clearinghouse staff will attend workshops, conferences, and/or seminars of such groups to facilitate technology transfer, share best practices, exchange ideas to improve products and services to benefit Florida TDM agencies. Clearinghouse staff will contribute articles, papers, and/or presentations for national, state and local publications, meetings, workshops and conferences. 

Deliverables:

Two 1.5-day annual Florida TDM Summits with an estimated 50 to 75 attendees will be planned and hosted by CUTR.  CUTR will handle conference planning including promotions, arranging for speakers, making room and refreshment arrangements, processing payments, providing handouts as required and arranging for audio/visual equipment.  CUTR will solicit nominations for FDOT’s Travel Choices Awards, provide nominees to FDOT project manager for consideration, and securing of appropriate recognition plaques for those chosen by FDOT.

The website, www.commuterservices.com, will be updated to meet new FDOT requirements and maintained. Data from Google Analytics reports will be provided as to activity, usage, etc. and submitted with quarterly reports.

At least eight net conferences on topics of interest to TDM and transit professionals will be conducted.  There will be no registration fees collected from these Florida CAPs and Districts for these seats. Attendance will be recorded. Net conference evaluations collected and summarized for the quarterly report.

CUTR will maintain the Best Workplaces for Commuters ™ (BWC) website. Google Analytics reports will be prepared to track activity, usage, etc. and submitted with quarterly reports.

The number of BWC workplaces in Florida will be tracked and reported.

CUTR will coordinate the annual Race to Excellence program for BWC workplaces, including providing a webinar on the Race, soliciting self-nominations, arranging for the appropriate recognition items, and holding an awards ceremony.

CUTR will provide a summary of professional development activities, including highlights from TDM related conference calls/webinars such as the Association for Commuter Transportation and their Public Policy and Vanpool Councils, USDOT webinars, and the Transportation Research Board Committee on TDM.   Such information will be shared with the CAPs as appropriate.

Task 3:  Special Projects

With the prior approval of FDOT, CUTR may conduct special projects that may exceed the general short-term, on-demand nature of most technical assistance requests.  These special projects may be undertaken based on the perceived extent to which the results or outcomes of such a project are generalizable or transferable.  These projects may include special reports on topics such as the state of TDM in Florida and/or development of tools to assist the commuter assistance programs.

Deliverables:

Special projects will include creating and updating two Best Workplaces for Commuters’ briefs per year, including updates to the commuter benefit brief (e.g., qualified transportation fringe benefits).

In the first six months, investigate the feasibility of the Best Workplaces for Commuters Conference in Florida to highlight effective TDM programs.  If found feasible and with approval of the FDOT project manager, hold the conference in 2015. If not feasible, a substitute special project will be proposed.

Administrative Reports

A quarterly progress report shall be prepared and electronically submitted to the FDOT project manager each quarter.  These progress reports will include:

  • Activities Performed During Period – Describing activities performed during the reporting period.  Activities will be linked to the tasks identified in the scope of service.
  • Activities Planned for Next reporting period – Describing the activities to be performed during the next reporting period.
  • Summary of Projected Future Issues/Modifications – Identifies any anticipated changes to project work, duration, or funding that will be requested.

Project Team

Philip L. Winters is the Director, Transportation Demand Management Program at CUTR. He will provide overall direction and guidance to CUTR staff and faculty throughout the scope of this project/program.   His expertise is in the area of transportation demand management, technical assistance, program evaluation, and data analysis.

Julie Bond is a Senior Research Associate at CUTR.  Ms. Bond also is the project manager for Best Workplaces for Commuters. Her relevant expertise includes bicycle and pedestrian education and promotion, transit and TDM marketing, carsharing, transportation management associations, and social media.

Nevine Labib Georggi is a Senior Research Associate who will primarily assist in the development and maintenance of the Knowledge Base and responding to online requests for assistance. Her relevant expertise includes transportation modeling, intelligent transportation systems, and location aware information systems.

Sara Hendricks is a Senior Research Associate at CUTR.  Her relevant expertise includes land use planning and policy, transit oriented developments, sustainability, compressed work week, telework, and transportation management associations.

Project Schedule

October 2013 to September 2015

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