Celebrating TDM Week, May 10-14 - ACT
By David Straus
Prior to the pandemic, American workers spent on average, 54 hours in congestion according to the Texas Transportation Institute’s 2019 Urban Mobility Report. When not including years deeply impacted by economic recessions like 2020 or 2008’s financial crisis, we have seen continued increases in congestion in communities large and small, urban and rural. The negative impacts of this traffic are many and reverberate throughout our daily lives and constrain economic activity. According to INRIX’s 2019 Global Traffic Scorecard, congestion cost the average American $1,377, however, if you lived in one of the top 10 most congested cities, your average cost jumped to over $1,700.
This is why the Association for Commuter Transportation is celebrating TDM Week, May 10-14, 2021 to highlight the many benefits and need for increased focus and support of Transportation Demand Management (TDM) policies and strategies to create a more efficient and effective transportation system that moves all people. The 1300+ members of ACT are dedicated TDM professionals working to improve transportation options for commuters within their work sites and communities and we encourage you to use the hashtag #TDMWeek to share your successes. These dedicated individuals and their organizations know that we can get more out of our existing transportation infrastructure while improving the lives of individuals and the quality of life of our communities by increasing mobility options for all people and creating a cleaner, more sustainable, and resilient transportation system.
The transportation sector represents the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. The Environmental Protection Agency found that, “[t]he largest sources of transportation greenhouse gas emissions in 2017 were passenger cars (41.2 percent); freight trucks (23.3 percent); light-duty trucks, (17.5 percent).” The EPA found that, “from 1990 to 2017, total transportation emissions increased due, in large part, to increased demand for travel.”
While traffic congestion may have improved during the pandemic as millions of workers were lucky to shift to remote work from home, there is growing concern that post-pandemic traffic may be worse than before. A number of surveys show an increasing desire among commuters to drive alone to work versus public transit and other ridesharing modes.
To address the potential of an even more congested future, communities must embrace TDM policies and strategies in collaboration with employers, property managers, and other stakeholders. Providing people with real options and the confidence to use these modes will help reduce overall congestion, resulting in fewer greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, and increased economic opportunities through better access to jobs.