Quantify Demand Management Effectiveness
Reducing impacts on the transportation system, air quality, energy use, and travel costs, while still preserving mobility options. Our TDM+ tool quantifies TDM effects in less time and for a more refined geographic scale than other available models, and can address TDM questions for an individual development site up to a neighborhood level.
Can we satisfy our jurisdiction's vehicle trip-reduction policy by offering transit passes to our employees, or should we also institute a carpool matching program?
What would be the effect on vehicle usage if we design our project to increase accessibility by transit and bicycles?
The transportation planning field has developed a wide array of strategies designed to reduce trip-making by private automobiles. Collectively known as Transportation Demand Management (TDM), these strategies aim to reduce impacts on the transportation system, air quality, energy use, and travel costs, while still preserving mobility options. But the field has long struggled with having enough reliable data in a usable format to allow us to confidently answer questions about the real-world effectiveness of most TDM strategies.
In 2010, Fehr & Peers helped the California Air Pollution Control Officers Association (CAPCOA) to develop a groundbreaking and comprehensive set of guidelines for assessing and quantifying reductions in vehicle miles travelled (VMT) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with more than 50 TDM strategies, both individually and in combination. The strategies covered a wide range of measures, from increasing transit frequency to implementing road pricing to encouraging location-efficient land uses, as well as more traditional TDM measures like ride-sharing programs and parking cash-out. Then, working with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the evaluation methods were validated by comparison to the actual performance of trip reduction strategies in the San Francisco Bay Area. Fehr & Peers has collaborated with clients as varied as the USEPA, the California Air Resources Board, the American Public Transit Association, the California Housing and Community Development Department, and the Urban Land Institute in developing and validating these methods.
Transportation Demand Management Legislation in San Francisco
In February 2017, the City of San Francisco approved an ordinance establishing a TDM Program. This program requires developments to provide on-site amenities that support walking, bicycling, and transit, and reduce single-occupancy driving trips associated with a new development. In discussions with the City about ways to quantify effective measures to reduce trips, Fehr & Peers shared the TDM+ tool to serve as a guide for how a City can create and implement their own customized tool.
Zero-Carbon Buildings Feasibility Study, California Air Resources Board
As part of a research team led by UC Berkeley’s Center for Resource-Efficient Communities, Fehr & Peers is currently developing a study of building-scale transportation management strategies as part of the California Air Resources Board’s Zero-Carbon Buildings Feasibility Study. Fehr & Peers is reviewing new research on carbon emission reductions due to changes in the built environment and implementing TDM. After conducting a comprehensive inventory of transportation strategies, Fehr & Peers will model the effectiveness of these strategies at reducing carbon emissions over time. This analysis will inform the emissions targets set by the California Air Resources Board for zero-carbon buildings in California.
VMT-Based Impact Thresholds and Analysis Guidelines in the City of Los Angeles
Fehr & Peers is currently working with the City of Los Angeles to develop VMT-based impact thresholds and analysis guidelines under SB 743. Building on our work on MainStreet and TDM+, we are developing a locally-valid spreadsheet tool to calculate project-level VMT impacts and to apply VMT reduction measures based on a variety of land use and TDM programs. Fehr & Peers will revise the City’s existing CEQA Threshold Guidelines – Transportation Section, to incorporate new screening criteria, general evaluation methods, and thresholds to determine level of significance of an impact under CEQA in applying the VMT metric. We will also support the City in as it develops a nexus study to support a VMT-based impact mitigation fee under CEQA guidelines.