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Module 1: Travel Demand Management

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An Overview of Travel Demand Management

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In the first lecture, we are going to give you the, uh, concept and understanding of, uh, travel demand management, which is a very central to the idea of, uh, transport or urban transport sustainability. Uh, we will, uh, give approaches how to deal with traffic congestion. Under TDM under TDM policies. Uh, we'll see, what are the different classifications of TDM measures? And we'll look at some, uh, benefits and challenges of the supply side, as well as the demand side approach. So what is travel demand management, right? Uh, there are no standard definitions as such, but you can pick up the key words in the various definitions. Uh, that are available to you. Uh, overall you can say that, uh, TDM or tra travel demand management is a policy for mitigating traffic condition problems by reducing and redistributing travel demand instead of increasing the transportation supply. So what essentially it says that if one of your roads or one of your corridors are congested, uh, just do not think only about. Uh, widening that road and adding another lane will solve the congestion problem. You have to look at working with the existing road space itself and see how you can reduce and redistribute the traffic on that road. Maybe you can redistribute it, uh, temporarily so you can, uh, reduce the peak hours. You can distribute the peak hours. Maybe you can redistribute it according to modes. Maybe there are too many people who are using, uh, who are using private modes. Maybe you can redistribute them into, uh, public transportation modes. Right? So this is a very famous, uh, picture that, uh, you might have definitely seen earlier, uh, where it shows that, uh, the amount of space that is needed to move, uh, different, uh, vehicles. Versus the amount of space that is needed to move the people that are in the vehicles, right. And the extreme, right. Most case you would see that, uh, for the same amount of people. So for example, say there are 40 people that, uh, they need 40 cars to move. So if you are, everybody's using one car, uh, to move. So that much amount of space or road space spaces needed. Whereas if those 40 same 40 people are now moving in bicycles, Uh, so you will see that, uh, they would, uh, need only that much amount of space versus if you now see that those same 40 people are moving in one bus, then the amount of space that is required by the bus as that much. So, uh, this is the entire concept behind travel demand management. Now you'll see the road space has opened up, so congestion will be relieved, right? This is a very congested street. So that is the entire concept in travel demand management, where. Uh, it's a policy measure that says that, let us not give some more capacity, give some more sup let's not supply more roads in order to solve the condition problem. Let us look at the demand side that has to look at trying to reduce the demand or redistribute the demand and in that manner, try to solve the condition issue. So that is the entire concept of Tolman amendment. Uh, you, it, sometimes it's also called transportation system management or mobility management. So there are different phrases that is used, but a TDM is the most popular, uh, phrase or a concept, or that is used for to explain this phenomenon. Uh, so again, uh, what TDM does is influences people's travel behavior. So since it is a very, uh, behavioral, it looks at, uh, influencing people's behavior. And you would understand that somebody's behavior is not very easy to change, so it takes time. So essentially, uh, what, uh, ends up happening is, uh, people do not see the immediate impact of a TDM measure. Hence they sometimes, uh, tend to be agitated saying that, well, we are not seeing any impact of this measure that we have, uh, implemented. So let's go ahead and widen the road anyways. So then they go back quickly to, uh, Providing more supplier providing more capacity, uh, providing more supplies essentially. And that usually again, does not solve the problem in the long run. Uh, and we'll see why that does that, why it happens. Uh, so, uh, since travel behavior, we are dealing with people's behavior. Uh, TDM measures do take some time, uh, to, uh, to, uh, better results. Uh, also it tries to maximize the efficiency of the system. So it says that, uh, we already have a system or a network in place. Let us try to, uh, manage it or use it more efficiently rather than provide more space or more network rather than increasing the network. Increasing the network is only one solution. And that may be a solution that was, that is needed, but that should not be the first solution that should be tried. Uh, that is the entire policy auditor mindset. Uh, that, uh, uh, uh, policy makers, urban transport policy makers are, uh, are, uh, going through, are using, uh, they are saying that yes, uh, widening of a road is, uh, one of the tools to, uh, to, uh, reduce conditions. But it is not the first tool. It may be the last tool that we would use if any of these, uh, demand side, uh, measures do not work out. So that is the end bad philosophy. Uh, so you see these, I have highlighted the. Uh, uh, the most important phases in red, uh, most important terms are key phrases in red, so that, uh, all of those, those things give you an idea about what exactly travel demand management is planning to achieve. Uh, usually like we said, there are two approaches to managing traffic. The most common and the historically most used is the supply side approach, which is to, uh, predict how many. Um, vehicles would be using a facility and then provide that facility. So, uh, we do a forecasting, right? We do travel demand forecasting, and says that and say that this road, uh, will carry an amount of vehicles in the year 20, 25. And immediately we think in times of, uh, vehicles, meaning, uh, private vehicles. So we say that, okay, so accommodate to accommodate so many private vehicles, we would need to provide. Two lane road or a three lane road. And we go ahead and provide that. However, uh, what demand side says is that, uh, it has to influence the need to travel. It influences the timing of travel and it influences the location of travel. If we try to tackle these three, uh, aspects of travel, then we may not be able to, uh, uh, we, we would, uh, most likely be not needing to provide for newer roads. We would be making more efficient use of existing fruits. Okay. So in a nutshell, the supply side capacities changed based on the volume of traffic. Whereas when we are looking at the demand side solutions, capacity is considered to be constant. We are not changing capacity. Uh, road capacity remains the same and the volume is changed due to demand management. And we'll give you some examples of how this can be achieved. So if you look at, uh, the, uh, condition, uh, um, uh, congestion and mitigation dynamics, right? So what, uh, you can see how supply side works and how demand side works and why essentially people go towards the supply side and not go towards demand side, but demand side, maybe the more fundamental solution. Right? So what we do is we call this shifting the burden. So what we say is immediately when we see. That there is congestion happening on a, on a road. Uh, so that is the problem symptom, right? Uh, we see that overall. It is, uh, it is getting problematic. Now we have congestion. Uh, however we, in our mind know that there may be two solutions to it. B one or B two, the first solution, maybe increasing supply and the second solution, maybe, uh, look at demand management, right. We know in our mind, and both of those we know are going to reduce congestion, right? So negative sign, meaning it will. Reduced conditions. We know both of them, but in our mind, we also know that demand management strategies will have a delay. That means it will take some time to show the results. It will take some time to show the results. There will be positive results, but it will take some time to show the results. So there'll be some delay. So what we essentially tend to do is we essentially go towards D supplies. Increasing supply side solution, which is a symptomatic solution. So that gives you instant results. So suddenly you have a one lane, uh, you have a two lane road, one up one down and you make it a four lane road suddenly you see, wow. That is the traffic has reduced, uh everybody's uh, applauding. Well it's, that was a very good measure. But what happens is that over a period of time, right? Again, There's some delayed to this, uh, phenomenon over a period of time. What happens is after you increase the supply, that is what is called generated traffic or in use traffic. What induced traffic usually means is that if you look at a road and think of it in terms of spaces, right, maybe there was only this side of the road that was available. So it was eh, Two lane road, and these are all the roads, uh, all the vehicles that were moving on the road. Now suddenly you have a medium and you have built another two lanes. So this has become one way two lane, and this has become suddenly, uh, another lane, right? So what you, your intention was what your intention was to reduce this condition. And you were thinking that these six vehicles would now get redistributed. In these four lanes. Right. But what essentially starts happening is it is not just these six vehicles that get redistributed. There are other vehicles now that think that, well, now there's so much space available, so much capacity available. Why don't I also use utilize the space. So, in, in other words, you, as a user, you as a potential traveler who was maybe using public transportation, when this was the case, Right. Uh, it was using public transportation. You now suddenly see that the road has widened up and, uh, there is, uh, you can easily go, uh, easily access your destination, uh, by using your card because there is so much space that has opened up. Now, what do you think is why should I go in a congested bus where I don't get a seat everyday? I have to stand. Whereas here are all these people who are using their private cars. And they can now use this road, which is new and widened and they can just whiz past me. So why don't I do the same? So what happens is it induces new traffic now you are not only, uh, so this is not induced traffic, this a shift of shift of traffic from our model shift from, uh, from one mode to the other for now, you will be shifting from public transportation. To a private transportation. But in addition to that, induce traffic is what happens is when a person, because of condition earlier would not have taken up a trip that he or she wanted to. So he would have been thinking that, well, the road is so congested. So in the morning rush hour, I will not use the road now to go to the doctor's. I will take an appointment in the off peak time, maybe at 12:00 PM, I'll take the appointment at that time, the roads will be emptier. So that is what he, or she was thinking. But now that this road has widened, widen and opened up, he or she is now suddenly thinking, well, now I can even go at 9:00 AM for a non-work trip. And let me just take my private vehicle and go. So a new trip has now been induced because of this widening of the road. So what researchers and practical and practical, uh, uh, cases everybody has noticed in the field of urban transportation is that. When you give a supply increase, when you do a, when you have an increase in supply over a period of time, this road also fills up. So then you have you don't, you have condition all over again. So the very problem that you were trying to solve is no longer solved and you have you're back to square one with the condition issue. In addition to that, what happens is after another certain amount of time, you now have. An addiction to private Waco. Now you are already, your behavior has changed. That's why, right. There's a delay. So over a period of time, you build a behavior right now, you have all this time to build this behavior of moving towards private transportation. After this, now you are addicted to private transport. So these are all psychological impact, psychological aspects that are. Uh, uh, uh, studied in, uh, human behavior and user behavior and travel behavior, right? You're talking about behavior now. So a little bit different from a pure engineering or peer planning. Now we are talking about behavior. So what happens is you get addicted to the, uh, to the, uh, private vehicle. And that causes a delay in usually implementing demand management strategies, which we have already seen, tries to influence your. Travel behavior. So these are trying to influence your travel behavior. Now your travel behavior has completely changed and it has been addicted to private vehicles and to bring, to change your behavior back to, uh, to a public transportation use or other sustainable transportation uses becomes even more difficult. So this is the entire shift of burden archetype that, uh, people use when they are talking about travel demand management, and say that if you don't implement travel demand management, Uh, although it will give you, uh, some take some time to show results, but that is the more fundamental solution. If you take these symptomatic solution, then you will be in a loop where you will not solve the symptom. And even it will become difficult for you to implement the fundamental solutions because now your behavior has completely changed. You're addicted to it. So this is the entire concept of why we should not always, always, always look at just the supply side. We have to. Study the demand side from now on which, uh, there are lots of practical examples that have been noticed. So, uh, beating in China, they started constructing ring roads, flyovers, and lots of overpasses. And you will see these are the common supply, uh, supply side increases in urban areas, right? If the, if you see a problem in an intersection, what you're suddenly thinking of is to build up, fly over right. If you see that, uh, there are a lot of, uh, through traffic that is going through your city. What you suddenly think of is there a ring road around your city so that people try to go through, they can not take this ring road and avoid the city. So all of these are capacity increases, but despite of doing all that, the rush hour average speed on the trunk roads is still 13 to 19 kilometers per hour. So condition has not eased travel speed has not. Increased travel time has not decreased instead in spite of so many capacity, so much of capacity increase. So what essentially happens is if you keep on increasing the supply side, say, this is your, uh, volume of traffic that is increasing. And you have seen that at this point, there is too much congestion happening and you add some more capacity to it. What happens is suddenly your congestion reduces because. That is the symptomatic solution, right? You will get immediate results, solar conditions release Dignitas, and you're happy. But what a period of time, the new capacity also starts getting filled up. And what actually happens is a new condition level is created, which is higher than this condition level. Right now you have higher peak. Cause now you have not, not only have a tool in congested road. Now we have suddenly have a four lane conditioner. Okay. So the congestion is now peaking. If you only keep on increasing supply, whereas you have to look at demand management measures, which will help you reduce that demand of travel. So that is what essentially a purely supply side, uh, solution, uh, makes you do. Uh, this is what we have just talked about. So people have then, uh, uh, went ahead and, uh, measured the impact of, uh, having such demand side approaches. Uh, what they have seen is that, uh, demands that approaches do provide, uh, do end up in having, uh, in providing better air quality. They have seen that there are lower health costs associated, uh, with, uh, with people once they shift towards more. Sustainable modes of transportation, which is the demand side approach. Uh, now that we are, uh, in a, in a, in a, in a soup with the climate change and transportation modes, like, you know, are, uh, one of the worst offenders in terms of, uh, increasing the temperature of the surface. So, uh, if you shift from your motorized modes to non-motorized the public transportation that reduces the energy consumption and helps in climate change. Obviously it helps him. Uh, it helps to conserve resources because now you are using, uh, using much fewer, uh, um, uh, non-renewable sources of energy, uh, reduced congestion. We showed you that lower infrastructure costs. Now you're not building these expensive flyovers or expensive ring roads, rather you are improving the demand side of it. So it results in lower infrastructure costs generates additional revenue. So we will see that you can, uh, uh, providing a toll road, for example, is it demand management strategy. So if you now start totaling your urban roads, what opposites, it's a, it's a source of revenue as well. And it also lowers our traffic congestion and all of that put together. It improves the quality of life of the communities, uh, improved access to the labor force. Now. Uh, all of who are trying to go to work. Uh, they are, they, uh, they have better access to work because they can, uh, condition is lower and they can access more workspaces and also reduces parking demand because, uh, you're no longer using your private vehicles. So, uh, expensive parking structures, which are on lands that are prime lines in the central business district could be now redeveloped into a better sustainable, uh, land uses or lucrative land uses as well. So these are different benefits. Uh, that people have measured when they have implemented one or the other or different types of travel, demand management strategies in their urban areas. Uh, they have also compared, uh, what different objectives are usually the objectives of improving any urban transportation facility, uh, to reduce congestion, to save, uh, road and parking costs, uh, to reduce, uh, to provide consumer savings. Uh, so these are usually the objectives, right? If with any intervention, with any solution, uh, in an urban area, we want to achieve these right. We want to provide better choice. We want to improve the safety. We want environmental protection, but what happens is if we compare between the supply side and the demand side strategies, you would see that most of these objectives are usually fulfilled by the demand side strategies. And not very many are fulfilled by just by the expansion of highways. Well, one of them, yes, condition reduction does, does happen by, uh, widening the highways. And we saw that, but the long-term even that is not, uh, feasible or viable. Uh, so what many times, uh, people, uh, um, uh, define or classify a TDM in two different, uh, uh, in, in two different, uh, uh, measures, uh, they see, they see, they call one, uh, measure as pull measure. And they call the other measure as a push myself. So what is this pull measure and push measure? Uh, we will give you an idea of a push measure. Usually a push measure, usually, uh, what it does is it pushes you out of your, uh, private transport mode. So, uh, by implementing that policy, remember these are all policy measures that have to be implemented. Uh, in an, in an area wide policy, it may be a particular part of the city, or it may be a city-wide policy, or it may be a agency wide policy. Also like, uh, your office may have a certain policy of carpooling. For example, if you come, if you use a carpooling to come to your office, you get certain rebates or something like that. So those are, those are all, these are all policies at whatever scale they are implemented. So push policy is something that will encourage you to not. Cool not use your private vehicle audit, push you out of your private vehicle. Right? Whereas a pulled measure is something at the same time, it will attract you to a more sustainable form of transport. So these two measures together together, or individually can help in managing the demand of, uh, travel in your urban area. So. You can either have a push measure or you can have a pull measure. Uh, we'll also tell you that, uh, people are also thinking more and more research is now looking at, uh, having the push and the pull measure together, uh, to have a larger impact on, uh, reducing condition. But traditionally, what, uh, many of the cities have done is they have implemented one or the other. So they have said that, well, I will, uh, uh, push you out of the car by, for example, one of the measures could be by increasing parking prices, right? Suddenly you make parking style price go up or people start thinking, well, why should I pay so much for parking? I'll just take public transportation. And hence I can avoid the parking costs. So that is a push measure. But at the same time, a pull measure should be that. You are providing better standards and better quality of public transportation, right? If you don't have this pull measure, what usually happens is there are not enough people that get, uh, pushed out of their cars. They will see that well in the car I had to get, I had so much comfort, maybe, uh, the extra parking that is being charged. I can, uh, pay that now to get this comfort. So suddenly comfort comes into play. But if you now provide that same comfort that. He, or she hadn't been scarred by improving the quality of service of your public transportation, which is a pull measure. Then there'll be more and more people who will be willing to be pushed out of their cars or willing to keep their cars at home and use this, uh, public transportation solution so that essentially, sometimes people call it the carrot and stick method, the push and pull, or the carrot and stick method. Uh, so, uh, but essentially you get the point, right? Uh, you should not be pushed out of your cars and not provided an alternative better alternative than that. Uh, if you're not using a better alternative, better pull measure, then you were less likely to be pushed out there. You continue with your old behavior. So you, those are push and pull metrics. So, what are the different classifications of TDM apart from push and pull? You can, uh, these TDM, uh, methods can be either mode based. So you see a car sharing, a paratransit ride sharing. So all these, all our, where shares all our shares are you are very good TDM strategy. Uh, all over it by itself is not the best, uh, TDM strategy, but they still are better than using your private vehicle. Uh, In some cases we are finding out it is not so good, but overall, uh, all our share or, uh, Uber pool, they are a better, um, uh, TDM strategy to implement walking, uh, bicycle sharing. So many of the cities now you see that are implementing, uh, public bicycle sharing. So those are all strategies pull strategies, right? So they, they are attracting people to now leave their private vehicles and come use. Uh, bicycle bicycles that are available for you to take you there. Telecommuting is a huge TDM measure where you totally avoid traveling to your work and just work from home. So there's a less vehicle on the road and more the fewer the vehicles on the road, the fewer is the congestion. So that is, uh, uh, and, uh, since we are recording this class in, uh, during, uh, the COVID 19 pandemic, and you are seeing the effect of this. A pandemic on the congestion levels on the streets everybody's working from home or telecommuting. And so you have no congestion. So although we are now being forced to do that, but think of a situation where you are, you have incentives to do that, right. Even though you have the option to go to work, but you are, you are incentivized to telecommute from your home. So if you have such incentives, then you make choose will willfully. You may choose to work from home. Whereas under the pandemic situations, you are not willfully doing it. Most likely because you are being forced to sit at home, which is the safe thing to do under these pandemics. But, uh, the situation is different, uh, when, uh, uh, under normal situations that are normal conditions, if you were to look at it, right? So these are different TDM options mode wise, uh, TDM can be classified based on the instrument that is being used as well. Uh, so that could be economic measures such as. Congestion pricing could be a TDM measure. Uh, smart growth of land use policies. Tod transit-oriented development is a TDM measure. Other programs could be school and campus, transport management. So, um, uh, all these pool cars that take students to their schools are those could be a, um, a TDM strategy that could be applied. Uh, versus every parent taking their child, using their private vehicle to the school, which is an unsustainable, uh, solution, uh, uh, for, uh, school children, uh, shared bicycle services we've already looked at. So you can look at it, look at ADM strategies. From the point of view of modes, you can look at it, uh, packaged, uh, into different types of instruments. And, uh, you can definitely now, uh, hopefully classify, which is a push and a pull. So if you are asked that is conditioned pricing, a push measure or a pull measure. Uh, so, uh, first we'll tell you what condition pricing is, of course, but then if you, uh, if anybody asks you, you should be able to understand, uh, if you are asked, uh, conditioned pricing is a push or a pull, we should have, it should think in your mind that, is it attracting people, uh, to different, uh, mode or is it pushing. People out from your existing mode. So in that way, if you think you can, uh, you can classify them. It is usually a push measure. Conditioned pricing is a push measure, whereas, uh, implementing of a Metro, right? Why are metros being implemented in, in, uh, many of, uh, Indian cities and many of the cities worldwide, because it's a huge pull measure. It is attracting people towards public transportation. Right. It's a huge pull measure. So those are, uh, implementing of, uh, such, uh BRTs or any kind of rapid transit system. They are all full metrics. So you can now classify them into these categories. Uh, challenges, of course, uh, there are challenges in TDM. One of the biggest challenge is because it is a behavioral change cause it, uh, needs behavioral change. Uh, so it needs time to show. Uh, results. And that makes it a challenge for many of the, uh, policy makers, because the policy makers, uh, also want, uh, uh, solutions, which are, uh, inevitably tied to their, for example, uh, election cycles or whatever they may be. Uh, so people want quick solutions to these problems and hence many times, uh, demand management strategies, uh, don't work or, uh, are not implemented the right way. Uh, and hence, uh, supply side, uh, solutions are often, uh, uh, implemented, uh, or often, uh, prioritized over TDM strategies. And that is the biggest challenge that we are facing. Uh, however, um, uh, more and more people are now getting convinced on more and more, uh, policymakers are getting convinced that TDM is the way to go because, uh, there is, uh, just a lack of space in the urban area to widen any roads. And, uh, since the flyovers pile, the experiments with improving, uh, with putting flyovers to solve condition is not working out. So there are, uh, people, uh, there are policymakers now who are convinced that, uh, let us make better use of their existing resources and use demand management strategies rather than go towards a widening of the streets. Uh, Go towards the streets blindly. So that it's it's to say that that is the only option. Uh, we no longer are thinking that as the only option, it is one of the options, maybe the last option that you carry out. So that is the biggest challenge. The other challenges are of course, which strategy to implement in order to get the best, uh, bang for your buck. So for example, there are many TDM strategies. Uh, implementing parking pricing versus, uh, developing, uh, uh, public bicycle sharing system, which would give you the best, uh, reduction in, uh, uh, uh, congestion is something that many cities are grappling with. Uh, people have quantified them separately, but they have never, there are very few cities that have implemented two or three policies at the same time, so that they get, uh, uh, they get a combined effect, uh, and they can measure the combined effect of it on congestion. Uh, so people, uh, uh, um, policymakers and researchers have, are, are, are still, uh, coming to terms with the fact of how to selecting, uh, how to select which measure is the best for their city. So that's what, uh, people are. Uh, uh, the other challenges in implementing this is, uh, combining push and pull is another challenge because, uh, uh, for example, um, many of the cities now. Who have implemented or who has a Metro rail system for a long period of time, which is a big pool measure. Uh, how are starting to notice that? Uh, well, having Metro is fine, but there is still congestion on the streets. What do we do? Uh, we cannot be, uh, I mean, uh, they have expanded Metro. The, the it's, it's a, it's a city-wide network now, even then the, the streets are congested. So what do we do next? So, what is the next thing that very, very few cities have then tried, is to add up push measure along with this pull measure, right? So this is the pull measure of the having the Metro is to attract people to, uh, to, uh, the public transportation system. But there is not enough disincentive for people to still drive, right? So there is no push out of your, uh, there's no mechanism to push you out of your private cars. So what for example, London has done now has implemented not only have their, uh, Metro rail system.