Transport Mobility Management: Small Changes - Big Impacts

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1 Transport Mobility Management: Small Changes - Big Impacts Understanding TMM in the Urban Context Damian PRICE and Amy LEATHER Abstract Although Transport Mobility Management (TMM) is still considered a relatively new element of the transport practitioner s toolbox, it is increasingly being adopted by governments and city planners as a dynamic approach that can support a wide range of environmental, economic and social goals. This paper presents three examples of international best practices in TMM and examines their success in the implementation of a variety of measures and initiatives. It argues that the more successful TMM initiatives are those that are embedded in the wider transport approach of a government, authority or service provider. It goes on to identify the top ten factors for success that should be considered when taking forward TMM. What is Transport Mobility Management? Transport Mobility Management (also known as Transport or Travel Demand Management) has been a key tool in transport planning since the early 1990s. The idea that the demand for transport could and indeed should be managed marked a shift in attitude from the earlier predict and provide approach, where future transport demand was predicted and the necessary infrastructure was provided. At the core of its definition is the ability to influence travel behaviour and shift travel activity to achieve a desired site or location specific objective. This could be a reduction in car use to ease congestion and improve journey times along a particular route, or an increase in the use of a particular mode of transport to support its operation. A study carried out by the European Union defines mobility management as follows: management is primarily a demand-oriented Mobility approach to transport that involves new partnerships and a set of tools to support and encourage change of attitude and behaviour towards sustainable modes of transport. These tools are usually based on information and organisation, coordination and require promotion. Mobility management addresses specific target groups and has developed a range of instruments, best known are the mobility centre and the mobility plan. Mobility management is a constant process of development Source: European projects, MOSAIC and MOMENTUM The phrases in bold are at the heart of the mobility management approach. The set of tools that can be used as part of an overall TMM strategy are wide-ranging. The crucial issue is that hard infrastructure measures 20 JOURNEYS November 2011

2 The idea that the demand for transport could and indeed should be managed marked a shift in attitude from the earlier predict and provide approach, where future transport demand was predictedand the necessary infrastructure was provided. are supported by soft measures that include engagement, marketing, and information provision. These soft measures are the elements that make TMM distinctive from traditional forms of transport planning; they complement and reinforce the hard infrastructure measures, thus maximising the potential impact. Table 1 shows the various TMM strategies that can be adopted and examples of corresponding hard and soft measures that can be implemented. Some of these measures can be adopted at the city level, for example, the provision of a new bus route; whilst others can be adopted at a site specific level, for example, limiting the car parking availability at a particular organisation. Today, an increasingly multi-disciplinary approach is being taken to transport planning, where it is recognised that the application of mobility management principles can successfully support not only environmental goals by encouraging the use of more sustainable goals of travel, but also a wide range of land use planning, economic and social goals. Mobility Management in Practice To date, governments in the UK, USA, Europe and Australia have been the most proactive in adopting and applying TMM tools and strategies. Generally, the key objectives have been to reduce traffic congestion and associated negative effects, such as increased journey times, and to achieve a shift in travel behaviour towards the use of more sustainable modes. Two established examples of best practices in TMM in the UK and Ireland are discussed below, followed by the example of Abu Dhabi, which is currently developing its own comprehensive TMM strategy. London Borough of Sutton, UK The application of TMM measures at a small scale can still be highly effective in achieving sustained changes to travel behaviour. The Smarter Travel Sutton project was launched in 2006 as a three year, 5m scheme, to introduce measures and initiatives that would encourage sustainable travel behaviour. The project focused on soft measures, such as, the provision of travel information, marketing and promotion, rather than installing new infrastructure. The key measures adopted and their achievements are shown in Table 2. The Smarter Travel Sutton project was launched in 2006 as a three year, 5m scheme, to introduce measures and initiatives that would encourage sustainable travel behaviour. Project planning took place as part of an annual cycle of activities, with a feedback loop built into the process to ensure that lessons were learnt and continual improvements were made. Figure 1 illustrates the annual cycle of phased activity. JOURNEYS November

3 Table 1: The Transport Mobility Management Toolkit TMM Tools Hard Measures Soft Measures Provision of improved travel options Incentives to use more sustainable modes / disincentives to travel by car Land use management Policy and institutional reform Marketing, awareness, promotion and engagement Travel reduction initiatives Implementation Tools New public transport routes / services Private shuttle buses for employers Dedicated cycle lanes and other cycling support facilities Improved pedestrian footways and other walking support facilities Reduce availability of car parking spaces High Occupancy Vehicle priority Provision of cycle parking Transit Oriented Developments Streetscape improvements, e.g., pedestrianisation N.A. N.A. N.A. Workplace TMM plans School TMM Plans Visitor TMM Plans Residential TMM Plans Personal TMM Plans Provision of travel information, e.g., route maps which show safe walking and cycling routes Implementation of a car sharing database Cycle training Cycle training Discounted tickets for use on public transport services Parking pricing strategies Requirement for site specific TMM plans to be prepared and implemented for new developments Policy changes to encourage transport service competition and efficiency Integration of land use and transport planning agencies Special events, e.g., Walk to Work on Wednesday and In Town Without My Car Day Branding, e.g., logos Provision of travel information, e.g., on company websites Social marketing campaigns Promotional initiatives to support new / existing specific elements of TMM Flexible working, smarter working methods, e.g., working from home, compressed working hours N.A. 22 JOURNEYS November 2011

4 Table 2: Key Measures Adopted in the Smarter Travel Sutton Project Initiative Workplace travel planning support and advice offered to larger employers to assist them in the development and implementation of their own travel plan School travel planning each school was offered support and advice in the development and implementation of their own travel plan Personalised travel planning every household was offered tailored travel information and incentives to use appropriate sustainable modes. Residents were also targeted through doctor referrals Car clubs on-street vehicles that can be booked in advance and rented out by the hour by car club members Promotion of cycling provision of cycle training, additional on-street cycle parking spaces, themed events Marketing, awareness and promotions major festivals, events and roadshows, direct marketing campaigns, incentives and rewards The case study of Sutton offers some interesting and useful lessons in behaviour change that should be considered in the future application of TMM. Although the project has achieved measureable success, the adoption of some behavioural change theories could have increased the level of effectiveness of the overall approach taken. The Diffusion of Innovation Key Achievements All major employers engaged; 16,000 employees covered Average 2% reduction in car use for work trips First London Borough with 100% school travel plan coverage Average 5% point reduction in car use for trips to school (some schools achieved reductions as high as 17%) 52% of the participants who participated in the doctor referral scheme reported reducing their car use 300 car club members and 16 vehicles in the scheme Average utilisation equates to six hours per day per car 50% increase in the number of recorded cycle trips compared to stable levels across other outer London Boroughs Increase in awareness of available alternative travel modes Contribution to mode shift results, e.g., 13% growth in the number of bus passengers in the borough compared to a 9% increase in an adjoining borough model explains how a new technology or idea becomes adopted by a population. Those people who are first to adopt the new technology or idea are described as Innovators, followed by Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority and Laggards. They can be arranged linearly on a bell curve as shown in Figure 2. JOURNEYS November

5 Although the project has achieved measureable success, the adoption of some behavioural change theories could have increased the level of effectiveness of the overall approach taken. Although one of the key objectives of the project was to target the Early Adopters and the Early Majority through the initiatives set out in Figure 2, it may have been more effective if baseline consumer research was carried out into the characteristics of these Early Adopters. In addition, for some of the key measures, such as, the promotion of cycling and the introduction of car clubs, it may have been more effective to focus on the likely Innovators, given that relatively few people in Sutton were using these modes at the outset of the project. Smarter Travel Ireland In some cases, the move towards the application of TMM is facilitated by the Figure 1: Sutton Smarter Travel Project Delivery Cycle (Source: Smarter Travel Sutton: Lessons Learnt in the Delivery of a Behaviour Change Programme, Summary Report, November 2009). Reporting dissemination and improvement Monitoring and evaluation Strategy development Project management and staff management Forward planning programme and budget forecast Programme and budget management introduction of an overarching national policy on sustainable travel. In the case of Ireland, it was the adoption in 2009 of the Smarter Travel: A Sustainable Transport Future strategy published by the Irish National Government that led to increased investment and interest in the promotion of sustainable modes of travel. Figure 2: Diffusion of Innovation Model (Source: Smarter Travel Sutton: Lessons Learnt in the Delivery of a Behaviour Change Programme, Summary Report, November 2009) Markets Share % Innovators 2.5% Early Adopters 13.5% Early Majority 34% Late Majority 34% Laggards 16% 0 24 JOURNEYS November 2011

6 As resources to implement such policy initiatives are limited, one of the key initiatives developed by the Irish Government in support of the Smarter Travel strategy is a national funding competition that was established to deliver outstanding and innovative examples of sustainable travel in areas across Ireland. Local governments are required to develop an appropriate package of measures and demonstrate adequate stakeholder support for such measures. Such a competition means that only those strategies and measures considered to be most effective are funded. One of the 11 shortlisted Stage 1 applicants that were invited to progress to Stage 2 is Limerick City Council. Limerick and the other shortlisted applicants competed for funding of up to 50m over five years to transform them into world class Smarter Travel demonstration zones. Limerick City Council s overarching programme contains four separate geographical areas of focus, each with their own distinct target groups: 1. City Centre employees; 2. Southill regeneration; 3. Corbally residential; and 4. Castletroy / University mixed use. Specific initiatives and campaigns were developed for each target group or hub, which sat underneath the over-arching, area wide TMM programme. Thus, the local authority had the ability to amend or tweak its TMM approach in order to engage more appropriately with relevant target groups. These hubs are the key local trip attractors and generators in Limerick and therefore form a suitable basis for the development of smarter travel initiatives. It In some cases, the move towards the application of TMM is facilitated by the introduction of an overarching national policy on sustainable travel. is proposed that local champions be designated for each hub, who will provide a recognisable face behind the initiative and help to achieve maximum levels of public awareness and also local ownership. Each hub will be the focus of a number of initiatives, summarised in Table 3. One of the key factors in Limerick s successful bid was that it demonstrated a high level of political and stakeholder support for the measures it proposed. Limerick City Council and Limerick County Council worked together in partnership with the University of Limerick to develop the overarching programme. In addition, the measures proposed not only encourage sustainable travel, but also a shift to more healthy and sustainable lifestyles. One of the key factors in Limerick s successful bid was that it demonstrated a high level of political and stakeholder support for the measures it proposed. Implementation of TMM in Abu Dhabi The Emirate of Abu Dhabi took the decision to develop a TMM strategy as part of its Surface Transport Master Plan process in The Emirate is experiencing significant changes; a potential trebling of the population by 2030 and extensive plans for the development of public transport. Prior to 2007 there were few JOURNEYS November

7 Table 3: Overview of Measures Proposed as Part of Limerick City Council s Smarter Travel Bid Measures Cycling / Walking Travel Planning Research and Marketing Policy Changes New cycle lanes and walkways. Installation of Advanced Stop Lines (ASLs) for cyclists at traffic signal junctions New covered cycle parking Adult cycle training lessons Provision of bike racks on local bus services Appointment of Mobility Co-Ordinator Employer Travel Plan Networks School / residential / student / station travel planning Car sharing management tool Local campaigns and events to support the use of particular modes e.g. electric vehicles GIS mapping of commuters Introduction of thresholds for travel planning into local policy Park and Ride scheme Real time bus information Parking regulations Parking management Speed limit changes or no alternatives to the private car. The newly developed bus network already experiences significant demand and there are plans to The Emirate is experiencing significant changes; a potential trebling of the population by 2030 and extensive plans for the development of public transport. supplement this with a light rail system and a metro system. Despite the economic downturn of 2009, there is still considerable development taking place across the Emirate; most markedly within the city centre. TMM development began in January 2011 and is scheduled for completion at the end of the year. Core elements of the Abu Dhabi TMM approach include: A review of wider transport activity to understand how and where TMM can fit into the ongoing development of the transport network; A review of international best practices in TMM to understand the strategies and tools that work well and those that don t; Pilot TMM plans at a range of sites across the Emirate, including workplaces, schools and visitor attractions; The development of various surveying tools that will facilitate the adoption of a robust, standardised approach to monitoring that will substantiate further development of TMM; Modelling and quantitative assessment, to better understand the potential impacts of TMM on congestion, trip numbers and carbon emissions; 26 JOURNEYS November 2011

8 The development of a brand for TMM in Abu Dhabi and an associated marketing programme; Identification of the legislative and policy changes needed to support TMM; Guidance on the incorporation of TMM in the development process; The d e v e l o p m e n t of a short-term implementation programme and action plan; The preparation of a TMM Toolkit that organisations can use in taking forward their own TMM plans; and An overarching TMM strategy that sets out how the concept can be moved forward. This programme is the most ambitious application of TMM in the region. As it is also a relatively new concept, a number of challenges have arisen. A summary of the key issues that the TMM programme has needed to address is provided in Table 4. Critical Factors for Success Whilst TMM is still considered a relatively new element of the transport practitioner s toolbox, the examples cited above are part of a growing evidence base of TMM approaches and applications across the world. The more successful TMM initiatives are those that are embedded in the wider transport approach of a government, authority or service provider. TMM is not a stand alone concept; it is a dynamic approach that can maximise the potential of new and existing infrastructure and policy (Table 5). TMM is not a stand alone concept; it is a dynamic approach that can maximise the potential of new and existing infrastructure and policy. Table 4: Core Challenges for TMM in Abu Dhabi Challenge 1. A lack of awareness of TMM 2. The view that TMM is solely a European / USA concept 3. The need to understand the potential Abu Dhabi specific benefits of TMM 4. The need to quantify the potential benefits 5. A lack of TMM skills and experience that are needed to ensure momentum is maintained Approach Taken to Address Challenge An extensive stakeholder engagement programme to inform and secure buy-in The need to keep driving home the message that TMM is about delivering site specific / locally appropriate initiatives that meet the needs of local users. Close engagement with pilot organisation to assess the role that TMM can play and where the benefits lie. The key output was that TMM will play a useful role in the Corporate and Social Responsibility agenda. An impacts assessment undertaken to show the potential benefits. This, along with the use of international best practice examples helps to facilitate the roll out of the TMM programme. Whilst TMM is not an expensive initiative in comparison to new infrastructure projects, it is labour intensive. It requires ongoing input from those that understand TMM to upskill new individuals and organisations. This can be done quite quickly but cannot be ignored. JOURNEYS November

9 Table 5: Top Ten TMM Measures for Success Top Ten TMM Measures for Success: These factors are by no means exhaustive. However, they do provide a useful core checklist that can contribute to the successful implementation of TMM. 1. A National Approach TMM needs to be defined at the national level, with a consistent approach adopted countrywide. This is not to say that initiatives need to be on a national scale. However, the core TMM objective and philosophy needs to be set out at the highest level. 2. Integration with Land Use Planning and Wider Policy 3. Incorporation into the Development Process 4. High Level Commitment 5. A Robust Stakeholder Engagement Approach 6. Pilot Studies to Gather Evidence of Success TMM is not a stand alone element of transport planning. Our earlier examples highlight how the impact of TMM measures can be increased when incorporated into wider planning and transport impacts. When any transport or planning decision is being made, the question should be asked, What is the role of TMM in this? TMM can have the biggest impact when incorporated into new developments. Many countries across the world require new developments above a specified size to develop a site specific TMM plan that mitigates the transport impact on the surrounding network. The TMM plan does not facilitate additional traffic it proactively reduces it. TMM needs to have senior level support and buy-in. It needs to have innovators who support the concept from the outset. A key element of TMM is the way in which it achieves stakeholder involvement from a wide range of societal sectors. These could be business leaders who facilitate the implementation of TMM plans in the workplace, or schools which influence student travel. A robust TMM programme needs to identify who it should engage with, when, how and why (refer to the Bell Diffusion of Innovation Model noted earlier). It is important to understand which are the site specific TMM quick wins in a particular area. What are peoples views on TMM? These will differ from city to city and country to country. Therefore, the best way to ensure that a TMM programme is right for an area is to undertake pilot studies. This also ensures that quick wins can be implemented; thus people can see the benefits immediately. 28 JOURNEYS November 2011

10 7. Targeting and Segmentation 8. Branding, Marketing and Social Marketing 9. Emphasising the Site Specific Nature of TMM 10. Recognition that TMM is for the Longer Term A number of different messages can be used to achieve TMM objectives. For this to be done successfully, specific target groups need to be identified, for example, employees in a particularly congested part of the city, all Central Government employees or those with a strong interest in the environment. For each group, the message and initiatives will differ as will the propensity to change travel behaviour. This influences the direction of the TMM programme. Awareness is key to the success of any TMM programme. Therefore, it is useful to have a central, recognised branding strategy. This can be supported by area wide marketing activities to promote specific initiatives; for example, the development of a new car sharing tool. However, the next level social marketing is where the benefits can truly be realised. This is where campaigns and events are targeted at specific groups; for example, a TMM roadshow for employers along a particular public transport route, or a sustainability themed event for a particular community. Not all TMM measures are suitable everywhere. Some need to be enhanced or refined to meet particular local needs. Others are only appropriate in particular locations. For example, in Abu Dhabi, the potential for cycling in the summer months is limited due to the hot climate. The definition at the beginning of this paper highlights that TMM is a continuous process. It does not stop at a particular point. TMM is an ongoing concept that changes over time to best meet and address the needs of the target groups it is designed for. Conclusion Mobility management has the power to create a shift in overall attitudes and perceptions to travel and transport. It has achieved significant success in a variety of cities across the globe and could be an integral part of the forward planning of many more. References Mott MacDonald Ltd National Smarter Travel Areas Competition: Limerick City Council and Limerick County Council in Partnership with the University of Limerick, October The Mayor of London, the London Borough of Sutton and Transport for London Smarter Travel Sutton: Lessons Learnt in the Delivery of a Behaviour Change Programme, Summary Report, November (accessed 13 September 2011). JOURNEYS November

11 Damian Price is a Senior Project Manager at Mott MacDonald. He has extensive international experience in sustainable transport and mobility management and has been appointed to: Transport for London s Travel Plan Site Specific Advice Panel; The Olympic Delivery Authority s Travel Advice to Businesses Panel of Advisors; and The Irish Department of Transport s Panel of Expert Technical Advisers for ustainable Travel. Damian is currently Project Manager for the development of an Emirate-wide TMM strategy for Abu Dhabi, which aims to promote sustainable transport behaviour and facilitate a sustained change in attitudes to travel. Amy Leather is a Transport Planner in Mott MacDonald s Singapore office. Amy has been involved in the development of a wide range of TMM plans in the UK, Ireland and the Middle East and has successfully delivered sustainable travel initiatives on behalf of public sector agencies and for private organisations, including workplaces, residential developments and event venues. Amy is currently developing policy guidance on behalf of Abu Dhabi Department of Transport to integrate the requirement for TMM plans into the planning process. She is also developing a TMM Plan Toolkit, which provides best practice guidance in the development of TMM plans for workplaces, educational institutions, residential developments and visitor attractions. 30 JOURNEYS November 2011

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