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Commuter Services

Research

The following represents a selection of TDM-related publications available at the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) that may be of special interest to Florida TDM agencies.

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Trip Reduction Ordinances

– A copies of  60 trip reduction ordinances from across the country.
Expanding Commuter Choice Tax Benefit Options (473-08)k
 
There are three primary goals associated with this project. The first goal is to evaluate the current level of use of Commuter Choice among employers. The evaluation will begin with a review of previous studies focused on Commuter Choice programs in order to gain a historical perspective. Following a review of previous projects, CUTR will examine how and if tax data can be used determine the current level of participation in Commuter Choice programs, and specifically the use of the Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefit (IRS Code Section 132(f). If current use cannot be determined though tax data, CUTR will distribute a survey to employers in order to determine current usage rates. The second goal of the project is to explore how Commuter Choice Programs can be expanded to provide maximum utility to employers beyond what is currently offered to employees. CUTR will conduct interviews with employers to determine methods for expanding Commuter Choice benefits. From these interviews and the data collected in previous steps, CUTR’s final goal is to develop a set of recommendations for expanding the benefits of Commuter Choice programs.

Quantifying the Business Benefits of TDM
The objective of this research was to assess research that has been conducted and current practices in quantifying the business benefits of public transportation and transportation demand management, and to review the various tools and procedures that have been used to measure business benefits. The transportation literature was largely void of rigorous studies that document the link between the TDM strategies and tangible business benefits such as reducing the need to build parking. The review of the efforts to quantify business benefits by employers and agencies points to several clear conclusions and recommendations: (1) Increase public sector research and technical assistance efforts to evaluate employer TDM programs for the impacts on business, not only transportation and emission impacts (2) Expand the tracking of employer-provided commute benefits to include parking by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and (3) integrate, update, and aggressively distribute the tools.  (A National Center for Transit Research project).

Value Pricing – HOT Lanes in South Florida
 The purpose of this project was to evaluate commuter acceptance and equity impacts of the potential programs to convert High-Occupancy-Vehicle (HOV) lanes into High-Occupancy-Toll (HOT) Lanes. Specifically, the project in question was the HOV lane on I-95 in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties The project was conducted in the following stages: (1)Literature Review (2) Equity Analysis and (3) General Public Attitude Survey Implementation and Analysis. To conduct the equity analysis of the potential for development of the HOT Lane, CUTR followed the process outlined in the Community Impact Assessment Manual developed by CUTR for FDOT. There appear to be potential effects from the HOT Lane that could have inequitable impacts, particularly related to race. The main finding from the survey was that the general public does not believe that implementation of a HOT Lane on the HOV corridor in South Florida would be a particularly good idea. On a scale of 1 to 10, over 50% of respondents gave the lowest possible rating, a ‘1’. Breakdowns by demographic and use characteristics provided groups that varied somewhat in their opposition to the idea but did not identify specific groups that were strongly in favor of the idea. Potential strategies for communicating how funding would be used might increase support somewhat, but much of the increase would come among people who already support the idea.

Hillsborough County Long Range TDM Plan and Pinellas County Long Range TDM Plan
Under contract to Bay Area Commuter Services, Inc., CUTR analyzed several scenarios of transportation demand management (TDM) strategies to provide assessment of each scenario in the Year 2025.  This information provided input on the role and needs of TDM programs to be addressed in each MPO’s Long Range Transportation Plan for the Year 2025.  The project identified the key measures of effectiveness (i.e., vehicle miles of travel, vehicle trips, mode split, and emissions) for assessing the impact of TDM in each county; reviewed each county’s 2020 Long Range Transportation and Comprehensive Plans; reviewed similar plans from five peer communities to identify approaches used by those communities; identified strategies for analysis at several levels: countywide, activity centers and employer site level. An analysis was conducted using the Environmental Protection Agency’s COMMUTER Model to assess effects of different combinations of TDM strategies on the key measures of effectiveness. These strategies were identified by the Advisory Committee and grouped into four scenarios. The potential policies and/or program changes related to, but were not limited to, a comprehensive employer outreach program, the provision of transit and vanpool benefits by employers, planned improvements to transit system, and growth in the adoption of compressed work week and telecommuting programs by employers.  Analyses for several major activity centers within each county also were conducted. Reports includes impacts on performance measures and estimated costs for various programs.

Statewide Commuter Assistance Program (CAP) Evaluation Project                                The Statewide Commuter Assistance Program (CAP) Evaluation Research Project was commissioned and funded by the Florida Department of Transportation’s Research Ideas Program. The purpose of this research project was to provide a systematic evaluation of the performance of Florida’s commuter assistance programs from two perspectives:

1. Impact on the commuting patterns and awareness of the general public; and,

2. Impact on the commuting patterns and awareness of each CAP database of commuters, which are comprised of commuters who have called or otherwise applied for commuting assistance and/or information.

There were three documents produced as part of this project:

  • Performance Measures for South Florida Commuter Services and Bay Area Commuter Services
    This report focuses on the performance measures available to Florida Commuter Assistance Program (CAP) offices to determine program progress and/or effectiveness. The performance measures are divided into three sections:

    • required performance measures
    • optional performance measures
    • other performance measures.

As the name suggests, required performance measures are those that the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has mandated that all CAP offices in Florida must track and report on at least an annual basis. These performance measures are specified on pages 8-9 of the Commuter Assistance Program procedures, dated May 5, 1997. District optional performance measures are those that FDOT have determined are appropriate for some of the CAP programs and, at CAP and FDOT District option, can be reported to show progress and/or performance. Other performance measures are those that can help a CAP illustrate the effectiveness of their programs in meeting program or regional objectives.

1999 Commuter Assistance Program Evaluation Manual 

This manual was developed to assist Florida’s Commuter Assistance Programs (CAP) in their efforts to measure and evaluate their performance. As such, this manual focuses on providing the information necessary for a CAP to devise and conduct their own evaluation program. It will also provide guidance on how to report the results of that evaluation so that key CAP funders, elected officials, and the general public can understand and appreciate the efforts of the CAP in addressing traffic congestion, air quality, and mobility concerns. (Source: Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida)

 An Evaluation Toolkit for Florida’s Commuter Assistance Programs (CAP): A Companion to the 1999 CAP Evaluation Manual
This manual is a companion piece to the Commuter Assistance Program Evaluation Manual that was developed to assist Florida’s Commuter Assistance Programs (CAP) in their efforts to measure and evaluate their performance. While the CAP Evaluation Manual provides a detailed description of how to devise conduct, analyze, and report an evaluation, this manual is intended to provide a basic understanding of how a CAP can meet the minimum evaluation requirements of the Florida Department of Transportation.  The first part describes the performance measures that are required and/or available to evaluate CAP program efforts, including how to obtain the data necessary to measure CAP performance. Where appropriate, guidance is provided on how to calculate performance. The second part provides the basics on how to evaluate, including how to select performance measures, and how to conduct the evaluation. The appendix includes a sample survey the CAP program can use to obtain all necessary survey data to address the FDOT required and optional performance measures.

University of South Florida Concurrency Report-Fiscal Year 2000-01

University of South Florida Bull Runner On-Board Survey April 2003