ACT Welcomes Introduction of Historic Transportation Demand Management Legislation


Posted: 05/12/2020
Category: Public Policy


The Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT) today welcomed the introduction in Congress of new legislation that will for the first time include Transportation Demand Management (TDM) as an integral component of Federal transportation policy and transportation planning at state and local levels.

“Introduction of the Mobility Options, Resiliency, and Efficiency (MORE) Through TDM bill, HR 6770, is a major milestone in the evolution of Transportation Demand Management and its acceptance as a guiding principle of transportation planning,” said ACT Executive Director David Straus. “On behalf of our 1,200 members, I want to express ACT’s sincere thanks to Representative Dan Lipinski of Illinois, the bill’s sponsor. Congressman Lipinski is a recognized expert on transportation policy and we are very grateful for his leadership.”

The “MORE Through TDM” bill defines TDM in Federal law as “the use of strategies to inform and encourage travelers to maximize the efficiency of a transportation system leading to improved mobility, reduced congestion, and lower vehicle emissions,” and TDM strategies as “the use of planning, programs, policy, marketing, communications, incentives, pricing, and technology to shift travel mode, routes used, departure times, number of trips, and location and design work space or public attractions.’’  Securing these definitions within the Federal code will provide clearer direction to USDOT about the role and importance of TDM, benefiting hundreds of TDM programs across the country that provide valuable services to millions of commuters and their communities.

With the country in the grip of a global pandemic that has radically altered the availability and perceptions of mobility, this bill would enhance the preparedness and resiliency of communities to continue to move people efficiently.  The bill would:

  • include TDM in the process of developing Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) long-range plans and transportation improvement programs
  • create TDM performance targets for MPOs that are located in Clean Air Act nonattainment or maintenance areas
  • add TDM to each state’s transportation plan and transportation improvement programs
  • include TDM in the development of long-range statewide transportation plans to support the TDM objectives of the state

To facilitate implementation of the new TDM plan requirements, the bill also authorizes establishment of a $100 million per year grant program, to be distributed to the fifty states and District of Columbia by the same formula currently used to allocate funding under the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program. Also authorized is $3 million in funding to create a new University Transportation Center (UTC) dedicated towards the advancement of TDM, the understanding of mobility decisions, and the development of mobility-as-a-service applications.

In addition, the “MORE Through TDM” bill would establish a National Advisory Committee for TDM under the Federal Highways Administration (FHWA). The purpose of the advisory committee is to direct resources and policies toward implementing TDM objectives. The committee would include representatives from the transportation industry, TDM associations, product and service providers, large corporations and nonprofits that need to move large numbers of commuters, state department of transportation officials, public transportation entities, local governments, and regional and metropolitan planning organizations. Each state would also be required to establish its own advisory committee on TDM in order to qualify for funding under the Federal grant program.

“The MORE Through TDM Bill will bring positive substantive change to transportation planning across the United States,” said ACT President Connie McGee. “The bill also provides well-deserved recognition to the thousands of transportation professionals throughout the nation who are dedicated to improving our transportation systems to provide greater efficiency, less congestion, lower emissions and a higher quality of life for all Americans.”

“As America recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential for TDM strategies to be implemented so people can get to the jobs they so badly need, efficiently and safely,” said Executive Director Straus. “This is the right time for Congress to enact the ‘MORE Through TDM’ bill. I urge all ACT members and other professionals in the TDM community to ask their own Members of Congress to support this needed legislation by signing-on as official cosponsors of the bill.”

 



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