U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
During the scan on managing travel demand, the team observed strong emphasis on the provision of information on the full range of travel choices in readily accessible forms. The information available included pretrip, near-trip, and on-trip information and ranged from door-to-door information tailored to the individual traveler's needs to dynamic pricing information. Travel choices focused on routes, modes, transport costs, time of travel, and the associated congestion dynamics of the day.
This mixture of information and choices supports an active congestion management program for both the on-trip consumer as well as pretrip consumer demand. As a result, European consumers were observed to be empowered to determine on an individual basis what time they should depart, what route they should take, what modes they would employ, where their ultimate destination might be, and what costs they would bear under the associated timeframe. If a transportation alternative was not acceptable to the individual, the potential of rescheduling, delaying, or deferring the trip was observed. As a result of this approach, the scan team concludes that the quality-of-life goal, visually articulated and highlighted by many of our European hosts, is being actively supported.
The scan team recognizes that the social acceptance and expectation of readily available travel information and choices are part of the fabric of the European quality of life. While we realize that this cannot necessarily be accomplished in the United States through transportation engineering and planning in the traditional sense, we believe that objective information, guidance, and support can be provided to engineers and planners throughout the country to capitalize and employ the techniques and strategies observed in Europe. Through this, it is possible not only to manage congestion, but also to support the quality of life in a way that has not yet been fully realized in the United States. As a result, a cultural and mind shift may be realized that benefits the quality of life for U.S. citizens through improved mobility.
To achieve this evolution in thinking, the scan team will advance the following initiatives:
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