U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration

Office of International Programs

FHWA > Programs > Office of Policy > Office of International Programs  > Managing Travel Demand: Applying European Perspectives to U.S. Practice > Chapter 5

Chapter 5: Summary of Implementation Recommendations

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:

  1. Outreach-The scan team will engage in initiatives and partnerships to provide objective information to professional organizations and agencies. Efforts will include making presentations at conferences, publishing articles, and making information available by electronic media and on a designated Web site or sites.
  2. Assessment of Domestic State of the Practice-The scan team recommends the commission of a study to characterize the techniques and approaches used in the United States to support not only congestion management techniques, but also demand management strategies. The treatment of demand management in other professional training materials and university texts will also be explored.
  3. Training-The scan team will support the development of a training course through the National Highway Institute and/or National Transit Institute that identifies approaches and strategies proven to support congestion management and demand management techniques. Topical information might also be provided through Web-based seminars.
  4. Peer Exchange-The scan team will encourage and facilitate an exchange among peers from Europe and U.S. jurisdictions actively engaged in designing and implementing demand management strategies to advance opportunities for deployment in U.S. regions.
  5. Demonstration of Observed Techniques-Strategies and techniques proven to support the management of congestion and demand will be demonstrated through an initiative with one or more jurisdictions prepared to implement measures the scan team observed. Techniques that show immediate promise include travel time prediction using archived data, use of the hard shoulder during peak periods, and demand management strategies for large-scale special events and incidents of a long duration.
  6. Guidance and Technical Support-The scan team recommends development of advanced guidance to interested practitioners that facilitates the development and use of congestion and demand management techniques proven by our European hosts. This might include methods for predicting, comparing, and measuring the impact of demand management strategies and guidance on the planning process for integrated congestion management programs.
<< Previous Contents Next >>

Return to top