Getting Smart About Mobility

The Austin Chamber of Commerce recently released its 2016 Mobility Report, the latest to come out in three years. Chief among the recommendations to manage the area’s mobility challenges is the idea that building more roads alone won’t solve our problems, but shifting our travel behaviors will.

passengers-1150043_960_720Among other ideas, the report brings up a concept that many transportation and planning professionals, as well as employers and commuters, are beginning to eagerly embrace: transportation demand management, or TDM for short.

TDM simply means shifting the way we get around, and helping people make better use of existing infrastructure. Implementing TDM often involves targeted policies that encourage commuters to use any number of mobility options, from teleworking and flex hours to public transit and carpooling. Using those options means fewer people in single occupancy vehicles clogging the roads at peak rush hours. It’s a practice that Movability helps Austin businesses put in place, and many of them are seeing a variety of benefits, from better time management to improved employee retention.

“As a region, our primary focus should be to optimize the performance of our existing transportation system and develop a smarter investment strategy that minimizes the need to travel in the first place,” the report states. “A demand management approach is a more cost-effective solution than supplying more capacity and creates additional economic, environmental, public health, and community benefits.”

At the same time, the City is proposing a $720 million transportation bond that would improve and expand some roads, while also providing more infrastructure for transit, pedestrians, and bicyclists.

It’s exciting to see our region’s leadership getting smart about mobility, and realizing that while there’s not one “silver bullet” solution to improve our mobility challenges, there are a lot of ways we can improve transportation and mobility in Austin. Nor do we have to wait for construction or legislation to take shape – we can make these changes right now.

Movability has worked with the City and with employers for several years with these same concepts in mind, and we are gearing up to work with even more employers as they step up to help shape smart mobility practices.

If you’re an employer who is interested in learning more about how to put mobility solutions in place, contact us! We provide customized consultation to help you and your employees find the best way to get to and from work, and save time and money in the process.

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