Puget Sound Regional Council

Listed below are three categories with brief descriptions of Congestion Management Strategies which can be used to reduce congestion and/or mitigate some of its negative consequences.

Roadway Operational Improvements

Alternative Mode Support Strategies

Other Demand Management

  • Traveler Information, Public Relations, and Marketing
  • Parking Management and Pricing
  • Telecommuting Programs
    • Telecommuting programs enable employees to telecommute or telework, that is, to use telecommunications (phone, Internet, video-conferencing, remote desktop, and others) to substitute for physical travel to a worksite. Such programs may include employer policies enabling employees to work at home, the establishment of telework centers to serve as alternate worksites for telecommuters, or regional campaigns to promote telecommuting, such as through education, technical assistance, and financial incentives such as tradable credits.
      Impact on Congestion — Telecommuting has the potential to reduce peak-hour VMT substantially by doing away with the commute trip for an estimated 50 percent of the U.S. workforce whose duties are theoretically compatible with at least part-time telecommuting. 62 However, few employees actually do telecommute, and among those that do, there is wide variation in how often and in what way, making VMT and congestion impacts variable and difficult to estimate. For instance, employees telecommuting only for part of the day would not reduce their VMT, but may shift one half of their commutes to an off-peak time, and therefore decreasing their contributions to congestion. In addition, there is evidence that telecommuting enables some employees to live farther from work, that employees working at home may increase other trip-making during the day, and that the growth in telecommunications in general has stimulated more and not less travel overall, all of which may undermine some of the benefits of telecommuting. However, research suggests that nationwide telecommuting has reduced VMT by 0 to 2 percent annually, or by about 30 miles per telecommute day per employee. 63 While the Impact on congestion is likely negligible, these results suggest that telecommuters reduce their personal exposure to congestion and that larger effects may be observed if more employees tried it.
      Financial Cost — Telecommuting costs may be minimal if enabled by existing infrastructure, such as phones and Internet connections, likely resulting in overall savings for the employee. 64 Programs promoting telecommuting may have variable costs. A Telework Demonstration Project conducted by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments cost $397,600, including the provision of consulting services to help employers start or expand telecommute programs and analysis of the results. 65 In general, telecommuting programs are thought to require minimal investment relative to the payoff in VMT reductions. 66
      Additional Resources
      CMAQ and Telecommute Programs section of the FHWA website
      “Telework” section of Victoria Policy Institute’s TDM Encyclopedia website
      “Does Telecommuting Reduce Vehicle-miles Traveled? An Aggregate Time Series Analysis for the U.S.”, by Sangho Choo, Patricia L. Mokhtarian, and Ilan Salomon. Transportation 32(1), 2005, 37?64
      JALA International’s online cost-benefit tool for estimating personal costs or savings associated with telecommuting
      “Work from home” section of WSDOT Commute and Travel Info website
  • Flexible Work Schedules
  • Distance-Based Insurance
    • Also known as pay-as-you-drive (PAYD) insurance and other names, these are automobile insurance policies whose premiums are determined by the number of miles driven during the policy term. The primary appeal of such programs is economic efficiency, so that prices better reflect costs. They also are expected to offer overall savings to consumers, to be more affordable and fair, to reduce rates of accidents and uninsured drivers, and to reduce overall vehicle travel by providing consumers incentives to drive less. Although it does not target peak-hour use specifically, PAYD insurance could help reduce congestion by helping decrease vehicle use in general.
      Impact on Congestion Distanced-based insurance has not been implemented on a wide enough scale to evaluate its impacts. However, modeling exercises indicate that adoption by all drivers in a region could reduce congestion delays by 10 to 25 percent. 69
      Financial Cost The cost to insurers of transitioning to a new pricing system is thought to be covered by overall cost savings under the new scheme. Savings passed on to consumers are estimated at $50 to $100 per year for the average motorist.V70^
      Additional Resources
      See “Pay-As-You-Drive Vehicle Insurance” section of the Victoria Policy Institute’s TDM Encyclopedia website
      Press release on pilot mileage-based insurance program in Washington State

More Information

  • Recommended Resources
    • ITS Costs and Benefits Databases
      Hosted by the ITS Joint Program Office of the USDOT (last update in May 2007), this set of databases provides assembles findings from projects throughout the U.S. and internationally on the costs, benefits, and lessons learned from ITS deployment projects.
      Online Version of the ITS/Operations Resource Guide
      Hosted by the ITS Joint Program Office of the USDOT (last update in 2007), this guide provides links to reports, documents, websites, and other resources on a wide range of topics relating to ITS and operations.
      Online TDM Encyclopedia
      Hosted by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute (last update in September 2007), this website provides detailed information about a variety of demand management strategies, cross-indexed by the types of goals they help achieve and by implementing stakeholder group. Entries include a discussion of specific estimates of benefits and costs, travel and equity impacts, evaluation metrics, barriers to implementation, case studies, and resources for more information.
      Benefit-Cost Analysis of Bicycle Facilities website
      Sponsored by several university and government research programs, this website provides costs-demands-benefits analysis tool for investments in infrastructure and other design features supporting bicycle use. The tool includes detailed cost estimates for each potential feature, varying by U.S. metro area, suburban versus central location, project scale, and projected year of implementation.
      Transport Canada TDM Database
      Hosted by Transport Canada, this resource serves as a clearinghouse for research and results relating to implemented TDM strategies throughout North America.
      TCRP Report 95, Traveler Response to Transportation System Changes
      Published by the Transit Research Cooperative Program, this document includes 19 chapters, each acting as a stand-alone report on one of a variety of different management areas relating to highways, transit, nonmotorized modes, pricing, and land use. Each chapter was published between 2003 and 2005, providing a detailed overview of the state of the practice as well as a comprehensive view of research to date in each subject area.
      European Commission TEMPO Evaluation Expert Group Online Library
      Hosted by the European Commission’s TEMPO Evaluation Group, this website provides an archive of reports on the results for their ITS implementation projects throughout Europe.

Footnotes for articles on this page

Puget Sound Regional Council • 1011 Western Ave, Suite 500 • Seattle, WA 98104 • 206-464-7090