“Soft” transportation policy measures can influence a significant reduction in personal car use, according to a new research. Six psychological variables that can affect travel behavior: attitudes; emotions; habits; social, cultural, and moral norms; knowledge and awareness ; and capability and self-efficacy. The results show that interventions that focus on social, cultural, and moral norms have the most significant effect on travel behavior.
In a recent public opinion survey conducted by the MassINC Polling Group, Massachusetts residents expected to travel less in the future due to COVID-19’s impact. However, many residents expect to increase their trips by car and decrease trips by transit. A majority of residents polled are open to the idea of drastic changes to the transportation system.
We know that employer-provided free parking tends to increase auto-commute trips and that employer-provided transit passes tend to reduce auto-commute trips. Research is less clear about the effect on vehicle-miles traveled, however, in part because we don’t know whether or how such employment practices might affect non-work travel. A new paper using travel survey data from the Seattle area, sheds new light on the VMT question.
As the economy recovers from COVID-19, how can we emerge with a better, stronger, and more resilient transportation system? Three recent reports analyzing the impact of the pandemic on transportation and personal attitudes toward transportation may offer some clues.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shelter-in-place orders, more Americans are teleworking. This has drastically reduced VMT and air emissions. Policymakers may be tempted to try to encourage teleworking post-COVID-19 in order to keep the traffic down and the air clean. But as we’ve reported before, telework is probably not a great strategy for emissions reduction, due to several rebound effects. Teleworkers tend to live farther from job centers, in lower-density environments, leading to longer, more auto-dependent commutes when they do go into the office, as well as higher levels of non-work VMT.
Parking reform is a growing priority for cities and towns across the U.S. This has important implications for transportation professionals, outlined in a recent webinar from SSTI, the Form-Based Code Institute, and Smart Growth America.
In a recent study, researchers from Australia look closely at the relationship between parking demand and proximity and quality of service supply of public transit. When other socioeconomic factors were considered, the quality of transit service became much more important than proximity alone in determining parking demand. This will be helpful in the ongoing discussion about where and how to reduce or eliminate required parking as part of development.
In an era of falling transit ridership and utopian sustainability goals, Richmond, Virginia, seems to have hit the nail on the head. With the introduction of a bus rapid transit line and an overall bus system redesign, the Greater Richmond Transit Company has increased transit ridership in the region by 17 percent. GRTC’s distinctive carpooling and vanpooling system has grown extensively in the past decade. A recent article by Mobility Lab explains in detail the reasons and strengths behind GRTC’s continued success.
Seattle is the latest city to move away from traditional definitions of motor vehicle LOS and toward a more multimodal approach in assessing the impacts of new development. On January 14, the Seattle Council is set to vote on new regulations for developments to support changes in adopted transportation level of service. The new regulations will change which development projects require transportation mitigation and increase the minimum size of developments that are subject to a transportation impact analysis.
In England, the Nudge Unit—officially called the Behavioural Insights Team—encourages positive social behaviors via behavioral economics and psychology. Now cities in North America are using the lessons of the Nudge Unit to encourage people to use transit and reduce vehicle miles traveled.