Travel demand management (TDM)

Find out about the application of strategies, policies and initiatives to reduce travel demand or redistribute demand across multiple modes of transport.

TDM Manual

The Travel demand management manual provides practical advice and assistance in interpreting and putting into practice travel demand management techniques. The overall objective is to ensure that travel demand management principles are considered and applied across all the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency's work. It also informs our transport partners, developers and the public of our position on and approach to managing the demand for travel.

Travel demand management manual

The TDM Toolkit

The Travel demand management toolkit describes the overall approach and techniques within TDM. The TDM Toolkit provides a decision support framework to understand what impacts and benefits TDM will have. It also illustrates what strategic outcomes can be delivered and supports this with case studies from the various TDM techniques that demonstrate how to apply TDM. The TDM Toolkit has been used to date as an options analysis toolkit within the programme business case stage of the business case approach.

Travel demand management toolkit (Business Case Approach strategic options toolkit) [XLSX, 14 KB] (click ‘Enable content’ to run macros)

TDM research

View research on TDM and aspects of TDM such as travel behaviour change.

Research reports

Research conducted by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

  • Travel behaviour change

    Travel Demand Management: A literature review of travel behaviour change approaches targeting schools and workplaces.

    This report explores what current best practice travel behaviour change looks like (with a focus on targeting schools and workplaces) and how existing evidence can be used to inform and create more effective travel behaviour change programmes. This report also highlights the importance of applying an equity perspective and acknowledges that the way a travel behaviour change programme is evaluated is important in determining how successful it is deemed.

    Travel behaviour change report

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  • Research Report 557 Getting more from our roads: an evaluation of special vehicle lanes on urban arterials

    With increasing demand for travel and limited opportunities for increasing capacity within urban areas there is increasing pressure to make more effective use of the capacity available. One approach is the introduction of special vehicle lanes where particular classes of traffic, typically buses and high occupancy vehicles are permitted to use the lane.

    Vehicles eligible to use special vehicle lanes typically represent only a limited part of the total traffic flow, resulting in lower and more reliable travel times for those vehicles. However, where existing road space is reallocated, other traffic may face increased congestion as the capacity available for this is reduced. Users may respond by changing their behaviour to take advantage of improved travel conditions in the special vehicle lane.

    Because the setup costs of special vehicle lanes are typically small, their economic assessment therefore depends critically on whether the reduction in costs for the managed traffic is greater than any increase for the remaining traffic.

    This report considers evidence on these issues using New Zealand data and international research and outlines a systematic approach and analytical modelling techniques for the assessment of special vehicle lanes on arterial roads.

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  • Research report 468 Living in intensified urban environments: residential self-selection and travel behaviour

    In this research project we used a combination of a literature review; an analysis of secondary data and accessibility indices; and an online survey of inner city and non-inner city residents in Auckland and Wellington to examine the impact of urban intensification on people's travel behaviour, mode choice and household vehicle ownership.

    A core finding was that inner city residents were more likely to walk and less likely to drive, for any trip purpose, than residents living elsewhere in Auckland/Wellington cities and metropolitan areas. Inner city residents also had demonstrably fewer vehicles per adult in the household.

    Our analysis of 2006 Census data indicated that, on their own, neither the population nor employment density of major New Zealand cities appeared directly correlated with the choice of mode for the journey to work. Rather, our review and primary data analysis determined that density worked in conjunction with the mix of activities/destinations in an area and destination accessibility to affect travel patterns and vehicle ownership. In addition, we found that attitudes and neighbourhood preferences (self-selection) were important determinants of mode use, rather than the built environment, although the built environment facilitated residents to actively demonstrate their favoured travel and vehicle ownership behaviours.

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  • Research report 444 Integrated transport and land use: Sylvia Park as a case study

    Strategic government documents emphasise the need for more integrated land use and transport planning. This study, undertaken in 2009–11, considers the Sylvia Park retail centre in Auckland, New Zealand, as a case study of more integrated land use and transport policies. Our analysis of the costs and revenues associated with different transport modes suggests that Sylvia Park is likely to benefit from better integration of walking and cycling facilities, and improved bus services. This analysis indicates that improving alternative modes and more efficient parking management may deliver financial benefits to the retail centre, as well as economic benefits to wider society. To support more integrated outcomes, four key recommended priorities for regulatory reform are identified:

    • Manage the location of major developments.
    • Remove minimum parking requirements.
    • Levy development contributions using shadow tolls.
    • Replace transport rates with an annual parking levy. 

    The thrust of these recommendations is to reduce upfront capital costs and risks for the private sector while providing ongoing incentives for managing travel demands. Together, these recommendations are expected to improve the alignment between private and public sector interests greatly, thereby contributing to more integrated transport and land use outcomes.

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  • Research report 425 Demand responsive passenger transport in low-demand situations

    Demand responsive services (DRT) are seen as a cure for high-cost bus services in low-demand areas. DRT services cover a wide spectrum and international experience shows mixed success. In 2009/10 Booz and Company investigated DRT services to understand common success and failures. An international literature review was conducted, as well as assessing three New Zealand/Australian case studies as follows:

    • Community vans in Katikati and Te Aroha.
    • Commercial DRT service RE-LI-ON-US mobility services in Auckland.
    • Melbourne Telebus.

    DRT services have been used in areas with street patterns that cannot be efficiently navigated by foot or by bus and prove to be inherently more expensive to serve than multimodal networks. The conflicting objectives of service efficiency and coverage can be balanced by serving areas where demand is concentrated, by limiting the service area and by reducing flexibility as demand increases. Providing DRT services to commuters, schoolchildren and shoppers caters for most journey purposes. Many-to-one DRT service operations are more successful than many-to-many DRT services. Limited stop services are more successful than hail and ride or door-to-door services. DRT services have a role to play within New Zealand by adopting best practices of successful services and avoiding common pitfalls.

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