Determination of Optimal Mix of Generationally Targeted Travel Demand Management Strategies to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Focus Area

Climate Change

Subcommittee

Air Quality, Environmental Process

Status

Archived

Cost

$250,000-$499,000

Timeframe

1-2 years

Research Idea Scope

As mentioned in the 2009 call for research ideas, the transportation sector is currently responsible for approximately one-quarter of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and is expected to be one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the foreseeable future. While alternative fuels may provide the long-term answer in lowering transportation-related GHG emissions, the immediate and short-term solution is to continue to focus on reducing the demand for motor fuels. This, in turn, requires a greater use of alternative modes of transportation or eliminating trips altogether. Based on years of tracking America’s mobile split, it is abundantly clear that America has hit a “the wall” – the preverbal point where significant gains in non-single occupant vehicle (non-SOV)commuting are just not realistic.  The scope of this study explores what could be a ray of hope in the form of a perfect storm – the convergence of major social and demographic trends that could recast America’s love affair with the car and primary dependence upon SOV travel for work-related commutes.  An assessment of regional rideshare marketing campaigns suggest that few organizations are tapping into these trends. The most sophisticated marketing efforts are simply wrapping “go green” sticker around ridesharing. What is missing is an appreciation of the underlying or deep seated change that is going on in the hearts and minds of new wave of rideshare converts. This motivation or new ethos must be understood and successfully packaged to fuel this new movement. This study would do just that – explore the dimensions and influences of these seemingly unrelated trends. Key variables driving these trends and points of conversion would be identified and inventoried.  Most importantly, the study would uncover how these trends are conspiring to influence consumer or commuter behavior when it comes to transportation choices. The related insights and conclusions would be detailed in a training tool kit designed to assist TDM and transit marketing professionals in crafting communication programs and messaging that would stimulate greater use of alternative modes of transportation or eliminating trips altogether.

Urgency and Payoff

The benefits of this proposed research is the promise of more effective rideshare marketing programs that leverage the convergence of several social and demographic trends. This study would ideally identify what’s missing in all of the go green  TDM marketing campaigns to date – an appreciation of the underlying or deep seated change that is going on in the hearts and minds of the recent new wave of rideshare converts. This new ethos will be understood and successfully packaged to fuel this new movement.

Suggested By

John W. Martin, Southeastern Institute of Research & the SIR Boomer Project

Submitted

03/26/2009