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UNIVERSITIES TRAVELSMART RESOURCE KIT, 2003

ACTION STEP 3 - TAKING ACTION AND GETTING OUTCOMES

Developing a University Travel Demand Management Plan

Stage 1: Planning

Stage 2: Implementation

Stage 3: Monitoring and Evaluation

Developing a Travel Demand Management (TDM) Plan is a three-stage sequential process. This section provides a guide through every stage in the development and implementation of a plan and describes how plan makers can carry out the required work.

Links are available to examples of good national and international practice in universities, to be a catalyst for ideas and innovation, and facilitate access to further information.


Stage 1: Planning

Access Audit

Stage 1 in developing a TDM plan is to conduct an Access Audit that is an inventory of existing transport infrastructure on the university site and its surroundings. Table 3 lists the matters to be described and evaluated. Audit sheets should have enough space to record information and make comments.

Table 3: Access Audit
ACCESS AUDIT ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
Pedestrians
  • Number and location of dedicated pedestrian routes
  • Number and location of pedestrian crossings on roads in and off site (immediately adjacent to site)
  • Pedestrian crossings located at high demand access points (between student housing and campus)
  • Pedestrian crossings are raised (pedestrian plateaus and signed for drivers)
  • Pedestrian routes are safe, visible, well lit, have high amenity, connective, have rest points (seating and water fountains) at intervals
  • All routes are wheelchair friendly
  • Emergency telephones for medical or police emergency
  • Number/location of information points (map of campus with pedestrian paths, dedicated and share use, rest points, steep gradients, emergency telephones)
Bike
  • Number of parking racks
  • Type of parking racks (toaster, U rail, bins or lidded parking)
  • Location of parking - visible for security, close to each building or building cluster
  • Number of shower and change rooms
  • Number of lockers available for cyclists
  • Number of cycle routes on and off site including shared paths and on road cycle lanes
  • Campus cycle routes connecting to wider cycle network
  • Lighting, visibility and amenity of cycle routes
  • Parts or repair shop on campus (with space for DIY)
  • Incentives to cycle (mileage allowance, depreciation, staff loans to buy bikes, free clinics on bike riding, bike repair clinics, bike user groups, cycle buddy, safety information)
  • Number and location of information points (showing map of campus, bike routes and parking)
Bus
  • Number of bus routes servicing site
  • Frequency of services
  • Coverage of services, radial and cross-town routes
  • Connectivity of services (with train stations, other major land uses in area)
  • Location of bus stops to university buildings ('pedshed mapping' assessment)
  • Shelter, lighting, safety and comfort of bus stop
  • Safety, amenity and connectivity of route from bus stop to site
  • Incentives to travel by bus (discounts, 10th trip free)
  • After-dark shuttle bus within campus and to nearby destinations (student housing, train station, residences within 3km of campus)
  • Number and location of service information points on site
  • Wheelchair friendly services
Train/tram
  • Location of station or stop to site
  • Frequency of service
  • Connectivity with other services if necessary i.e. bus services, shuttle bus
  • Provision for bikes on train/tram
  • Safety and comfort of station
  • Safety, amenity and connectivity of route from station/stop to site
  • Incentives to travel by train/tram (e.g. no charge for bike, bulk purchase discounts, 10th ride free)
  • Number and location of information points on site (information on public transport services, pedestrian and cycle maps, car pooling)
  • Wheelchair friendly services
Car Traffic Calming
  • The number of parking bays on and off campus
  • The cost of parking on and off campus (are daily fees higher than cost of all-day pass on public transport)
  • Parking controls on and off site (time monitored or user restricted)
  • Utilisation of parking capacity on and off site
  • Incentives for car travel by staff and students (free parking, mileage allowance, car loans, leases, company cars etc)
  • Designated road speed for campus roads
  • Enforcement of speed limit
  • Signed pedestrian and cyclist crossings
  • Pedestrians designated priority at the crossings
  • Internal roads designed to slow traffic near pedestrian areas
Car Pool
  • Number of dedicated parking bays for car pooling
  • Cost of parking (lower fees than cost for Single Occupant Vehicle SOV)
  • Location of parking bays (closer to buildings than SOV parking)
  • Incentives to car pool (cheaper parking, more convenient parking, guaranteed ride home, occasional SOV parking for slightly reduced rate)
Adapted from (Curtis & Coleman 1996; Coleman 2000; Manners 2001)

Pedestrian access should be assessed to a distance of 2 km, cycling access to a distance of 5 km, and public transport access should be assessed for the metropolitan area or near rural area (Socialdata Australia 2000).

Assessment of pedestrian routes requires description of route safety. Safety is subjective and the analysis should take into account the variation in safety with time of day and with the perspective of gender. The SAFE Assessment Tool can aid this analysis. After-dark SAFE assessment should also include campus bus stops, shuttle bus waiting areas, bicycle parking areas and car parks.

Survey of Travel Patterns: how the existing infrastructure is being used

A survey of staff and student travel patterns is important to gain an understanding of how existing transport resources are being used. This survey can also identify the actual needs of users, rather than those perceived by administrators or surveyors. The survey should also be used to identify user group attitudes to aspects of the potential TDM Plan.

The purpose of the survey is to collect travel information specific to the university organisation. Journey and other travel behaviour information (e.g. position in the university (general or academic staff, student) time of travel, persons per car, parking used, public transport modes used, working hours and type of employment (full/part time, casual)), provides a baseline measure to test post-implementation changes against planning targets. Attitudinal information and suggestions for infrastructure changes made by staff and students can also be used to evaluate proposed TDM travel initiatives.

Survey methods

A survey should be designed to collect quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative data is "factual information" whilst qualitative seeks to discover the "opinions, attitudes and perceptions" of respondents (Kumar 1999 p118). Quantitative data is obtained through closed questions where respondents indicate appropriate answers in check boxes. Open-ended questions facilitate qualitative data by proving space for respondents to answer the question in their own words. Open-ended questions are useful for understanding the perceptions of respondents. However, these questions should be used sparingly because they are time consuming to answer (and hence may reduce response rates) and time consuming to code for later analysis.

Before developing the survey questions, consider how the survey will be conducted and how the information collected will be collated and used (Kumar 1999).

If using an 'intercept' survey - in which potential respondents are approached at random during travel or other on-campus activity - the number of questions, especially open-ended questions must be limited. Respondents will generally be unwilling to answer a long questionnaire. Intercept surveys should be kept to a maximum of ten minutes.

If the survey is to be distributed to students through classes and to staff via internal mail, it can be completed at a time convenient to the respondent, giving more scope for open-ended questions.

If questionnaires are self-completed a covering letter must explain the survey purpose, include a contact number for any queries and the required return date (Kumar 1999), and a statement that individuals' responses will be confidential. Offering a prize draw for those completing the survey can improve the response rate.

The questionnaire order should place easy factual questions first as 'warm up questions'. In-depth, open-ended questions can be dispersed through the middle of the survey, with demographic information (age, gender, location of residence, occupation) collected near the end of the survey.

Questions must be clear and concise, and free of technical jargon (Kumar 1999). Avoid double-barrelled and ambiguous questions. Do not ask leading questions, make assumptions, or ask questions based on assumptions (Kumar 1999).

More information on constructing a questionnaire and transport surveys can be found in:

After developed the questionnaire a small 'pilot' survey should be conducted, to ensure the questions are appropriate for gathering the required information, and to test the proposed survey process (Richardson, Ampt & Meyburg 1995).

The pilot survey should be conducted in the actual research setting as a "dress rehearsal" (Richardson, Ampt & Meyburg 1995 pg. 215). It can take a number of pilot surveys to ensure an effective questionnaire design. At the University of New South Wales the questionnaire was piloted four times before distribution to all staff and students (Sharp & Lee 1998).

Types of questions

Curtis & Coleman (1996) identify the type of information to be sought in a travel questionnaire on staff and student travel patterns including:

An example of a travel questionnaire will assist in developing an understanding of the type of questions and answer format common to surveys of travel behaviour.

Using the survey information

Collating and using data gathered by the survey will require various formats of presentation depending on the target audience.

If your university wishes to establish a new bus service, spatial representation of staff and student residential locations and travel patterns would provide further justification to estimated patron numbers.

The University of New South Wales combined data from the 1996 travel survey with staff and student residential address's to develop a geographical information system (GIS) that could provide spatial analysis of data (Sharp & Lee 1998). The maps allowed the University to better identify areas of inadequate infrastructure and high transport demand and target its efforts to improve the transport network (Sharp & Lee 1998). Collection of vehicle data and conversion of this to emission ratings enabled the University to monitor its contribution to environmental emissions (Sharp & Lee 1998). Updating the data occurs annually with transport information collected from students during the enrolment period (Sharp & Lee 1998).

The Transport Access Plan: Infrastructure Provision for Travel Modes

The following methods and examples for providing infrastructure have come from the scan of best practice in transport planning at universities and businesses. This section is organised as follows:

Pedestrian needs

Pedestrians require environments that are connective, safe, well lit and of high amenity. A pedestrian plan assesses pedestrian needs in a comprehensive fashion (on and off-site) (Department for Transport 2002a).

An effective pedestrian plan should be linked with other initiatives such as a university bike plan and local authority bike plan, to make more efficient use of financial resources and infrastructure. Good partnerships with non-university stakeholders including local government and adjacent businesses can assist to disseminate the university's plans and discourage work such as car park expansion that may undermine the push for more sustainable travel (Department for Transport 2002a).

The UK Department for Transport (2002b) recommends establishing a dialogue with relevant local councils to ensure the university is informed of works that may affect access routes to the university. At night, safe transport home is essential for encouraging walking to the university during the day.

A number of universities have implemented night shuttle buses providing a guaranteed ride home to the doorstep for pedestrians living within 1 mile of the university; see for example University of Washington and Cornell University. The service is offered free for 'U Pass' holders or holders of staff and student ID cards. The Australian National University operates a night security bus service for staff and students which serves sites around campus.

Additional support for pedestrians at night time comes from increased security measures. University of California (Berkeley campus) installed emergency phones at locations throughout the campus with a specific focus at the night shuttle bus stops and in car parking areas (Poinsatte & Toor 1999). Curtin University of Technology in Western Australia will provide on request a security officer to escort pedestrians within campus grounds at night, and emergency telephones on campus are viewed by monitored CCTV (Curtin University 2003c).

Cyclist needs

Off-site infrastructure and local bike plans

Safe cycling routes to universities are very important to encourage cycling. Roads with high traffic volumes are unpleasant and unsafe (University of Western Australia 2003), and the absence of complete, connective shared paths further discourages cyclists. Safe routes should incorporate shared paths along streets with high peak traffic volumes to provide for novice cyclists. Local streets with lower traffic volumes are suitable for on-road cycle lanes.

Existing cycle networks in the wider urban area should guide provision of shared paths and development of a connective cycle network around the university. Contact the local and or regional government to discover if there is a current local or regional bike plan (South West Group of Councils & Department for Planning and Infrastructure 2003). Where a bike plan exists, the university can work with local and regional councils to obtain funding and construct the necessary infrastructure. If there is no local bike plan, the access survey of off-site infrastructure could be used as a starting point to develop a local bike plan in conjunction with relevant councils (South West Group of Councils & Department for Planning and Infrastructure 2003).

Contra flow cycle lane
Contra flow cycle lane - Murray Street, Perth
Contra flow cycle lane
On- road cycle lane

If suburban and city-centre university universities find the surrounding road network has insufficient space for shared paths adjacent to the road carriageway, on-road cycle lanes will be necessary.

Special bike signals enabling cyclists to cross the intersection a short time prior to the green signal for motorised traffic will improve cycling safety. The University of California (Davis) facilitated the installation of a bike signal at a busy intersection as a five-year experiment. This has significantly improved the efficiency and safety of cyclist and traffic movement with a reduction in collisions (Poinsatte & Toor 1999). Main Roads Western Australia is implementing Advanced Stop Lines (ASL) at signalised intersections for road cyclists. ASL incorporates a bicycle stop line four metres in front of the stop line for cars (Main Roads Western Australia 2002) which improves the visibility of cyclists and gives them a head start on the green-turning traffic signal.

On-site cycling infrastructure - networks, parking, end-of-trip facilities and repair areas

To support cycling, three types of infrastructure are required on university campuses:

On-campus cycle lanes and shared paths should clearly and safely connect to the off-campus cycle network. The network must also connect to bicycle parking. Where access to parking areas requires cyclists to use some paths not designated as shared use, there should be clearly marked dismount zones outside main pedestrian areas.

Signage is needed to enhance safety and information for pedestrians and cyclists, and should include (BSD Consultants 2001 p35):

Australian or international standards for these types of signs should be used (Austroads 1999).

Bike parking should be located adjacent to buildings or building clusters in convenient, secure, high-visibility locations (University of Western Australia 2003). Good quality, secure bike parking areas are essential.

The University of Bristol constructed a compound for motorbikes and bicycles where access was gained via a security swipe card system (Department for Transport 2002b). The University of Southampton offers staff and students a similar facility at a cost of 12.50 per annum, which includes up to 500 of cycle insurance (University of Southampton Bicycle User Network 1998). The University of Western Australia provides a variety of parking options to cyclists. U rails are readily available free of charge, and lockable, bike lids are available in some locations. Staff and students can rent lids for a charge of $20 per semester (University of Western Australia 2003).

Other end-of-trip facilities will also encourage bicycle use. The University of Western Australia (2003) has a policy requiring that end-of-trip cycle facilities be included in all new and refurbished buildings. The university also recommends lockers be provided in changing room facilities for clothes storage and for cyclists to store equipment. Shower and changing facilities provide better personal safety if located in faculty buildings rather than dedicated end-of-trip complexes.

Punctured cycle tyres and mechanical malfunctions are also a risk, so a bicycle shop or spare parts service on campus can be useful. The University of California (Davis) has a 'Bike Barn' run by the student guild which has space for bike repairs, lends repair tools, and provides free advice, assistance and bicycle repair classes (Poinsatte & Toor 1999).

Creating and sustaining a cycling culture

Much can be done to create a cycling culture at your university. Support groups and services of the kinds mentioned above encourage novice cyclists and signal to the broader community that your university is committed to cycling priority.

Cycling groups are an important source of information, support and social contact for new and experienced cyclists. The Water Corporation in Perth, Western Australia established a Cycling Buddy Group (CBG), which involves an experienced cyclist 'buddying' a novice to ride the best/safest route to work and to provide assistance and advice. The CBG is also an opportunity for people to partner for daily cycling and improve safety through larger, more visible groups. The Water Corporation intranet was used to establish the group and send information on proposed activities (Environmental Resources Awareness Group and Conservation Council of WA 1999). University intranets and e-newsletters offer an accessible forum for conveying information on a CBG.

Similar to CBG are Bicycle User Groups (BUGs). These are common within organisations and communities and can be a valuable source of information for establishing cycling groups. The website of CAMWEST, a bike group in Sydney's western suburbs is a good source of information, ideas for starting a BUG or new ideas for existing groups.

On campus security for bicycles is a key issue in all universities, and several provide security against bike thefts. The UK Department for Transport (2002b) describes bike 'tagging', using security ID numbers inscribed on bike frames, to assist return of recovered stolen bikes. The program is conducted with the local police department as a free service to cyclists. Additionally discounted insurance schemes could be offered to staff and students for bicycle insurance.

Your university may also bulk purchase bike insurance, and pass discounts to staff and students (Department for Transport 2002b).

As with salary-packaged cars, your university may offer incentives to encourage staff to cycle to work. These may include an allowance for bike travel to work and a per-kilometre-based reimbursement for bike travel in work hours (Department for Transport 1999).

Special programs can introduce car-driving staff to alternative transport and the associated health and fitness enhancements. The 'Cycling 100' program for non-cyclists living between 5 and 15 km from the campus of the University of Western Australia was aimed to encourage cycle commuting by University academics and other staff. Each volunteer was given a bicycle, all equipment needed, a bike gauge to calculate the greenhouse emissions saved and training for road cycling (Department of Environmental Protection 2000). Eighteen staff participated in 2001 and funding for an additional 10 staff was allocated in 2002 (University of Western Australia 2003).

The University of California (Davis) encourages cycling in the wider community as part of its leadership role in developing a bike culture. Funded by the California Office of Road Safety, a 'Bike Right' safety and education program is run by the University's Student Health Centre. This program aims to teach cyclists road rules and bike safety through education, information and special safety events (Poinsatte & Toor 1999). There are also bike repair and maintenance courses at the University's Bike Barn, a Bike Traffic School for cyclists violating campus bike laws and a Bike Rodeo at primary schools run by the Davis Police Department (Transportation and Parking Services 2001). The Davis City Council also rents bike helmets for US$1/day, and auctions unclaimed and abandoned bikes, enabling students and residents to purchase inexpensive bicycles (Poinsatte & Toor 1999).

Buses in the City of Eugene (Oregon, USA) can carry bikes on front-mounted racks, enabling students and staff at the University of Oregon to commute by bicycle in the morning and (if they wish) to travel home by bus in the evening (Poinsatte & Toor 1999). Bikes on buses also enable travel by a combination of the two modes for increased distance coverage (Poinsatte & Toor 1999), extending the reach of cycle-based commuting.

Similar schemes can be effective for rural/regional university campuses in Australia, with buses bringing students from outlying areas to the outskirts of towns, from where they can cycle to university. A trailer modified with bike rails would allow a number of students and their bikes to be collected.

The University of British Columbia (UBC) established the AMS Bike Co-op and the Bike Kitchen, to increase the opportunity for sustainable travel between areas of its large and dispersed campus. The Bike Co-op has a pool of 50-100 purple and yellow bikes on campus which can be unlocked from parking rails and ridden to another destination on campus. Access to the bike pool is available to members of the co-op in return for volunteering 3 hours of time to the co-op plus a nominal fee of $10 for students and $20 for faculty and staff. Membership also gives a 10% discount on bike parts from the Bike Kitchen, mechanical help and free admission to weekly one-hour 'Bike Care Clinics' (UBC TREK Program Centre 2002).

The UBC Bike Kitchen is a retail shop and bike repair centre. The Kitchen is a not-for-profit branch of the AMS Bike Co-op and sells new and used parts and second hand bikes. Staff at the Kitchen will repair bikes for $18/hr or DIY repairs can be conducted at the Kitchen for $6/hr. Bike mechanics will instruct cyclists on bike repairs for $12/hr (UBC TREK Program Centre 2002).

Bike culture can be further enhanced by offering the free CanCart, a hand cart that may be attached to the bike seat post and rolls behind the bike. The UBC Cancart storage component is a little larger than an Australian milk crate and can carry up to 45kg, and so able to carry books or other heavy loads. The carts have been designed to fit through supermarket checkouts (UBC TREK Program Centre 2002), so encouraging the use of bike travel for shopping trips.

Improving Public Transport

Many Australian university campuses are not serviced by convenient train or tram routes, so planning should focus on establishing and improving the convenience and reliability of bus services.

Infrastructure and services

A university operated and funded shuttle bus service is one solution. A basic service should run from morning to early evening carrying passengers between car parks, student housing and a limited number of campus shuttle stops.

The University of Washington also operates an extensive 'Night Ride' shuttle bus, servicing north, east and west areas, with colour coded buses for easy identification. The buses operate on a 15 minute service frequency and collect passengers from 5 stops in each area, for staff and students travelling to student housing, transit stations, shopping districts. The services will drop patrons at their doorstep within 1 mile (1.6km) of the campus. The doorstep drop-off is a guaranteed safe ride home, enabling people to walk on days when they finish after dark (University of Washington 2003). Similar shuttle services operate from Cornell University, the University of Minnesota and University of California.

Where state government or private agencies provide bus services, universities have established working relationships with these service providers, to proactively participate in providing new services or improving existing services.

In 1997 the University of New South Wales (UNSW) secured improvements to bus services and waiting areas to improve safety at the Central Railway Station bus stop where approximately 7,000 University commuters transferred between trains and buses. With Sydney Buses, UNSW also implemented a queuing system for passengers to reduce crush conditions for arriving buses. This also improved the efficiency of bus loading, reduced passenger waiting times and improved the overall comfort levels of waiting passengers (Black, Mason & Stanley 1999).

Integrated ticketing

Universal passes which provide discounts on public transport, access to other travel initiatives at universities and discounts at sponsoring businesses are common to universities in America.

The University of Washington U Pass enables the bearer to receive full fare cover on three bus companies and one commuter train, free car pool parking, free travel on the 'Night Ride' shuttle bus, subsidised van pooling, discounted occasional single occupant vehicle parking and discounts at sponsoring businesses (Poinsatte and Toor 1999; University of Washington 2003). The program is an outstanding example of incentives promoting sustainable travel and opportunities for synergies with local businesses.

The University of Washington U Pass requires compulsory student membership to ensure sufficient revenue to operate the scheme with a large range of benefits. Non-mandatory U Pass programs exist at other universities, but the benefits to users are limited to public transport discounts and access to university initiatives such as car pooling and shuttle buses. The non-mandatory programs use cost incentives only. A U Pass at the University of Minnesota saves about 20% on the monthly cost of bus transport (University of Minnesota 2002). A compulsory Universal Pass model may be able to give greater benefits to students but may be opposed by some students.

Reduced public transport costs are obtained by the University of Bristol by bulk purchasing public transport tickets at a discounted rate from various bus companies. Staff members are able to buy public transport tickets from the university at a discount of 10%. An additional 10% saving can be obtained by purchasing a public transport season ticket through the university. An interest free loan of up to 1, 500 is available for staff to buy tickets, and repayments can be salary packaged as a further benefit (Department for Transport 1999).

On-site cycling infrastructure - networks, parking, end-of-trip facilities and repair areas

To support cycling, three types of infrastructure are required on university campuses:

On-campus cycle lanes and shared paths should clearly and safely connect to the off-campus cycle network. The network must also connect to bicycle parking. Where access to parking areas requires cyclists to use some paths not designated as shared use, there should be clearly marked dismount zones outside main pedestrian areas.

Signage is needed to enhance safety and information for pedestrians and cyclists, and should include (BSD Consultants 2001 p35):

Australian or international standards for these types of signs should be used (Austroads 1999).

Bike parking should be located adjacent to buildings or building clusters in convenient, secure, high-visibility locations (University of Western Australia 2003). Good quality, secure bike parking areas are essential.

The University of Bristol constructed a compound for motorbikes and bicycles where access was gained via a security swipe card system (Department for Transport 2002b). The University of Southampton offers staff and students a similar facility at a cost of 12.50 per annum, which includes up to 500 of cycle insurance (University of Southampton Bicycle User Network 1998). The University of Western Australia provides a variety of parking options to cyclists. U rails are readily available free of charge, and lockable, bike lids are available in some locations. Staff and students can rent lids for a charge of $20 per semester (University of Western Australia 2003).

Other end-of-trip facilities will also encourage bicycle use. The University of Western Australia (2003) has a policy requiring that end-of-trip cycle facilities be included in all new and refurbished buildings. The University also recommends lockers be provided in changing room facilities for clothes storage and for cyclists to store equipment. Shower and changing facilities provide better personal safety if located in faculty buildings rather than dedicated end-of-trip complexes.

Punctured cycle tyres and mechanical malfunctions are also a risk, so a bicycle shop or spare parts service on campus can be useful. The University of California (Davis) has a 'Bike Barn' run by the student guild which has space for bike repairs, lends repair tools, and provides free advice, assistance and bicycle repair classes (Poinsatte & Toor 1999).