ACTION STEP 3 - TAKING ACTION AND GETTING OUTCOMES
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).
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).
Managing car infrastructure and demand
Three key tools are commonly utilised to manage car travel:
Parking management and car pooling are common at Australian universities. Some American universities have employed all three tools.
Parking management - pricing, availability and convenience
Parking management involves "pricing, availability and convenience" (Poinsatte and Toor, 1999:39). It is best to introduce pricing charges over a number of years while at the same time improving other travel options. Gradual change is necessary to allow staff and students time to adjust and find new ways of commuting.
Pricing and availability can be controlled by parking permit systems and additional daily parking charges. Parking permits are a mechanism to limit or discourage parking availability for single occupant vehicles via higher charges. Permits can also be restricted to staff and students based on residential location and year of study.
The University of Western Australia does not issue car parking permits to first year students, or to staff and students living in postcode areas adjacent to the University or close to public transport services connecting with the University (University of Western Australia 2003). Presently car parking on streets and public car parks adjacent to the University are used by staff and students, but the University is working with the local council to establish short term metered parking in these areas to discourage overflow parking (University of Western Australia 2003).
The University of Bristol allocates parking permits to staff on a needs basis. A 'need' is established by a temporary or permanent disability, caring responsibilities, dependants, school travel needs and peak period journeys of more than 30 minutes. Within the University, category A parking spaces are individually allocated for temporary or permanently disabled and for formal car poolers. Category B spaces are allocated to staff with caring responsibilities or those with school travel needs or who have more than 30 minutes peak travelling time. Category C spaces require a permit but space is not guaranteed. When staff apply for category B or C permits they must provide information about public transport services and availability as part of their case for a permit, to encourage greater awareness of non-car transport options (Department for Transport 2002b p123).
Oxford Brookes University (1999) notes that in imposing parking controls there must be "clear objectives, [sensitivity] to household roles and responsibilities of the commuters, and ... be managed in the most equitable way possible". The University allocates parking permits for staff based on operational and special needs, and staff may not purchase a permit if living within 3 miles of the University. Student parking is not allowed on the main campus and is restricted to students with an identified need at its other two campuses. Parking is available to post graduates living a certain distance from campus, to recognise that post graduates may have family and carer responsibilities similar to staff (Oxford Brookes University 1999). Permit refusals may be appealed.
Car drivers habitually underestimate the cost of car travel by up to 60% (Curtis & James 1998). Using daily parking fees encourages occasional rather than regular car use by raising the perceived marginal cost of each occasion when parking is used. Using a parking coupon designed to 'scratch and display' can have a similar impact on perceived costs (Department for Transport 2002b).
Providing an annual parking permit discourages the occasional use of car parking as purchasers may wish to get 'value for money' from the permit, and in any case lowers the perceived cost of parking.
Use of cars by staff for university business-related travel can also be influenced by the level of car mileage allowances and revising or removing petrol reimbursement rates for car travel (Department for Transport 1999).
There are three key elements to car pool programs:
- parking charges for car pool vehicles lower than for single occupant vehicles (SOV),
- car pool parking more conveniently located than SOV parking, and
- car pool participants' access to a guaranteed ride home (GRH) if they work late or miss the car pool vehicle.
Carpool program participants should also have access to a limited number of single use parking permits enabling them to drive their own vehicle occasionally. University vehicles should be available to staff during the day for work-related travel needs, and a shuttle bus should be available to the commercial district during the day for staff and students errands (Poinsatte & Toor 1999).
The University of Bristol car pooling program requires staff travel in a share car for a minimum of three days per week. Car sharing is organised over the University Intranet. Incentives to encourage staff participation include a guaranteed ride home for unforeseen circumstances and a guaranteed parking space. Daily parking charges are a percentage of the lowest employee salary in the car. Car pooling program participants are also entitled to 10 days free parking for times when the share car is not available (Department for Transport 2002b).
The University of California (Los Angeles) requires a minimum of 3-day sharing for participation in the car pool program. Permit pricing encourages higher occupancy vehicles with a share car for 3 persons paying US$99 per quarter, and for 2-persons costing US$147 (University of California Los Angeles 2003). The University of Minnesota charges for car pool permits at a rate about half the daily rate for single occupant vehicles, to increase vehicle occupancy (University of Minnesota 2002).
Vanpool schemes may be a good approach for rural/regional universities in Australia. They operate mainly in America and are available only to staff and students who live more than a minimum distance from the university - usually 10 or more miles. Vanpool schemes offer the same benefits to participants as car pool programs including reduced parking costs, guaranteed ride home and discounted occasional parking for single occupant vehicles. Car and vanpool participants must have a U Pass or integrated ticketing system at the university.
Some vanpool schemes offer cash incentives to new scheme participants and to recruit new 'riders'. At the universities offering cash incentives for vanpools, the incentives are not available in the car pool program. This may indicate van pool schemes are difficult to maintain due to the turn over of student drivers every 3-4 years, the need for a minimum of 5 passengers per van, and the higher apparent cost of these schemes compared to car pooling.
The vanpool scheme at University of California (Los Angeles) is co-ordinated by the University which partly subsidises its cost. The vans are owned, maintained and insured by the University. The program requires van occupancies of 6-14 passengers, the costs per person are US$93-191/month (cost per person decreases as number of van occupants increase), which includes eligibility for the emergency ride-home scheme (ERH) and Ride Card. The ERH provides travel home in an emergency or if a van pool participant works late or misses the ride home. The Ride Card provides a US$2 discount off daily parking charges, enabling participants occasionally to drive their own car (University of California Los Angeles 2003).
The University of Washington vanpool scheme is available for staff/students living 10+ miles from campus. A minimum of 5 persons is required to establish the vanpool. Vans use high-occupancy vehicle lanes near the University, conferring travel time advantages on participants. The vans can be fitted with bike racks so participants have a bike available for travel during the day. The University offers three financial incentive strategies to promote the vanpool scheme:
- US $100 subsidy on scheme costs is offered to join the van pool program
- US $200 worth of vouchers for drivers of van (students)
- US $25 vouchers to riders for each new recruit to the vanpool. The vouchers can be used to pay vanpool fees, and there are six sponsoring businesses that accept the vouchers as payment for services (University of Washington 2003).
Students or staff members may be van drivers. Student drivers must have a 'clean' licence; pass a driving test set by the university and a medical/health check. Drivers keep the scheme van at their home and have some private use of the van as a further incentive. The University also subsidises employees US$60/month to participate in a van pool (University of Washington 2003).
The University of Wisconsin participates in a state-run vanpool program established for state employees, including University staff and students, who may vanpool with others working in the vicinity of the University. The enlarged pool of potential riders improves the opportunity for securing a sufficient number of people to participate in the program.
A comprehensive manual on the policy and procedures is available on the State of Wisconsin's web site. The policy manual covers information for drivers and coordinators, rider information rules and regulations, terminations, emergencies, organisation and administration, vehicle maintenance (State of Wisconsin n.d.). The policy is a good source of information for universities without any experience of formal car or van pool programs.
Flexible work practices
Teleworking enables employees to work from home. It is suited to those employees who do not require everyday contact with students. The University of Washington uses teleworking as a tool to reduce employee absences and to help retain employees (University of Washington 2003).
Washington University also offers employees a 'compressed working week' which allows them to work additional hours on most days, accruing work time which can be 'cashed in' for one day off. Therefore an employee may work a nine day fortnight, having each tenth day off and avoiding travel on that day (University of Washington 2003).
Teleworking and compressed working weeks have a number of benefits to the university, to staff and the community. The benefits reported to the university and staff include increased productivity and worker morale, and reduced stress and absenteeism. Other personal benefits accrue to employees from reduced travelling time, vehicle mileage/costs and personal costs (food and beverages etc). Community benefits come mainly from reductions in road congestion, vehicle emissions, vehicle noise and accident exposure (Luk et al. 1998).
Land use and transport integration
The spatial layout of a university campus can contribute to supporting public transport, walking and cycling networks. Clustering buildings around a pedestrian core assists to create a compact, walkable campus. Buildings should be in close proximity and orientated to public transport stations to provide safe and convenient access. Locating commercial businesses such as newsagents and delicatessens around the public transport station also enhances service to public transport users. Locating some student housing adjacent to the transport stop would provide an additional market for small businesses.
Car parking should be located on the periphery of the campus, preferably at a greater distance than public transport stops. However, inappropriate location of on-site car parks can be a deterrent to people walking to the campus, especially where parking is located between student housing areas and the university.
Well located student accommodation on or near the university will contribute to students walking or cycling to the campus. University of California at Berkeley has just over half of its students walking to the campus. This is largely attributed to 59% of students living within 1 mile of the University.
Influencing travel behaviour
Apart from implementing structures and processes to provide incentives for non-car travel, information and persuasion should also be used to influence individuals' travel choices. A TravelSmart marketing campaign has been used successfully to achieve travel behaviour change by individuals and households in South Perth, Western Australia.
To change travel decision processes and outcomes, it is first necessary to make individuals aware of new transport resources and options available for the contemplated journey. Every potential traveller has a 'modal pool' of transport resources perceived by them to be available and effective for each commonly experienced journey type or destination (Godfrey & Affleck 1977; Curtis & James 1998). Attitudes to mode use, and therefore the content of an individual's 'modal pool' are affected by habit and by recent experience, noted by Curtis and James (1998) as a key factor in making the transition from a contemplating user to actual mode user.
Segmenting the travel market
To alter attitudes and raise awareness of alternatives to single occupant car travel, information and marketing messages should be targeted to groups of potential users with common attitudes and needs. This requires segmentation of the travel market. The purpose of the segmentation is to identify groups with common characteristics that are likely to have common responses to promotional messages and information regarding their travel needs, their perceptions of available resources and the constraints perceived to affect them.
Segmentation of transport users should be based on a combination of shared behavioural experiences, motivations and values, as objective demographic and occupational characteristics are unlikely to provide an basis for useful attitudinal segmentation (Godfrey & Affleck 1977; James & John 1997; James & Brog 2001). Demographic variables must be combined with attitudinal variables to be powerful descriptors for segmentation.
Therefore markets for university travel may be segmented based on Income; Age; Gender; Household role (Hanson & Hanson 1981); Location of residence; Access to a car; Observed or self-reported behaviours; Attitudes to transport modes; Occupation (Administration staff - full time or part time; Teaching staff - Full time, part time or sessional; Post Graduate, Masters or PhD student; Undergraduate - full time, part time and international.
This information will come from the travel questionnaire administered to staff, faculty and students. Intersection of needs and attitudes for market segments can be derived in a two-way matrix, from which the appropriate promotional and information campaign can be developed to reach the market segments. Table 4 is an example of how this might be done, but each campus and location will differ and planners should think about the unique segmentation of their 'markets'.
|Health and Fitness Concerns|
|Financial Limitation Constraints|
|Status Orientated Focus|
|Safety Awareness Concerns|
Attitudes are derived from experiences with people and places (Robbins et al. 1994), are potentially unstable and therefore may be influenced through targeted advertising (Robbins et al. 1994). Some relevant attitudes will include:
- environmental concerns
- health and fitness concerns
- car-orientated enthusiasts
- financial limitation concerns
- status orientated focus
- safety awareness concerns (Transport 1999; Scheurer 2001).
The focus of a marketing campaign therefore needs to be information to inform transport users about how non-car transport modes can meet the needs and be consistent with attitudes shared by identified market segments.
Targeted messages to market segments
The aim of targeting messages to identified market segments is to provide user specific information that can contribute to encouraging behaviour that reduces less sustainable travel behaviour. Targeted messages provide a means of reinforcing or communicating specific educational information to certain market segments. The technique is effective because the information is designed to address the identified needs and attitudes of market groups.
For groups with safety concerns, emphasising the safety and security aspects of the university's public transport system including a shuttle bus to bus or train stations, emergency telephones, CCTV, well lit and staffed waiting areas will be more appropriate to convince this group it is safe to travel without their car. The needs identified in promotional messages must of course be genuinely catered for, or novice users of alternative non-car transport modes will be 'switched off' and persuading them to re-try will be even more difficult. Don't over-sell!
Market segments with environmental concerns can be more responsive to information and advertising emphasising the environmental benefits of walking, cycling or travel by public transport.
In developing information messages to target the audience, start with information which explains the problem, then presenting practical advice about behaviour change, and lastly show how change can be a positive contribution to the users lifestyle or the problem (INPHORMM Project 1998a).
Stage 2: Implementation
- Media Development: Promotion and Information for TDM Plan
Implementing the Travel Demand Management Plan
Successfully implementing the actions contained in a TDM plan requires:
- the appropriate systems in the university's administration
- prioritisation of actions within a timeline for completion
- leadership from senior staff within the university
- consultation with staff, students and relevant stakeholders to gain 'grass roots' support.
Organising for decisions and plan management
The Environmental Management System at your university should be expanded to address university transport, supported by sustainability objectives in the university's Environmental Plan (Manners 2001), and link to your university's Strategic Plan.
Transport Coordinators employed to implement and manage the TDM Plan are a key to successfully managing the daily requirements and problems in on-going implementation, and to plan and prioritise issues for consideration by the University Transport Committee.
The Transport Committee incorporates representatives from relevant departments including parking, security, grounds and landscape (Cameron 2003 pers. comm.). The Transport Committee assists in works approval and carrying out work within the campus grounds.
'Good practice' actions include having a member of staff unions and student guilds promoting sustainable transport within each organisation (Manners 2001). Keeping the representative bodies of staff and students informed of new initiatives and inviting comment on proposals can assist to overcome potential barriers of misinformation or misunderstanding (Department for Transport 2002a). Curtin University of Technology and the University of Western Australia have found that staff and student guilds can through simple misunderstanding considerably weaken or halt initiatives to discourage unsustainable travel patterns.
Partnerships with relevant public transport providers, local governments and the state government will be a critical element in achieving off-campus infrastructure changes that support the sustainable transport objectives of the university (Manners 2001). The importance of these partnerships cannot be underestimated and a university should seek to establish strong relationships with stakeholders early in the TDM plan development. The partnerships between stakeholders and the university will be an invaluable source of information and expertise in addition to possible funding sources for joint initiatives.
Marketing, promotion and information
There are three aspects to selling a TDM plan and the services it aims to provide:
Strategic marketing focuses on altering individual travel behaviour during moments when individuals are undergoing life changes.
Research indicates that changes in life circumstances opens individuals to new patterns of behaviour, new habits and attitudes, presenting opportunities to introduce modifications to travellers' 'modal pools' and consequent travel behaviour (The Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering n.d.). Information dissemination is a passive process in regard to plan implementation, requiring the 'market' (staff and students) to seek the necessary information. Promotional events are used to launch new initiatives and showcase ongoing initiatives in an entertaining and relaxed setting.
The need or desire for changes to lifestyle result from major life circumstances or from perceived threats to health. Moments of opportunity include change of address, change of car, change of job or job location, birth of a child, changes to schooling patterns, drivers licence acquired, drivers licence lost or suspended, persistent traffic or parking violations, violent attack while travelling, serious traffic accident, marriage/divorce, serious illness, death of friend or family member (The Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering n.d. citing Fergusson, Davis and Skinner 1999).
It is important to 'catch' people when they are in transition, for example when they first start travelling to the campus or at orientation before a travel resources are secured and a travel pattern and habits are established. At this point new transport system users should be offered methods of transport that are not currently in their 'modal pools'. This is an opportunity not to be missed.
In the university environment there are a number of identified opportunities for strategic marketing:
Orientation week is an opportunity to present transport 'solutions' to new students who are yet to establish travel patterns to the university campus. For students entering university straight from high school, a large number will just be reaching driving age. Car travel habits are yet to be entrenched and many will be without direct access to a car, either through lack of ownership or sharing a car with parents and household members.
Keeping these students on the public transport system or as 'active transport' users (walkers and cyclists), and not losing them to car travel is as more likely to be successful than persuading new students with unlimited access to a car to adopt sustainable travel patterns.
Orientation provides an opportunity to reinforce the benefits of sustainable travel, such as opportunities for exercise, sleeping, reading, socialising or cheap travel, whilst highlighting the restrictions in place to reduce car travel to campus. Given that beginning university can be a confusing and overwhelming process, providing journey planners for students and personalised information by suburb can remove some of the uncertainty associated with travel to the campus. With orientation packs, each new student should be provided with a public transport ticket granting one or two free return journeys as an incentive to utilise public transport, and to gain experience in this mode. Similar incentives or prizes should be made available to new students who walk or cycle to university within the first week.
At the University of Western Australia's orientation week, the Office of Facilities Management dedicates one day to transport issues. A marquee at the orientation day presents students with information on walking, cycling and public transport. The University adopts a slogan for the year, e.g. "Bus, Bike or Take a Hike", and utilised the slogan "Love Those Legs" to promote walking. The day presents the issues facing the University with regard to meeting car demand, describes the Access Plan and its purpose, and staff in the Office of Facilities Management advise new students on their transport options (University of Western Australia 2003).
New university staff can be introduced to the university's transport plan through induction programs.
The University of Bristol noted that a "key issue" for achieving successful implementation of their commuter plan was communication with staff (Department for Transport 2002b pg. 124). Induction sessions therefore provide an opportunity where staff who have not yet established workplace travel habits to receive information on efficient and cost-effective transport options.
Induction sessions can be used to describe the purpose of the transport plan and make available service information, walking and cycling maps in addition to information regarding salary packaging for purchasing bicycles or public transport tickets. Some organisations offer personal journey planners for new joiners (Department for Transport 2002a). All new staff applying for parking permits could be required to complete an information session with a personalised journey planner before a permit application will be processed. This will improve awareness of travel options and may avert staff from developing car dependent travel patterns to the workplace.
Staff health needs
Curtin University (Bentley) is developing a program to promote 'active transport' through the Health and Lifestyle Office, which promotes exercise in the workplace and healthy lifestyle to improve the health and wellbeing of staff. With the Curtin Envirolink (Environmental Management Office) it will develop a program to promote walking and cycling for travel to the University. This program should reduce the number of commuting car trips made by University employees and reduce sickness and stress-related illness (Bastow 2003b; Woolmer 2003). The University of Western Australia (Crawley) is also addressing transport and health issues in a collaboration between the School of Public Health and the Transport Coordinator (Cameron 2003).
Staff employed by the City of Fremantle Western Australia have trialled pedometers to measure daily activity. Log Books used in the trials also include ideas to increase daily step counts (Malcolm 2003), and advice on walking to work and walking to the bus for work travel (Malcolm 2003). The trial occurred before beginning a community 10,000-Steps program in Fremantle. Similar programs could be undertaken in universities to promote the active transport and healthy living message.
De-marketing the car
De-marketing the car includes strategies for negative marketing, demand restraint and indirect conservation. Negative marketing focuses on the marketing strategies for cars which "engage with the car users' self image"- sexy, stylish, fun, exciting, sporty - and show this perspective to be an illusion (Wright & Egan 2000:291). The aim is also to highlight the negative attributes of cars - their high cost, fumes, noise, congestion and accidents. Indirect conservation "discourages demand for a product or service whose consumption threatens another resource where conservation is important but cannot be easily marketed itself" (Wright & Egan 2000:288). The key to campaigning is humour, but there may be challenges arising from cultural differences within your university's population.
Marketing targets by residential location
The University of Western Australia has identified approximately 15 postcode areas located close to the University campus and adjacent to transport routes well serviced by public transport. Staff and students living in these postcodes are ineligible for parking permits on campus unless an exemption is obtained (University of Western Australia 2003).
In the absence of similar restrictions at other universities, or before the implementation of similar restrictions, university employees and students in such localities can be given information regarding public transport services to the university.
Personal journey planning assistance through TravelSmart should also be made available to encourage less car travel (Department for Transport 2002a). Incentives such as free bus/tram/train tickets could be included in the information package to encourage the use of public transport.
Promotion of the TDM Plan and related initiatives
Promotional functions aim to raise awareness with fun and entertainment. Promotional events can be used to motivate people to try alternatives to the car, to reward people who travel by methods other than the car, and to reach people that may not be receptive to marketing or who are not active information seekers. Promotions can be held to coincide with national or global events including 'car free days' and 'walk to work days', or other events specific to the needs of the university.
'Bike to Breakfast' events held annually in late summer are common in Australian universities. They are organised by university Bicycle User Groups, and in Western Australia the breakfasts are held in conjunction with 'Bike Week', an event organised by the State bicycle planning unit (University of Western Australia 2003).
"In Town without My Car!" is an international Car Free Day event promoting travel without a car for one day of the year. The event aims to raise awareness of car-related environmental issues and to encourage people to travel without cars. In 2000, an estimated 70 million people took part in the event in Japan, North and South America, and for the first time Australia (Curtis 2000:2). The success of the Australian event has been reviewed There is an opportunity for Australian universities to participate in this event or undertake a similar Car Free Day event at your university.
'Walk to Work Day' is an annual event in Australia promoting walking as a mode of transport. The aim of the Walk to Work Day is:
- to promote walking as an important transport mode and healthy activity
- to reduce reliance on private motor vehicles
- to promote and improve the use of public transport
- to improve air quality by reducing unnecessary vehicle emissions" (The Pedestrian Council 2002 [online]).
Your university could become involved in this annual event to promote alternatives to car travel and walking to the university. The day also provides opportunities to establish 'walking shuttles', walking groups of university staff and students who live in the same area and can walk to work together.
The Buckinghamshire Council launched their transport plan with a 'Big Bang' approach. Such launch events use billboards, competitions, giveaways, senior staff or a 'personality' to speak at the event, aimed at generating interest for the purpose. Prizes for staff at the Buckinghamshire Council included "frisbees, mugs, mouse mats, stress balls, yo-yos" all promoting the green transport message (Department for Transport 2002a pg. 32). Universities could undertake such events inviting corporate sponsorship and donations from businesses, which would benefit from the exposure to a market of 1,000's of potential customers.
Events at some universities include the 'Smart T. Bucks' program which involves participants keeping track of every non-car trip to the campus on a special calendar (the calendar is handed in for 'smart bucks'); 'Special Earth Day' as a promotion for sustainable behaviour; and 'Don't Drive One In Five Week' with every day having a different non-car travel mode (Poinsatte & Toor 1999). These can then be spent at the sponsoring businesses. 'Staying Alive' is a program that promotes active transport. Participants keep track of walking and cycling trips and prizes are available for individuals and departments achieving the greatest number non-motorised trips. 'Get It Together' is an event promoting carpooling, vanpooling and bus travel (Poinsatte & Toor 1999). For more information on American and Canadian promotional events see 'Finding A New Way: Transportation for the Twenty-First Century'.
Passive Information Strategies
Information must be high quality, accessible and relevant. Information describing access to your university should be factual, provide details for each transport mode and the service provided by each transport route. The information must be provided at a variety of locations on the campus and in varied formats - as leaflets, maps and tables, posters and signs, information resource packs, by telephone, via the Internet and in person at information centres (INPHORMM Project 1998a).
Information for university staff can be distributed via the internal mail system. All staff can be sent a 'Travel News' newsletter either biannually or quarterly. Information regarding meetings and promotional messages can be issued with payslips. (Department for Transport 2002b).
The University of New South Wales distributes a transport brochure through Student Union shops, Library and other campus information points. It outlines public transport routes to the University, service frequency, ticket costs, parking restrictions and the health benefits of walking for transport. The University has also identified other possible media for information distribution via invitations to events and conferences, stationery, business cards and electronic text. A map is to be developed with energy expenditure calculations for certain walks including walking to the University from the bus stop, and walking up the University library steps (Black, Mason & Stanley 1999).
Other ideas for conveying information include promotion of university carpool schemes with a free bumper sticker for participating cars. The backs of toilet doors can be used to display promotional posters or the university access map showing non-car transport routes (Kaufman n.d.).
Some tips for the presentation of information are listed below in Table 5.
|Table 5: Ideas for maps and information displays|
|Maps should include||
|When presenting information||
|Ways of presenting the access guide||
After your Travel Demand Management Plan has been implemented it is important to evaluate whether the actions intended to change travel patterns are effective. Evaluation measures a plan's progress toward set targets at a specified point in time, and assesses the benefits to your university and its community. Evaluation brings rigour into TDM Planning and can help decision-makers to maintain a plan that is adaptive and responsive to changes in travel demand, travel patterns and cultural expectations (Bridgeman & Davis 2000).
The process of evaluation is similar to the method for developing a TDM Plan:
Terms of Reference
The transport goals a plan has focused on are described. A mid-term evaluation may focus on one specific aspect of the TDM plan such as car trip rates and parking demand, while an annual evaluation should address all of the implemented transport initiatives.
The next step is to design an evaluation strategy (Bridgeman & Davis 2000:117), specifying what will be evaluated, how the evaluation is to occur and a completion date. Evaluations should re-survey staff and students to understand their travel patterns and attitudes to transport initiatives (University of British Columbia and Trans Link 2002; Department for Transport 2002a; University of Western Australia 2003; Roads and Traffic Authority n.d.).
It is not necessary to do a complete access survey for the evaluation, but it should include questions regarding 'holes' in the transport network. Parking supply and parking controls should be surveyed annually to ensure that any new or de facto off-site parking locations are not undermining restrictions on campus. Such surveys also provide the opportunity to alter parking charges and restrictions if necessary.
Key Performance Indicators
Data gathered from evaluative surveying can be compiled and presented as key performance indicators (KPI's) established at inception of the TDM plan. The KPIs must be compatible with targets for change established in the plan's development phase, and may include:
- number of vehicle trips generated by your university at a given time
- percentage reduction in vehicles parked on campus and surrounding streets
- acceptable take-up rate for carpooling
- increase in the proportion of staff, faculty and students using public transport
- an increase in number of bicycles parked on-site (Environmental Resources Awareness Group and Conservation Council of WA 1999).
For a successful and useful evaluation program, the KPI's must measure appropriate aspects of change, e.g. for a carpooling program, measure the number of cars arriving at your university daily rather than the number of people arriving daily by car (Department for Transport 2002a).
Targets for travel mode change can be drawn from transport targets established in plans at other universities and government programs. The University of British Columbia derived targets from TDM programmes at Canadian and American universities, workplaces, targets established in the Regional District Council's plans for the University and Greater Vancouver Region, from stakeholder input and professional judgement (University of British Columbia Transportation Planning 1999 pg. 7). The UK Department for Transport (2002a) state it is reasonable to expect a 15% reduction in car use within three years, while a minimum of 10% would be acceptable in this time.
Use of Results
Results of the evaluation can be used to promote the success of the plan and secure new infrastructure or financial support. Where benchmarks have not been met, the survey results can be used to justify further action to achieve change (Roads and Traffic Authority n.d.).