With increasing travel demand it is becoming a priority for many European regions and cities to identify and implement appropriate Traffic Demand Management (TDM) policies and strategies. TDM aims at managing travel patterns by a range of measures to influence the generation of transport demand and its distribution on different transport modes, within the respective transport network.
The assessment of the impacts and benefits from TDM are essential to reduce the risk of making costly and wrong decisions. There is still a need to apply existing assessment tools more appropriately. In particular integrated application of tools, which may achieve more realistic results and increase efficiency of assessment, is generally lacking in project assessment activities.
The overall objective of TASTe was to develop recommendations on the use of TDM assessment tools. The focus was on TDM for road networks, considering both private vehicle traffic and public transport.
The TASTe specific objectives were to:
- review and assess existing TDM assessment tools;
- develop a common European framework for TDM assessment;
- provide guidance to use available TDM assessment software tools.
The main output are the TASTe guidelines. The guidelines provide a general procedure for using assessment tools and in particular help identify:
- TDM measures against particular types of problems.
- Performance indicators.
- Tools against input/output data and main types of assessment realised.
- Criterion for selection of assessment tools.
- Tools for handling and visualising data efficiently.
The experiences in the TASTe case studies indicate that efforts invested in tools applications can be justified economically by achieving pay back periods of one year or less.
General development needs identified for software tools to be of the most practical use are:
- standardising the definition of the road network and networks of other means of transport;
- building common databases to store input data in standardised formats;
- making the operating environment compatible for all tools to facilitate integration;
- making better use of available information (e.g. from GIS databases);
- encouraging the use of GIS products.
Potential users of the guidelines are road authorities, public transport authorities, scientific institutions, industries and consultancies. TASTE guidelines are expected to enable them to gain more ideas as to how best select tools, develop data sets and apply tools. Surveys can be better targeted and the cost of data collection can be reduced. The use of the guidelines enables the investigation of the interactions of TDM measures when implementing them in packages, which has the potential to lead to an improved acceptance of the measures.