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Transportation Demand Management or TDM (also called Mobility Management) refers to various strategies that change travel behavior (how, when and where people travel) in order to increase transport system efficiency and achieve specific planning objectives. TDM is increasingly used to address a variety of problems.
A typical person makes more than a dozen trips away from home each week – to work, shopping, errands, social and recreation activities. Many of these trips are flexible in terms of their timing, mode and destination. For example, many commuters can vary when and how they travel to work or school, at least some days. Similarly, errands can be organized in various ways, such as walking or bicycling to neighborhood shops, driving to a downtown or mall, or making several automobile trips to various destinations dispersed along major highways. Recreational activities can also have various travel options, ranging from a neighborhood stroll, driving across town to exercise at a gym, or cycling for errands and commuting.
Many factors affect people’s transport decisions including the relative convenience and safety of travel modes (such as whether streets have sidewalks and bikepaths, and the quality of transit services available), prices (transit fares and the price of parking at destinations); and land use factors (such as whether or not schools, parks and shops are located close to residential neighborhoods). Even freight transport often has flexibility in how goods are shipped and deliveries organized.
Transportation Demand Management strategies influence these factors to encourage more efficient travel patterns, such as shifts from peak to off-peak periods, from automobile to alternative modes, and from dispersed to closer destinations (VTPI).