A Transportation Demand Management
of the University of Waterloo community
1 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY *
2 INTRODUCTION *
3 DEFINITION OF PROBLEM *
5.1.1 Parking *
Supply strategies *
Fee strategies *
Alteration of parking psychology *
Examples of successful parking TDM projects from other places *
5.1.2 Transit *
Universal Bus Pass (UPASS) *
Shuttle Bus *
Grand River Transit (GRT) Restructuring *
5.1.3 TDM Employee Programs and Telecommuting *
Rideshare Programs *
Variable Work Hours *
5.1.4 Land Use *
Bicycle-Friendly Design *
Pedestrian-Friendly Design *
5.1.5 Travel Behaviour *
5.1.6 Housing *
On-Campus Housing *
Off-Campus Housing *
8 BIBLIOGRAPHY *
As the single largest commuter destination in Waterloo, the University of Waterloo has the opportunity to greatly contribute to the success of Transportation Demand Management (TDM) initiatives in the region. The university’s promotion of itself as a leading educational institution should include a commitment to forward thinking on such issues. Planned development on North Campus may increase traffic, perhaps providing an extra impetus for developing such strategies. At individual, institutional and societal levels, there are social, environmental and economic reasons to implement a TDM program. This report investigates five TDM strategy areas, defining how these approaches might fit into a TDM program, describing how systems already in place at the university could support a TDM project, detailing a range of potential strategies, strengths and weaknesses, and a general implementation plan. The implementation plan considers examples from other universities as well as the barriers that will need to be surmounted.
The overall objective of TDM strategies is to reduce the total number of automobile trips. This can be achieved through use of the five strategies considered herein, most effectively if strategies used in concert. The strategy areas considered in this report consist of individual and institutional activities (such as telecommuting), land use strategies, housing strategies, mass transit strategies, and parking management strategies.
Telecommuting – working from home and "commuting" electronically may allow some workers to stay home for a portion of their work week, thereby eliminating those work trips altogether. However, it is likely that many will continue to be required to show their physical selves on campus. The remaining solutions seek to help define how better, more sustainable methods for getting to campus can be built into the future. Those advocating land use strategies argue that the location and arrangement of facilities affects travel behaviour. Traditionally, zoning has segregated land-uses, so that people have to drive from their houses to shop and go to work. If mixed-use development allows neighbourhood facilities to be close to people’s homes, people will be able to walk to their destinations. Land use is an issue of particular concern as projected increases in enrolment at the University of Waterloo indicate escalation of the already acute pressure on the housing situation in the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo. Students are forced to seek housing farther away from the university. As the major student destination is the University, it makes sense to think about how the relationship between land use and transportation can support easy passage between home and school. Students could be housed on or close to campus. They could also be concentrated along streamlined transit routes. However, at present, transit in Waterloo is not perceived as an efficient system, and is thus underused by UW commuters. Discussion with the university and Grand River Transit (GRT) suggests that ridership could be improved by targeting routes to serve students and by developing a "universal bus pass" at the Universities. Parking management can be used as a catalyst to the adoption of these above-mentioned programs. As the ability to park is intimately connected to a driver’s ability to use their car, restrictions and disincentives, such as fee increases, could force drivers to use alternate transportation, or think about the location of their housing. Incentive programs, such as guaranteed close parking for carpools could encourage positive transportation choices.
For each of these strategy areas, the report outlines and evaluates several implementation tactics. For transit, these include: 1) a mandatory "universal bus pass" for faculty, staff and students, 2) a campus-run shuttle bus to service popular destinations between densely populated areas and the university, and 3) restructuring GRT by either rerouting GRT transit lines so that they serve student needs more efficiently, or incorporation of a transit node which could increase efficiency & provide greater access to students. For telecommuting, the report studies the enhancement of the opportunities to access this type of work. Students, too, could telecommute, reducing the number of students on campus. The land use tactic investigate mixed use planning design, where compatible land uses adjacent to one another might help reduce the number and length of trips necessary. Also included in this section are bicycle friendly design: bike lanes and networks, city and university partnerships to support, institutional provisions – bike loans, lockers, showers, and pedestrian friendly design: safety, accessibility, design – reinforcing transit goals, as well as encouraging pedestrians. The travel behaviour strategies involve: looking at decisions and networks, understanding hierarchy of choice, perceptions, culture and information and learning. There is a need to segment population into at least three groups – faculty, staff and students – understanding that different travel behaviours depend on these factors. Finally, housing investigates: on- and off-campus housing options, as well as changing Minimum Distance Separation and accessory apartment policy and regulation changes.
Each recommendation has been analyzed using the SWOT method, which assesses proposals’ Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Strengths of the TDM proposals include correction of inefficient land uses and equity issues – whereby non-drivers are directly or indirectly subsidizing infrastructure for drivers. Also an equity issue, some strategies convenience those who choose alternative modes without disadvantaging motorists. There are personal and social health benefits to reduction of car use. Weaknesses in the idea include concerns that TDM initiatives may not be strong enough to counteract the motivation to drive. There is resistance in both user and administrative populations to TDM. Opportunities for TDM come from the positive demonstration of TDM effectiveness at many other institutions, both academic and business. The University of Waterloo’s North Campus development may provide a significant opportunity to implement TDM principles from the beginning of the project. Students on campus, because of their particular lifestyles, may be especially receptive to incentives.
There is great potential for a TDM program to be effective. However, there is at present, no transportation crisis, which is a Threat. To make certain that negative transportation patterns are changed, and not merely displaced, some systems may need to be redeveloped or redesigned. Although the double cohort (the one-time arrival of 4 year and 5 year Ontario high school program graduates in the same year) may temporarily increase the student population, there is the possibility that the future will bring reductions in the student population, challenging the validity of expensive permanent changes in infrastructure. Positive TDM measures may simply take too long to implement to be effective. As well, there are cost concerns, co-ordination of stakeholder difficulties, and inclement Kitchener-Waterloo weather.
Education and promotion are important components of all the strategies proposed. No strategy can be effective without positive buy-in from users. This is particularly the case with parking management strategies. Parking strategies include an increase in fees and reduction of the supply of parking. Although both methods have been successful in other places at reducing unaccompanied driving, both methods inconvenience some drivers and are consequently unpopular. Parking management must therefore be coupled with a strong educational program that illuminates transportation options.
Already, there are some policies and programs at the University of Waterloo that could be used to support a comprehensive, integrated TDM program. The university’s campus physical plan has positive implications for TDM – new building construction is designated for parking lots inside ring road; no new parking will be built to replace the loss. The university has been designed as a pedestrian campus, and school policy continues to support this mandate. Well-developed networks of paths and cycle lanes support biking. The university is already supporting some initiatives. WATgreen, the environmental voice of the university has developed a library of Waterloo-specific research. Environment and Resource Studies 285, a course that provides much of the person-power behind WATgreen research, can harness student energies to investigate specific environmental questions. Some segments of the University of Waterloo population are already using alternative modes of transport, the rest consists of a giant body of people who can be influenced – a ready market especially for improved transit.
To successfully implement the University of Waterloo’s TDM program, it is necessary to design policies with due consideration to the entire TDM system. The entire community must be considered. The TDM program design should consider both the two other large local post-secondary institutions, Wilfrid Laurier University and Conestoga College, and the experiences of other university TDM programs, such as the University of British Columbia’s UBC TREK. As mentioned above, some degree of restructuring may be important, and it is critical that there is university support given to particular units or departments if they need to change. Indeed, a successful strategy will recognize the inherent value of all its participants, developing its schema through collaboration, building consensus throughout the community. This means that while the overarching goal must always be in mind, much of the change will prove to be incremental in nature. This is certainly in part due to financial considerations – marshalling support from sustainability grants, and the need to show the economic logic of TDM programs – but also is a simple reality of human resistance to change, especially when no threat is visibly encroaching. Finances are but one of the barriers that will need to be addressed by any TDM initiatives. Others include: the lack of perception of the need for TDM, the uncertainty of the current policy environment and the complexity role transportation plays in most modern societies.
If there is any one lesson to be taken from this research, it is that TDM objectives are only achieved through the dedication of individuals and communities who champion the cause of reasoned, sustainable planning. To make the case for the changes of lifestyle that TDM embraces means a carefully plotted, determinedly executed participatory method. Building consensus is a slow and rarely glamorous undertaking, but it is so clearly the key to changing old attitudes and habits.
Both Julius Caesar and Emperor Hadrian identified traffic congestion as a serious social dilemma and took action by banning the movement of carts during the daytime – creating what was likely the world’s first Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategy (Sauvé, 1996). Many municipalities across North America are dealing with similar issues of congestion that have resulted from increased automobile use and urban sprawl. The Regional Municipality of Waterloo is one such community that is attempting to reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality and address the social ills created by increased reliance on the automobile.
The Department of Planning and Culture of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo has the responsibility of overseeing the Regional Transportation System. Local residents have made it clear to the Region that TDM strategies are important and must be implemented as identified in the Regional Transportation Master Plan. The Region is initiating a TDM program to reduce automobile traffic (Region of Waterloo, 1999). The Region recently hired a TDM Coordinator to initiate and maintain strategies between the stakeholders in the Region. As the University of Waterloo (UW) is a major employer and key destination in the Region, graduate students in the School of Planning, University of Waterloo, were asked to investigate TDM strategies for the university, to assist the Region with its TDM initiative. The graduate students completed this preliminary report as part of PLAN 720, a planning workshop course.
There are many of reasons that cycling, walking, taking the bus are more attractive modes of travel than single occupant vehicle (SOV) use. These include health benefits, personal and social costs, and benefits to the environment. However, cars are convenient, they are status symbols, and, further, current policy and infrastructure support car use. In fact, at the University of Waterloo, car use may be, by design, a very effective transportation option. However, the economic, social, and environmental costs due to high SOV use are high. They include: the cost of the car, its operation, insurance, parking, congestion, road costs, land values, municipal services, reduced travel choices, endless miles of roadside strip mall donut shops, pollution, noise, resource consumption, etc. (Litman in Litman, 1998:38). Other transportation modes are not inherently unappealing, but they are not so thoroughly supported by infrastructure.
Because there is already car-supporting infrastructure in place, the choice to use the provided services seems obvious, almost free. The "magic circle" argument advanced in the 1970s (Dupuy, 1999) demonstrated that the more road networks built to support current car volumes, the more cars were drawn into the network, necessitating more road building. SOV use is convenient, but it is not sustainable. Do we continue to build to support this mode of transportation, or do we shift to a more sustainable type of transportation?
Transportation demand management is a phrase used to describe a program to develop policy and programs to support more sustainable travel and more efficient resource use. Good not only for transportation, but for increasing the vitality of community. The key to a good TDM program is to offer and promote attractive alternatives to SOV travel, and to make existing alternatives more available. The intended result is that people will not be ‘forced’ out of cars, but will be glad to trade the expense and frustration of their single-occupant vehicles for a more sustainable solution.
TDM may be a low priority for the University of Waterloo, in light of many current pressing challenges, and because there is no clear crisis of transportation. However, precisely because Waterloo is not staring in the face of a transportation nightmare, and there are many options still available, this is a strategic time to question current transportation policy and programs and to begin incorporating TDM strategy into new policy. Further, it is possible that a more comprehensive understanding of the TDM issue may help the University deal effectively with some of the upcoming crises. For instance, student housing issues must be addressed before the arrival of the double cohort of Ontario high school students. If this issue is addressed comprehensively, it may be possible to discover a solution that solves both the impending housing crunch and the possible related transportation difficulties. New students might be housed either within walking distance of the university, or along major bus routes. TDM may be particularly interesting in light of the proposed new Business Park. With help from the Region, and with other universities’ experience to draw from, it is our hope that the University of Waterloo will see benefit to TDM, and will want to develop such a program.
This report explores the opportunities and barriers to the design and implementation of TDM strategies at UW. It is an accumulation of general ideas about TDM, directed by individual and group meetings with key stakeholders at UW and in the surrounding communities of Waterloo and Kitchener. The report focuses on five general themes that included: 1) travel behaviour, 2) parking, 3) transit, 4) land use, and 5) housing. The graduate students divided into five teams, with a team for each theme or strategy based on the individual students’ interests.
This report does not attend to all possible TDM strategies for UW. The five themes were chosen as an attempt to focus only on a few areas, given the time constraints imposed by the school term. For example, bicycling, an alternative mode of transportation that is widely used students, staff and faculty was not adequately addressed in the report. The teams also did not consider Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU) and Conestoga College in the report even though both contribute to traffic generation, off-campus parking issues and student housing problems in the Region. Given the complexity of the five strategies covered in the report, it is acknowledged that future research must address other areas, such as cycling, whose insufficient coverage herein in no way diminish their significance to TDM schemes.
The report provides the rationale and background to implementing TDM strategies based on the social, economic, and environmental impacts associated with expanding automobile use. TDM is defined and several case studies of successfully implemented TDM programs are documented. Next, the report details the current situation at UW with regards to the five theme areas previously mentioned. This includes information on programs or facilities already in place at UW that support TDM goals and objectives. In addition, recommendations are made for each TDM strategy and a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis of each recommendation is included in the report. Finally, the report contains an implementation overview and identification of potential barriers for the TDM strategies.
Over the course of the twentieth century, the automobile has become a vital part of contemporary life, throughout much of the world and here in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo. The increased availability and accessibility of the car has had tremendous influence on the way our communities have grown. The development of the region of Waterloo, with its tri-city structure and resultantly dispersed form, serves as a perfect example of a community influenced by the automobile. Indeed, the region relies heavily on the automobile; as long ago as 1991, 92% of Kitchener Census Metropolitan Area’s (CMA) households reported the ownership of a motor vehicle, as compared to the national average of 75.9% (Bunting & Filion, 1999). This situation has likely changed little in the interceding years.
As the shape of our urban regions has evolved, this easy access to rapid, individualized transportation has come to be seen more critically. While the access to less expensive and more expansive homes was once seen as a means to provide families with their own space to grow, the increased burden that an automobile-driven transportation system has placed on communities has become more clearly understood (for example, Safdie & Kohn, 1997). Residential uses, however, were not the only land uses to take advantage of increased mobility to locate in more peripheral regions. As a campus first developed in the 1950s, the University of Waterloo is a prime example of a suburban university campus. This suburban setting provides an excellent opportunity to investigate the means and motivations for the application of TDM strategies to a specific destination.
Concerns related to the effects of untrammeled automotive expansion
are many. We have chosen to group them into three particular, but inter-linking
Simply put, TDM is about reducing the use of motor vehicles. In practice, however, this goal is met in a multitude of fashions. First of all, and most central to the project of demand management, there is the goal of overall reduction of automobile demand. This, too, is achieved in a number of ways. The reduction of SOV trips by promoting carpooling or mass transit, or by facilitating non-motorized, alternative means of transportation are two such examples, but TDM strategies may also include reducing the need for travel altogether, through initiatives such as teleworking. In some cases, TDM may also involve changing work schedules, with the resultant greater travel flexibility producing a more even pattern of transportation network use, muting the effect of morning and evening rush hours.
Ultimately, TDM arises from the understanding that traditional supply-oriented
approaches to transportation needs are insufficient; new roads tend to
simply create more traffic, new parking lots bring ever more cars (Safdie
& Kohn, 1997). TDM tries to view transportation issues as part of a
broader network of planning choices, emphasizing not only the physical
network of our streets and highways, but also the activities which necessitate
travel, and the organizational frameworks within which these choices are
made. In a recent report by the Planning Advisory Service, Erik Ferguson
(1999) detailed the five main strategic options for TDM as: investment,
meaning, time, labour, and money spent on promoting TDM programs; technology,
such as modifications to existing modes of transportation; pricing,
by placing different controls on the transportation market; management,
the more effective use of existing resources; and marketing,
the promotion of the appealing features of managing one’s transportation
demand. These strategies must ultimately be responsive to the context in
which they are to be applied, with careful regard given to the manner in
which each strategy will affect other tactics and the community at large,
and, of course, which are most reasonably practicable. The Region’s study
for its Transportation Master Plan, for example, has already found that
the current community sentiment is resolutely against management strategies
(Waterloo Region, 1999). Perhaps, given time, this will change, but it
remains an important consideration if TDM goals are to be embraced locally.
Recognizing their important roles as both the sources of large amounts of traffic demand and important social (and usually public) institutions, numerous universities throughout North America have already taken great strides towards implementing traffic management plans.
The University of British Columbia (UBC)’s TDM strategy (see appendix for website addresses) provides perhaps one of the stronger parallels to University of Waterloo’s position: both are Canadian university campuses that are located in suburban areas. UBC has developed a very strong program for TDM, building support both within the university and the larger community of Vancouver. Dubbed the TREK program, this initiative imparts a useful model against which to compare any local TDM initiative.
Several businesses and institutions in both Canada and the United States have already implemented TDM strategies and are now realizing the benefits of such a program. There are many examples that illustrate the effectiveness of TDM and the following three case studies present various scenarios. Two Canadian efforts include the Ottawa-based firm Nortel Networks as well as the aforementioned UBC TREK program; a case study of Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York supplies an American perspective.
Nortel Networks initiated a pilot program in the spring of 1999 in co-ordination with the Region of Ottawa-Carleton and the OC Transportation as part of a GreenCommute strategy to promote alternative forms of transportation to reduce air pollution (Lewinson, 2000). As the region’s largest private sector employer (Lewinson, 2000), the participation of Nortel was critical for the Region’s TDM efforts. Sharon Lewinson (2000), the Nortel TDM co-ordinator, explained how the company was expanding their operation on the Carling campus and that part of the site approval process included the implementation of a TDM package. This requirement was intended to promote alternative methods of transportation for Nortel employees by equipping them with a variety of commuting options. Nortel provided a number of tools for commuting options, which included a new transit hub with routing changes, expanded or enhanced bicycle and walking trails, a carpooling parking garage, a web-based matching program for carpoolers, and more (Lewinson, 2000). Such initiatives are examples of the types of TDM tools that can be readily implemented by organizations. Lewinson (2000) suggests that the best method is to incorporate an entire package of TDM tools to allow employees to choose the most suitable alternatives for themselves. Carpooling is the most effective ‘modal shifter’ for employees, whereas public transit continues to be less of a desirable choice (Lewinson, 2000). Most employees still drive their own vehicles to work but the TDM package has provided them with feasible alternatives that will hopefully become part of the daily routine. Lewinson (2000) points out that there is a constant need to advertise alternative modes of travel until people realize the benefits and participate in the shift.
University of British Columbia
The primary motive for starting a TDM program at The University of British Columbia might be described as the result of political compromise by the university. Local community members became concerned about the impending south campus development because of the possibility of adverse impacts on local streets. The university responsibly sought alternative solutions to address community concerns and subsequently formed a Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC). The Greater Vancouver Regional District, also at this time, had begun efforts to work with UBC to implement an official community plan that included a transportation component. These two events made it possible for the university to effectively launch their TREK program in January 1998. Before launching this program, the TAC hired a Director of Transportation Planning, Gordon Lovegrove, to oversee the process. The TREK program circulated several discussion papers, conducted numerous public forums, surveys, presentations, and several events to identify issues, options, and recommendations (Sumner et al., 1999). The TREK program has also sought to form partnerships and initiate pilot projects to create initiatives that would gradually form the basis of their TDM strategy. Through careful analysis of these efforts the TREK director created a draft Strategic Transportation Plan that was submitted to the UBC Board of Governors for recommendation in November 1999 (Sumner et al., 1999).
Cornell University Ithaca
Cornell exemplifies the many universities in the United States that have initiated TDM strategies. The program was implemented in the summer of 1991 with an initial five-year commitment (Graves, 1993). David Lieb (2000), Director of Transportation Planning at Cornell, explained that the primary impetus underlying the initiation of TDM was the need for an additional 2,500 parking spaces. The senior administration was responsive to finding cost saving alternatives to building expensive parking facilities. Cornell staff and faculty were targeted as ideal candidates to partake in TDM strategies since they are the primary commuters to the university, most students (50%) either live on campus or in close proximity (Lieb, 2000). Public meetings provided a forum for suggestions to automobile reduction. Many employees were concerned about having to leave work in an emergency and not being able to get home. This issue was immediately addressed through the implementation of a Guaranteed Ride Home. Other key components of the program included: increasing parking fees by 6% a year over a subsequent five year period, initiating OmniRide, a partially or fully subsidized transit service from employee benefits for full and part-time employees, and implementing specific carpooling initiatives that included cash incentives or free parking to promote rideshare (Graves, 1993). With the increased rate in parking, people became sensitive to the expense since it was a visible cost. As a result, people reflected on their commuting decisions, providing an audience to the benefits of alternative transportation options. Lieb (2000) recognized that each audience is different and recommended the importance of catering to their specific goals and objectives.
The TDM initiatives of businesses and institutes are a valuable resource
for UW since these organizations have already began the process and are
experiencing varied results. It is important for the success of any new
program that the successes and failures that others have experienced be
examined in order to determine effective plans of action. These three case
studies presented various reasons for starting TDM and each overcame specific
limitations. However, it remains evident that each scenario had the cooperation
and participation of numerous stakeholders, which ultimately determined
the success of the programs. For a TDM program to be implemented at UW
partnerships must first be established with both the Region, City and university
administration. These partners should present an agenda that will meet
the needs of all concerned and that will create a climate that recognizes
the critical, desirable, and achievable values of TDM.
One result of travel behaviour research is that the factors and variables
that influence travel behaviour can be identified. Table 3.1 summarizes
these factors. As may be expected, the many different factors vary across
time, place and culture.
Table -1: Factors Influencing Travel
Behaviour and travel behaviour
Safety and comfort
|Social, Cultural Economic Factors-|
Function of travel
The OECD and the Global Environmental Change Program of the UK Economic and Social Research council hosted a workshop in 1996 entitled "Culture, Choice and Technology." This workshop recognized the importance of "understanding the forces that motivate and shape individuals’ travel behaviour" (OECD 1997:4), and tried to reach beyond the engineering and economic analysis of travel behaviour. It identified several key messages of benefit to TDM policy development.
Parking management is cited as the second most effective traffic reduction strategy after road pricing (tolls can target not only users, but routes and length of trip) (Verhoef, 1995). However, there is a dilemma involved when using parking as a TDM strategy. On one hand, there is the possibility of reducing car dependency via parking management; on the other, there is the need to provide adequate parking for traffic safety and congestion reasons (Verhoef, 1995; Thompson and Richardson, 1998). Thus, the question of adequate parking is at the heart of the issue. The object of parking management TDM is to get drivers to leave their cars at home, so that less parking equals adequate parking.
There are two things that make parking management such an effective strategy. One is that parking is directly related to car function – if you cannot park, you cannot use your car. Two, parking can be used selectively to target certain areas, certain times, specific types of behaviour, and certain types of users (Thompson and Richardson; 1998). Parking management does not seek to eliminate all auto trips. However, there is recognition of ‘necessary’ traffic. One study estimates that 10-30% of all travel, including biking and walking, are ‘necessarily’ made by car. The challenge is to identify which are ‘necessary’ driving trips, and then use parking management to target and reduce the ‘less necessary’ trips. This ability to target makes parking strategies particularly useful for a university campus, which has great diversity in the driving patterns of the population.
There are too many benefits derived from driving to hope that car reduction will happen spontaneously and voluntarily. "Parking policy reform has been slow because automobile drivers benefit from the current approach" (Willson, 1995:40). Even cities with positive public support for car reduction require some form of policy to reduce car dependency. Thus advocates of parking management offer two main strategies. The first is user fee increase and the second is reduction of overall supply. Other suggestions include: landscaping to convenience those who choose other transport modes, incentives for carpooling and transit-use and walking and educational programs. While ‘carrot’ methods should be a manager’s first choice (Verhoef et al, 1995), ‘stick’ methods may be necessary. It is important to consider parking TDM as part of a whole TDM program -- the strength of Amsterdam’s parking-oriented TDM strategy "lies in the coherence of the plan as a whole. Implementing only the most appealing or least disruptive elements will certainly not bring about the desired effect" (Lemmers, 1995).
There are general critiques of the parking system. Employers may in reality invisibly subsidize parking provided ‘free’ or very inexpensively. ‘Free’ parking increases the number of solo driving trips. (Willson, 1995:29). Further, subsidized parking is not equitable: commuters without cars do not receive these same benefits (Shoup, 1997). Parking lots are poor land use. Parking requirements reduce land use density, and the resulting sprawl necessitates more car use, and more automobile-oriented design (Willson, 1995). Parking lots located near buildings for driver convenience may deter transit-users, walkers and cyclists, who must walk through lots to reach their destination (Willson, 1995:38). Oversupply of parking has negative effects on the ability to sustain market pricing; cheap or free parking has again, a ‘magnet’ effect on drivers. "When parking supply exceeds demand, it tends to be treated like a costless good" (Willson, 1995:34).
There are many reasons not to implement a parking related TDM strategy. It is important to keep in mind that although likely to be initially unpopular, it is an effective strategy, especially when used in conjunction with TDM strategies that increase the availability and attractiveness of alternate transportation modes.
Parking issues were addressed in the 1992 Campus Master Plan. Some proposals have already been acted upon; some are in the works; some suggestions have still to be investigated.
The following proposals have been acted upon and in the works:
Transit-related TDM strategies focus on three areas: one, increasing transit ridership, two, improving the efficiency of existing services and three, identifying potential new services appropriate to an area’s traffic concerns. These three issues are interrelated.
The Regional Municipality of Waterloo’s Grand River Transit system (GRT) currently serves the University of Waterloo. For this report, current GRT services were examined, as were the transit services provided in other municipalities. From this analysis, opportunities and suggestions for local improvements were identified and considered.
Implementation of the strategies proposed below will entail financial cost. As with any TDM strategy, initial output costs can be seen as barriers to implementation. In light of this, it is key to emphasize the less-tangible, long-term environmental and social benefits associated with these strategies.
For example, one major environmental benefit that could result from
improved transit efficiency is a reduction in the amount of short-distance
(under 5 km) automobile journeys, as people may choose to ride rather
than drive. A general benefit of transit-related strategies is that the
proposed solutions would likely increase the overall amount of both passive
(occasional, optional riders) and captive transit riders (those
with no other means of travel, regular commuters). Of social benefit,
improved servicing may spark new interest in transit use among those currently
not using or exposed to the services.
Telecommuting is a positive TDM strategy being used by many organizations. It offers many benefits including cost associated benefits to companies, it supports individuals and families in many ways and it supports the move to an environmentally sensitive society. The University of Waterloo is in a prime position to implement telecommuting. By allowing people to work from home for some portion of the week, telecommuting eliminates some commute trips altogether. It is fast becoming a concept under serious consideration by many employers, either for part or all of their workforce (Talbot, 1999:65).
There are many benefits to be enjoyed by an institution that encourages telecommuting. Talbot (ibid.) suggests, for example, that the ability to tap into the large pool of highly skilled staff who would otherwise be unavailable is just one of those benefits. Economic costs may be reduced as the electronic handling of data and administrative tasks significantly reduces paper waste, and there are lower overhead costs. The productivity of staff increases dramatically (Talbot, 1999:69) because those who telecommute are able to concentrate on their work with fewer co-worker distractions. There are social benefits, too: staff may have more quality time with their families, as they spend less time traveling and there is no longer the problem of having to get to a facility which is only open during certain hours.
There are, however, problems associated with telecommuting. A lack of an established institutional model for telecommuting is a concern for pioneers of this mode of work. As well, Talbot feels that there are only certain types of individuals who are good candidates for telecommuting: those with self-discipline, organizational ability and correct mental attitude (Talbot, 1999). Telecommuting may reduce social interaction amongst employees. Home-related interruptions from children and friends may be distracting. Such problems must be considered for a successful telecommuting program.
The University of Waterloo is in an excellent position to implement
telecommuting as a TDM strategy. The Department of Human Resources, for
example, in its Family-Friendly Policies, Programs and Practices state,
"flexibility in the workplace includes: flexible/alternative work arrangements
[which] may include telecommuting" (http://www.adm.uwaterloo.ca:80/infohr/flexible-work-schedules.html).
This is an encouraging beginning – policies contribute greatly to shaping
and guiding behaviour. Many staff members on campus have responsibilities
to students, making it difficult to work at home on a regular basis. There
are, however, many others who do not have direct regular contact with students
who could benefit from the opportunity to work at home, even for one or
two days a week. Finally, the University is already ‘wired’ so that support
staff may be electronically connected from their home to the University.
Land use is the underlying determinant of TDM strategies. Because of new and projected developments around campus, UW has the opportunity to implement initiatives that will coordinate with pre-existing designs. TDM should also become the determining factor for future land use planning and design. The location and arrangement of facilities greatly affects travel behaviour, rendering effective planning critical to the success of TDM goals.
Current configurations of the University’s south campus support TDM. The main flow of pedestrian and bicycling activity is in a north-south direction along campus. The existing routes connect users to the south side city centre and the north side conservation lands on well-illuminated pathways designed for safety. The Campus Master Plan proposes more efficient use of peripheral surface parking lots through in-filling lots with future structures. UW has also recognized the advantages of mixed-use planning by accommodating a diverse selection of on-site services for students, faculty, and staff. The close proximity to off campus facilities further exemplifies the benefits of mixed land uses since students, faculty, and staff can readily access the services by foot or on bike.
The overall design of UW is largely determined by an automobile-centered
philosophy as parking lots surround the perimeter, presenting an uninviting
atmosphere. There is a clear need to encourage a more pedestrian-friendly
environment that will lessen the dominant profile of automobiles and provide
visually enhanced surroundings that are more conducive to pedestrian activity.
Design concepts that encourage alternative travel modes can change people’s
behaviour and provide the foundation for effective TDM strategies.
Student Housing as a TDM Strategy
Housing is usually considered as a component of a TDM program under land uses, where transport efficiency is promoted through locating land uses in relation to their transport requirements. In this particular case, however, housing is isolated from other land uses for the following reasons: 1) student housing is scattered throughout the two cities; therefore, neither the University of Waterloo nor any of the cities can make deliberate efforts to target student housing through land use policies, and 2) students are mixed with other residents such that it will be difficult to have a land use measure that could consider both students commuting to the University of Waterloo and other residents commuting to their place of work. One exception should be noted: currently, the City of Waterloo requires that houses inhabited by four or more students be licensed as lodging houses. This allows for some control over the location of student housing. However, landlords and students may choose to ignore this Minimum Distance Separation (MDS) bylaw if the demand for housing outgrows the supply of legally licensed dwellings.
The rental housing market in the Kitchener-Waterloo area has not been growing at a sufficient rate to keep up with demand. Rental housing production declined rapidly from 1000 units between 1989 – 1993 to over 100 between 1994 and 1998 whereas population has been increasing (Dunphry et al, 1999:60). The rental market survey conducted by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation revealed that rental vacancies has fallen below the 2 – 3% range depicting tightening rental market (see Table 3-2) (Regional Municipality of Waterloo, 2000:2)
Table -2: Vacancy rates in Kitchener CMA
|Apartment Vacancy Rate||1998||1999|
|3 Bedroom and above||1.5||0.7|
Table -3: Average rent per month by bedroom type and municipality
|Rental Sub market||Bachelor||1 Bedroom||2 Bedroom||3 Bedroom +|
This table suggests a tight rental market with high demand relative to supply. Higher rents in City of Waterloo are attributed to the great demand placed on the market by students from both universities. Sybil Frenette, Director of Housing for the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, (2000) suggests that the increased student demand for affordable housing has a negative impact on low-income families and individuals who are outbid by university students for safe, clean affordable housing. An administrator at the University of Waterloo notes that this demand only lasts for a four-month period beginning in September with the influx of new students. This strain is reduced in January when many students leave for co-op work placements. As a result, there are many empty beds in on-campus residences in the winter and spring terms.
The majority of students at the University of Waterloo live outside the University Campus. It is estimated that about 80% of students live off campus (Walker, 2000). The current student housing supply is well dispersed throughout the two cities (See maps in Appendix 1) with density increasing as one gets closer to the University. Given the current saturation around the University it is clear that any additional pressure on housing is likely to push students farther away from campus which will mean increased reliance on automobile for travel to campus.
City planners and university administrators believe that the neighbourhoods
immediately adjacent to the two universities are saturated and cannot support
more students. In addition, it is likely that the residents in these neighbourhoods
would resist any attempts by the City to increase capacity by relaxing
the MDS by-law. This by-law dictates that there must be at least 75 metres
between lodging houses. Thus, this by-law essentially prevents licensing
of any additional lodging houses near the university. However, if enrolment
increases and the supply of rental units does not, new neighbourhoods farther
away from the campus will see increases in the number of licensed and unlicensed
student houses. Fire department representatives note that their ability
to efficiently inspect licensed establishments and act on complaints by
local residents will be compromised as lodging houses disperse from the
campuses. More enforcement staff would be required to maintain the current
level of inspection rates.
It is estimated that less than 20% of students live within the campus. Through its 5 year plan the University of Waterloo intends to increase the number of beds to 5010 by 2002, with potential for adding 500 beds at UW Apartments. If enrolment is increased to 17,200 students in 2003, as originally projected, the university could accommodate 29% of the total student population. According to recent surveys, Walker (2000) notes that only 35% of students want to live on-campus, and 65% prefer to live off-campus. This would suggest that an increase of beds to 6000 would be able to meet the on campus housing demand. However, without additional government funding, it is unlikely any new on-campus housing construction would be undertaken.
Student enrolment in the institutions for higher education across Ontario will face an increase of as much as 40% between 2000 and 2011, as the children of the Baby Boomers attend college and university. In addition, the ‘Double Cohort’, which may increase enrolment by 60% in 2003, will complicate enrolment projection over the next 10 years. Increase in student enrollment is likely to put pressure on the already saturated University district as well as force students to seek residence farther away from campus. Students located farther from campus will have limited transportation options. However, it is hard to accurately predict the impact of this outward expansion, as enrolment projections for the three major post-secondary institutions in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo (University of Waterloo, Laurier University and Conestoga College) are affected by a number of factors. Lack of government funding to support increased enrolment has prompted both universities in Kitchener Waterloo to announce that they may not accept more students to accommodate the projected growth. The uncertainty makes it difficult to estimate the enrolment increase and the future demand on housing in the region. Figure 3-1 illustrates the potential increase in student enrolment at the University of Waterloo (only) if the university does accommodate the projected growth. This represents a worse case scenario, which is unlikely given the commitment to providing quality education maintained by both universities. However, prior to the recent government announcements on funding for 2001, the two universities stated they would increase by 3500 new students over the next 3 years (Student Housing Task Force, 1999). At minimum, the University of Waterloo will take in 600 more students under the ATOP program.
The student housing issue creates concerns in numerous areas and any timely solutions discussed in this report generate their own sets of issues. Students want housing that is close to campus, near amenities (e.g. grocery stores, night clubs, malls, etc…), clean, safe and affordable. All TDM strategies, especially those that increase transit, cycling and walking opportunities, must consider where students work, live and play.
|Environmental Impacts||Social Impacts||Economic Impacts|
There are, however, many other initiatives throughout the university that dovetail nicely with TDM strategies. These are detailed in Table 3-5, overleaf, broken down into each of our main strategy areas.
Table -5: Current practices and conditions
that support TDM strategies
|Alternative Modes of Transportation
Some of these strategies may have costs associated with their implementation. At present, Parking Services generates surplus revenue from fines, which is redirected into other university programs, such as a scholarship and bursary fund. This money could be retained within Parking Services and used to support a parking TDM plan.
Incentives should target groups (for instance, fee waivers for carpoolers); deterrents, such as fee increases, should be applied generally for reasons of equity.
As mentioned in the introduction, parking spaces attract cars. Therefore, there are a number of ways that reduction of parking supply can be used as a good TDM strategy. Even if the total number of spaces is maintained, more efficient land use can be achieved through re-striping lots to make smaller parking spots. This action could have the added environmental benefit of offering less surface area to generate runoff. However, the University of Waterloo has ample land. Parking supply is intimately linked with a user’s ability to drive – if there is no parking, or limited parking, there is no convenience increase associated with driving. Space supply strategies would require a strong commitment to TDM.
A ‘known’ amount of parking allows drivers to assess the possibility of getting a spot and plan to drive or not accordingly. In particular, elimination of ‘free’ parking, restriction of certain types of users, and time restrictions on availability are effective. Space supply strategies may be particularly applicable at the University of Waterloo as they allow the possibility of gradual change, infill of parking lots is already planned as new buildings are added to the campus, and reduction of parking will permit the simultaneous improvement of the university landscape. Temporary reductions in parking area would have the benefit of tightening the parking system, of concentrating maintenance efforts, of reducing the psychological effect that allows drivers to translate abundant, cheap parking into a sense of parking entitlement, while still maintaining the ability to be flexible for the double cohort.
Supply strategies include:
Surface parking is an inefficient use of land, consequently it makes sense to direct new building to surface lots, and to improve the capacity of remaining lots. Space strategies are equitable – they do not penalize just the poor. Infill is planned already.
The University of Waterloo has enough parking; it could be difficult to encourage rapid decreases in parking area for an abstract good. The infill scheduled for parking lots may take several decades to achieve the kind of space reduction necessary to have any TDM effect, therefore, to achieve space reduction, this strategy would require strong TDM commitment from university administrators.
The ‘prioritization of parkers’ strategy works well at Queens. This strategy could implemented slowly, replacing parking with positive infrastructure over time. If pressure on the parking system increases, these strategies will eventually be necessary.
When infill happens, the university must be careful that parking is not simply reallocated to another area. There may be costs associated with space reduction that will not be able to be recouped through user fees. Because of costs and liability issues, Parking Services may not be able to manage the implementation of space reduction or ‘alternate use’ of lots.
Fee increases have great potential for success and do not jeopardize the viability of Parking Services. Permits with limited amounts of entries control for multiple trips during the day, and maintain to a certain extent the current fee structure. Reduced parking fees for target group carpooling (i.e. amongst staff with regular 9-5 jobs) might be a good way to introduce the idea of parking demand management.
There are equity issues involved in fee strategy TDM initiatives. On one hand, while surveys show that deterrent pricing can effectively reduce solo driving while simultaneously increasing revenue, this strategy penalizes those with lower incomes. On the other hand, it may be the case that there are both hidden and open costs to parking privileges, which are subsidized by the non-driving community. A 1995 report by the Ad Hoc Committee on Traffic and Parking found that the long-term actual costs to maintain parking lots exceeded the annual fee charges to drivers. Like supply strategies, fee strategies allow drivers to assess their parking situation before they leave their homes. Fee strategies may be used as general deterrents, or as targeted incentives.
At Queen’s University, a 1994 survey indicated that a 25% increase in fees would result in a 15% reduction in drivers. This finding is similar to WATgreen findings (Vanstone et al, 1999, "Recommendations") – which a 100% fee increase would result in 43% fewer parkers. This indicates that fee increases would result in lower traffic and increased revenue. Parking service’s mandate to generate revenue is preserved in this scenario, and the equity issue of subsidization can be addressed. Further, at present, it is cheaper to park at the University of Waterloo than to use transit. An increase in fees to make parking prices at least equivalent to transit fares might make transit use look more attractive.
A reduction in fees for target groups can encourage certain types of driving behaviour. For instance, with the purchase of a U-Pass, carpoolers at the University of Washington are offered free parking. This program has reduced single-occupant-vehicle permit purchases by 23% over ten years.
Another form of fee strategy is the cash buy-out of spaces. California
has implemented laws that address the injustice of employer-subsidized
parking; employers are now required to offer the cash equivalent of the
"fees" that they are invisibly subsidizing to employees who choose not
There is evidence that fee increases work. If parking is subsidized, then eliminating the subsidy clears up some equity issues between drivers and non-drivers. Fees can be used to precisely target user groups. Cash buy-out of spaces is effective in discouraging new employees from driving.
The driving population is very resistant to fee increases. Full-cost pricing is difficult to describe. Fee increases are problematic for people with low incomes. Cash buy-out could not be offered to students.
Surveys indicate that fee increases would decrease driving behaviour while increasing revenue.
As fees go up, so do parking infractions, causing problems for enforcement personnel. There is some risk that revenue will decrease. Cash buy-out of spaces may prove too expensive.
Alteration of parking psychology
Studies demonstrate that the convenience of driving often wins over the good environmental messages of an educational program (Tertoolean et al, 1998). However, an educational campaign, which demonstrates mode choice options to parking permit purchasers, may be able to demonstrate convenience and cost factors associated with other mode choices, or offer targeted incentives.
Parking environment designed to encourage other mode choices
The location of parking lots often reinforces the convenience of driving, while inconveniencing those who choose other modes of transportation. For instance, those who choose to walk to their destinations may be forced to walk through car-centred environments such as parking lots to reach their destinations. The University of Waterloo will be reducing some aspects of this car centred environment: already, parking lots are being moved outside of the Ring Road so that interior space may be used for building infill. This landscape change might be used as a TDM strategy. Visual improvement of the landscape is a ‘pull’ strategy (Thompson and Richardson, 1998), and has the power to move people into spaces. A pedestrian and cyclist welcoming visual environment could be achieved through landscaping of the parking lots. The parking environment could also be used to encourage certain types of driving behaviour. For instance, the lots most convenient to the University, such as H, P and M, could be designated as carpool lots.
Fee structure designed to encourage thought about other mode choices
At a buffet, diners may be encouraged to consume more than they need to. Possibly an open parking permit encourages the same kind of behaviour –after the initial flat fee is paid, it is to a driver’s advantage to consume as much of the service as possible. A permit, which allowed only a certain number of entries, might encourage drivers to consider other mode choices, especially when making decisions about small commutes. This type of permit could either be offered as a set number of entries per month, or drivers could anticipate their parking needs and purchase a certain number of entries.
UW employees presently pay about $160 per year for a parking spot. The
University could raise the cost of parking to $40 per month and give a
$30 transportation allowance to each employee. This money could be used
towards the cost of parking. Alternatively, the money could be spent on
alternate transportation, or employees could walk or bike and be $30 richer
These methods offer attractive alternatives to driving, conveniencing those who choose sustainable transportation, and offering gentle disincentives to solo drivers.
People may be convinced that driving is bad for the environment and social health, however, car-owners find driving compelling because of convenience. Any campaign to change behaviour must fight against the status and speed advantages of driving.
WATgreen, the Environmental Studies faculty and the City of Waterloo could participate easily in an educational campaign.
There is good chance for implementation, but concern about the level of actual impact on driving behaviour. The costs of landscaping may be prohibitive, and landscaping may cause safety concerns.
Examples of successful parking TDM projects from other places
There have been strong motivators behind the parking-related TDM strategies put into action in these next case studies. It is possible, though, that by implementing a TDM strategy before a transportation crisis occurs, that the crisis may be avoided altogether. "Cities with under average shares of car traffic frequently belong to those which are active, economically strong and livable" (Thompson and Richardson, 1998). There is evidence that this situation can be created through strong TDM policy.
Because Queen’s University ran out of space for cars, the university administration has been forced to look at a number of different parking-reduction strategies. Currently, there is a waiting list for parking, buildings are planned to take the place of existing parking lots, and there are substantial enrollment increases expected. Parking demand exceeds existing space and the situation is worsening. Already in place is a preferential parking policy -- eligibility for space is based on how far you live from the University. The current proposal is to extend this "Core Area." A 1994 survey indicates that a 25% increase in fees would result in a 15% reduction in parkers. This equation describes a situation of fewer parkers and more revenue. More distant lot use and a shuttle service means that Queen’s can make better use of the existing supply of spaces. The development of small car parking lots is increasing the efficiency of land use. Queen’s also proposes to formalize carpool incentives and a carpool matching service.
University of Washington
Incentives to reduce faculty and staff single-occupant-vehicle (SOV) traffic through encouraging carpooling have been effective at the University of Washington. Besides offering transit incentives, the University of Washington’s U-Pass system also offers parking related incentives to carpoolers. U-Pass holders who participate in a carpool are eligible for free parking; non -carpoolers pay $46/month. Through this system, the University of Washington has reduced the number of faculty and staff SOV permits by 20% between 1990-1999. This is significant, as, like the University of Waterloo, staff and faculty permits at the University of Washington make up the great majority of the total permits purchased. The U-Pass has also reduced student SOV permits by 41%, but students make up a less significant percentage of total users. Carpools are sometimes seen as inconvenient, thus the University of Washington offers a "reimbursed ride" program, whereby faculty and staff who cannot make their carpool home may be reimbursed for 90% of taxi fare up to 50 miles per quarter. Although the U-Pass annual budget is giant at $9 million per year, almost $8 million goes towards transit. The remaining $1 million is raised largely through U-Pass user fees, parking fees (which have been raised) and fines.
Incentive programs have been effective amongst certain users in California. California air-quality legislation requires that employers subsidize non-drivers to the same extent that drivers are subsidized, offering a cash alternative to parking. This system has been found to reduce lone driver commuting, especially in new employees, although the program has been less successful at getting long-term commuters out of their cars (Shoup, 1997).
Incentive plus disincentive programs also work (Willson, p.36), but again, these incentives are more effective when targeted towards certain users. One company’s increase from zero fee with a rideshare incentive to a $30 monthly charge with a rideshare incentive resulted in a 49% reduction in solo driving. "This example demonstrates that parking pricing can significantly alter mode share, even in areas with little transit service." However, employees with more elastic schedules are less likely to buy into this program. Students and faculty with flexible schedules may not be good targets for this incentive. However, clerical staff and other staff with regular hours might be quite receptive.
It is possible to implement an effective TDM program in the face of opposition. In the 1960s, Copenhagen felt pressure from both urban sprawl and the pressures of the car on old city not designed for huge car capacity (P. Newman, 1998: 304). Despite comments that Copenhagen had no strong urban culture, and that Danes were too attached to their cars, planning policy has helped to make the city attractive enough to draw people in, while making it hard to get there by car (Gehl in Newman: 304). Social and recreational activity has tripled in Copenhagen’s major streets (Gehl & Gemsoe, in Ibid.). There has been prosperity in Copenhagen (ibid., p.305) despite no growth in car use in the inner city for 30 years. Danish planners have taken a somewhat hard-line approach to the argument that business will withdraw from city.
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
A good commitment to a total TDM strategy gives positive hope for the long term. In 1993, 50% of the Amsterdam public expressed support for the idea of reducing traffic in the city. In order to meet the goal of reducing city centre car traffic by 35% a parking strategy was adopted. Parking management was chosen because this strategy can better target certain types of users under the premise that not all spaces generate same amount of traffic. Amsterdam will reduce total parking availability by 3000 spaces. Parking tariffs will be cheaper at outskirts. Because of Amsterdam’s good enforcement infrastructure and commitment to transit development, the long-term results expected to be neutral or positive (Lemmers, 1995).
An equitable TDM parking policy will respect the needs of the University’s Parking services. It is important to recognize that their position as an ancillary department means that under Ontario Provincial policy, Parking Services must generate revenue. Under this policy, Parking Services is doing their job well, generating enough revenue to cover operating expenses and maintenance and generating a surplus from fines, which is used to support a scholarship and bursary fund (O’Brien2). The University parking lots are effectively doing their primary job, which is to provide cheap, convenient parking. The fact that the system is working so well is, in fact (oddly), a structural barrier to some types of good TDM policy. As well, because of its position as an ancillary department, Parking Services may not be able to manage parking related TDM initiatives alone; it may not have a budget to implement TDM strategies; new costs may jeopardize their ability to generate revenue.
Abundant parking exists on Waterloo Campus because there is demand for it, and ample space. Under transportation policy that has sought to meet demand with supply, this parking situation makes sense. Although in general, commuters dislike being inconvenienced, the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo may have a particularly strong case for maintaining their current parking situation. Commuters in these cities face unpredictable and often severe weather for a substantial portion of the year. Transit service is perceived to be inconvenient and poorly connected. At the University, concerns about safety at night may encourage people to bring their cars, rather than walk, cycle or wait along the parking lot lined University Boulevard. Further, students and faculty may spend only portions of an erratically scheduled and busy day on campus, and may feel that they need their cars to travel from place to place on an hour-by-hour basis.
People who want parking often have clout. The City of Kitchener found that businesses moved away if they could not purchase enough parking. It is possible that the businesses moving in to the technology park proposed for North Campus will have similar parking demands. The Region also found in a survey done for the Transportation Master Plan that parking TDM measures were unpopular with general population. Because of this public pressure, parking management strategies haven’t been considered seriously.
Because ample University parking lots are already in place, and there is no competition for spaces, parking may be perceived to have no or very limited cost by administrators and the public. Further, parking lots may be seen to have a double purpose, as land in store for future use, and therefore, costs associated with maintaining the land may be perceived to be irrelevant. Concern about the effects of the double cohort may cause reluctance to impose measures that will reduce the parking supply. Because of limited building activity, planned reductions in the parking supply through infill may happen so slowly that there could be no TDM effect unless there is a conscious effort made to implement a TDM program.
The primary aim of the transit-related strategies of this TDM report is to increase mobility between the UW campus and the greater Waterloo community for students, faculty and staff. Increasing transit ridership as a strategy is directly associated with reducing the number of vehicles on the road and in the parking lots. The three most recommended and seemingly feasible strategies for the UW experience are outlined below. These include: 1) the creation of a "universal bus pass" for students, faculty and staff; 2) the provision of a campus-run Shuttle Bus and; 3) proposed rerouting of current GRT transit lines to better accommodate the University’s needs and the possible placement of a transit node on university property.
Universal Bus Pass (UPASS)
Over 70 colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada already have a universal transportation program (UPASS) in place that provides students, faculty, and staff with flexible commuting options at substantially reduced prices (Sumner et. al, 1999). UBC began the U-TREK program and Cornell initiated OmniRide by forming partnerships with their respective regions and transit operators (Graves, 1993; Sumner et. al, 1999). However, the UPASS idea has never been fully explored as a serious TDM initiative at the University of Waterloo. The implementation of a UPASS at UW has a great deal of potential for improving transit ridership among students, decreasing students’ reliance on automobiles, and providing captive student riders with more affordable transit passes.
The recently instituted UPASS program at the University of Victoria in British Columbia has been highly effective. The University of Victoria UPASS costs $44 per term, per student ($11 per month) (http://www.uvss.uvic.ca/u-pass/home.html). This price compares favorably to the standard $32.00 per month cost for a student bus pass in Victoria (http://transitbc.com/victoria/fares/index.stm). The current Grand River Transit (GRT) student pass fee of $136.00 for three months ($45 per month). If a UPASS program was to be introduced at UW, the economic benefit of the system has the potential to be an excellent motivator for university students on limited budgets to take transit. Other universities in Ontario with UPASS programs include the University of Guelph, Trent University, McMaster University, and the University of Western Ontario.
Because of the tremendous cost savings, a UPASS at UW would significantly improve GRT ridership. Given the dispersed city form of Kitchener-Waterloo, ridership on public transit has been consistently low for a long time, as many—including students—find it more time-efficient to take their personal automobile instead of transit. By instituting a non-refundable UPASS, students would have access to transit for the entire term and many would make use of it as a cost-efficient alternative to the rising cost of gasoline and car ownership in general. With increased GRT usage, service and route improvements would become more feasible options for the GRT and the Region of Waterloo. However, despite the potential benefits of the UPASS to students, UW and the GRT, to actually institute a UPASS at UW may be very difficult, or even impossible. Some barriers exist which must be overcome before a UPASS could be put into action.
First, the perception of an inefficient and slow GRT service must be altered before students would be interested in paying for a UPASS. This perception, whether accurate or not, could be seen as a hindrance to acceptance of a UPASS by the student body. Possible solutions could include a realignment of GRT routes or an increased promotion of existing GRT routes which demonstrates how efficient the routes currently are. Marketing of a reliable, safe, punctual, efficient, and flexible transit system may encourage some people who had not considered transit a valid option in the past to rethink their position.
Second, the issue of whether or not to make the UPASS mandatory (non-refundable) will cause much debate between the students and the university. It is our position that, except where a disability necessitates commuting by car, the UPASS should not be refundable.
To implement a UPASS at UW would require several small, incremental steps, the first of which being the education of students of the benefits and amenities related to public transit as a viable commuter alternative. Once people are made aware of transit’s benefits, a student referendum on the implementation of a UPASS could be held. Only with the majority support of the student body can a successful UPASS program be utilized as a TDM measure.
A second transit-related strategy that could potentially improve accessibility about the UW community would be the implementation of a university-run shuttle bus. The main purpose behind such an initiative would be to increase mobility particularly between the most popular university-related destinations, namely UW’s main campus, the north campus, Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU), Columbia Lake Townhouses and potentially other selected locations of dense student housing.
Potential solutions are numerous and varied, ranging from merely expanding the services of Waterloo’s current Safety Van, to operating a full-scale bus route from the campus. As stated above, the object is to streamline travel between the areas that generate the most traffic.
Such a shuttle bus initiative is currently in place at Oxford Brookes University in Oxford, England. At Brookes, two full-size buses run along a simple route from the main campus to the off-campus residences and satellite campus areas as well as stopping at key locations in the city in order to accommodate students travelling to town. These buses arrive at the main campus twice hourly and run from the time that classes begin in the morning until approximately 5:30 pm. In the evenings and on weekends there is less frequent service. Students are required to present their student cards upon boarding. The service is available to all students and is funded through tuition fees and revenue generated from advertisers who place ads in and on the buses. Non-students may ride for a nominal fee. (Note: no literature was available about this service. Information was observed during personal visit to Brookes University, spring 1999.)
Important strengths of such a strategy include:
Restructuring of the Grand River Transit service could come in two potential formats. The first is the re-organizing of the current GRT routes. The second is the placement of a transit node on or near the University campus. These plans are not necessarily mutually exclusive as the implementation of one would be beneficial to the other.
The current GRT transit routes, (see Figure 4-1 below) while relatively efficient overall, do not effectively target the student populations living adjacent to the UW and WLU campuses. The main routes that come to the UW south campus include 8, 12 and 7D. Route 8 only travels on University Avenue between the two campuses from Westmount Road to King Street. This may capture some student traffic along this main artery, but does not effectively gather the many students coming from the streets just off of University Avenue.
Figure -1: Transit Routes near UW Campus
Route 12, shown in red above, fairly effectively winds it way along Keatsway Avenue between Fisher-Hallman Road and Westmount to gather students living on the west side of the UW south campus. However, once moving onto University Avenue, Route 12 heads directly up University re-passing over the area already traversed by Route 8. This kind of redundancy does not effectively meet student transit needs.
Route 7D, the only route to actually come onto the Ring Road which encircles UW, does a good job of covering the Columbia Street corridor, and King Street between Columbia and University. Like both Routes 12 and 8, route 7D also travels along University between UW and King Street. This makes three separate transit routes which currently traverse the same piece of University Avenue from the UW campus main entrance (and beyond, to Westmount, in two cases) to King Street. This redundancy is not necessary on a main artery where most university students do not live or necessarily travel from on a daily basis. What is recommended is a re-engineering of the current routes away from University Avenue to target the main agglomerations of university students as identified on the maps displaying student-housing locations in (see Appendix 1). By targeting one or two routes through these high-density student areas, route efficiency would increase student ridership. For example, Route 8 could be routed off University at King to the south and around WLU capturing the large amount of students who live in the Bricker and Ezra Avenue areas. The Route could then rejoin University Avenue at either Albert or via Seagram at the UW main entrance.
Aside from the main density target areas around both UW and WLU, the current transit routes are completely ineffective when it comes to meeting the needs of the development occurring on the west side of Waterloo. This area is currently almost completely unserviced by public transit. While this newly developed area may not contain many students at present, over time, as the north campus develops and students move further away from the University, a need for transit will arise in this area. Action needs to be taken now to meet this need in the future.
While the restructuring of the existing transit routes is a highly feasible option for targeting student needs, the timeframe for such a major transit overhaul is very long term. The process of re-routing transit lines would require major practicability and feasibility studies and could not be completed as a short term TDM implementation.
The second component of the GRT restructuring involves the placement of a transit node on or adjacent to university property. Because North Campus is designated for future development, it may provide a good opportunity to integrate such a transit node. However, at this time, it is felt that while the transit node on campus is a good idea to improve the efficiency of the transit system and to provide greater access for students to public transit, it is unlikely this will happen in the foreseeable future. Past attempts at finding a mutually advantageous transit node location for both the GRT (at the time Kitchener Transit) and UW were unsuccessful and little has been done recently to try to resolve this issue. Therefore, given the history surrounding this issue and its incomplete nature, implementing this as a TDM measure seems improbable, however desirable, at this time.
Studies have found that TDM strategies such as variable work hours and rideshare provided some intangible benefits to employers such as reduced tardiness and increased staff morale (Bhatt, 1991). These strategies have increased productivity, job satisfaction, and ability to manage child-care (Freas and Anderson, 1991).
Many TDM program strategies exist. Whether or not specific strategies are successful largely depends on many factors related to external conditions as well as the nature and habits of the people who are working within the institution. TDM strategies are generally geared towards those who are employed on campus, rather than students. The rationale behind this is that students are transient an have more elastic schedules than University staff. It is easier to target staff than students.
Coordinating carpooling is an effective method to match commuters at businesses and institutes. Bulletin boards and web sites are facilitative devices that can advertise routes and work schedules. Nortel Networks has had the greatest success with their carpooling efforts and has proven to be the biggest mode shifter (Lewinson, 2000). Monetary incentives are an effective way to encourage rideshare by charging less for those who participate. Cornell University has developed cash incentives or free parking to promote rideshare. A regular feature article in the employee newspaper and on the university computer network connects prospective carpoolers (Graves, 1993). The cash incentives relate to parking, whereby if there are four or more individuals in the car one can receive either free parking or cash rebates depending on where they park on campus (Graves, 1993). Cornell also has a vanpool system in place where riders also receive cash incentives.
Carpooling could be further supported if an Employee Transportation Coordinator (ETC) were established for the University. This ETC would maintain a database of ride and coordinate carpools University-wide.
The effectiveness of a rideshare program may be compromised by the unpredictability of peoples schedules. For instance, if a child needs to be picked up early from school due to illness, a carpool cannot accommodate this individual transportation need. A support service such as Guaranteed Ride Home (GRH) was an important part of TDM implementation at Cornell University. The GRH initiative allows employees to take a taxi in an emergency and be reimbursed up to some maximum distance per year.
The factors that most encourage rideshare are found to be a combination of internal and external forces. Higher parking costs, better transit and off-site parking restrictions were found to be the most effective (Dowling, Feltham, and Wycko,1991). Generally it is found that negative incentives are more effective than positive incentives (Frederick and Kenyon, 1991).
Variable Work Hours
Flexible work schedules can greatly mitigate traffic congestion at peak hours. Some of the work schedules at the University are conducive to a variable work hour program. This involves changing schedules so that fewer employees are travelling at peak hours. This type of scheduling is already part of many public and private offices, including Nortel Networks (Lewinson, 2000). A TDM strategy at UBC suggests starting classes a half-hour earlier, shifting from 8:30am to 8:00am, to reduce traffic conflict between staff and students (Sumner, 1999).
The 4 / 40 schedule allows the employee to work his or her 40 hours per week in 4 days by working 10 hours per day. The 9 / 80 schedule allows the worker one day off every two weeks, working about an extra hour each day. Some of these hours might be able to be worked from home. Benefits of the variable hour work hour program are: rideshare increases, decreases in commute time, increased employee satisfaction and effectiveness, and schedule flexibility (Freas and Anderson, 1991).
We recommend the University of Waterloo adopt a strategy to enhance telecommuting opportunities. For example, to enhance the number of staff and students to be able to work at home 1-2 days/week or more.
The University has many inherent strengths which could assist in the
development of this strategy. There are many staff members on campus who
could work from their home 1-2 days per week. The University is already
set up to provide the technological support essential to telecommuting.
As mentioned, Human Resources already has an established policy supporting
Many staff and faculty have jobs conducive to some degree of teleworking, the university is set up with all the technology to support electronic connections from home to the university, U of W already offers a variety of distance education programs and courses, human resources already has a set of policies and guidelines that support teleworking, there is a great deal of telecommuting already happening
A lack of support and positive feeling from some management about the benefits of tele-working as an alternative workplace arrangement, although there is a great deal of telecommuting already happening, it is not being tracked as ‘telecommuting’.
Telecommuting could be promoted as a healthy lifestyle option, enhanced use of telecommuting offers more opportunities to those people who have limited mobility, Waterloo Regional Transportation Plans identify teleworking as a viable TDM strategy, productivity increases when individuals telecommute, the University could save money on office space.
Employees and students may feel isolated if they work form home many days a week, only those with self-discipline, organizational ability and the correct mental attitude can work in this kind of work structure (Talbot, 1999), intensive initial training needs, possible associated costs.
Mixed land use has the potential to reduce auto travel by lessening an individual’s dependency on his or her car as a means of accessing services. Mixed use effectively reduces the total number of trips made by automobiles by minimizing the travel distances.
If desired services were available close to places of employment this would lessen the need to use an automobile to run the errands. Davidson (1991) studied travel patterns to and from work and found that the trip became more complex as people combined several stops along the way. This pattern is referred to as trip chaining. The most common trip chaining stops included general services such as banking, food outlets, child-care, dry cleaning, general convenience shopping, and exercise facilities (Davidson, 1991). The desire to maximize the efficiency of trip chain stops makes commuters reluctant to carpool. However, if necessary services are located near places of employment, people may consider alternative travel modes.
Businesses in mixed-use facilities may have different hours of operation, which could extend the hours of use for parking lots. For instance, a lot used during the day for nine-to-five workers could be put to use in the evening by restaurant goers (Ewing, 1996). This resourceful use of parking space frees up land for other uses.
In his study of Suburban Employment Centres, Cervero (1989) found that the percent of people traveling to work in some manner other than driving alone rises as density and the amount of mixed-use increases. For instance, ridesharing is highest in high-density mixed-use areas. Cervero (1996) also found that every 10% increase in retail floor space results in a 3% increase in the share of transit users and ridesharing.
Columbia Street offers an excellent opportunity for a mixed-use development
that would be accessible by university patrons from both the North and
South Campuses. This development would form a corridor along a relatively
major thoroughfare. Businesses located along this corridor would thus get
both university and non-university traffic. A high density, high traffic
corridor is an ideal transit route (Ontario Ministry of Transportation,
Has the capacity to promote an overall reduction in automobile use through the integration of a several compatible uses i.e. general services, convenience shopping, and recreation services in a specific location.
Requires that existing land use infrastructure is re-developed to integrate compatible services into a specific area.
The University of Waterloo and the Cities of Kitchener and Waterloo have the capacity to integrate mixed use into future land use planning developments eg. the university’s North Campus development.
There are difficulties involved with coordination of mixed-use strategies between the University and the City to develop a compatible plan.
Through the management of land use planning and design it is possible to make provisions for bicycle-friendly designs and facilities on the University of Waterloo campus. There is potential for individuals to make significant contributions to a healthy environment by participating in this energy efficient, time effective, and cost saving mode of transport.
Sustainable TDM concepts include bicycle pathways, bicycle lanes on roads, and institutional provisions such as bike lockers and employee showers facilities. Cornell University implemented a program called "Cornell Cycles" where they plan to integrate bike lanes into roadway improvements, add new bike racks on campus, and enforce bicycle safety (Graves, 1993). Several universities such as the University of British Columbia (UBC), Washington, Wisconsin-Madison, and Minnesota-Minneapolis have also recognized the need to implement better routes and end-of-trip facilities to encourage bicycling (Graves, 1993; STP, 1999).
Auto travel tends to remove people from the core of a community, thereby adversely affecting local economies. "Improvements to public transport, walking and cycling facilities will improve access and contribute to improved health" (Whitelegg, 1993, p. 98). Promoting cycling as an alternative mode of transport can help to stimulate local economies by encouraging people to remain within community boundaries that will create better business and social connections.
Bicycle Loans: Provide a select number of bikes to students, faculty, and staff to use for travel around the campus as well as to destinations off campus. The bicycles should be distinct in their appearance so as to make them identifiable as UW bikes. These bikes would be available for one-day loans.
A Bicycle Scheme: Create a partnership between the university and a bicycle company whereby the company supplies the university with a set number of bicycles to be used by students, faculty, and staff. The university would keep track of the total number of kilometers that are put on each bicycle. If, in a set period of time, the total number of kilometers exceeds an amount predetermined by the company and the university, then the bicycles are given to the university free of charge. If the total number of kilometers is not achieved then the university is responsible for paying the company for the price of the bicycles.
Bicycle Lockers or Bicycle Storage on Campus: Provision of secure lock-ups on campus for students, faculty, and staff who choose to travel by bicycle to the campus.
Shower/locker room facilities: Convenient provisions for locker rooms and shower facilities for students, faculty, and staff who choose to commute to the campus via bicycle.
Education: An educational component to make people aware of the benefits of cycling will be necessary before any bicycle-friendly strategies can be implemented.
Bicycle Networks: Improved links between the university and the surrounding areas that will promote an increase in travel to the university by bicycle. This will also encourage members of the community not associated with the university to travel through the campus to access facilities in the downtown.
Bicycle Lanes: The University of Waterloo campus and surrounding areas already has bike paths (gravel) and bike lanes (on roadway) in some areas but there is potential to incorporate more in strategic areas.
Bicycle Advisory Group: A UW/city advisory group responsible for promoting, monitoring, maintaining, and evaluating bicycle strategies
Partnerships between the City and UW: For successful implementation
of bicycle initiatives, it is necessary to foster a mutually beneficial
relationship between the city and UW.
Increased bicycle use has the potential to benefit individual’s health and well-being. As well, bicycle use can offer economic, social networking, and environmental benefits for individuals and communities.
Bicycle use as a form of transportation is highly dependent on factors related to travel distances, weather, and individual physical abilities.
The university supports an large, relatively young and active population that would likely benefit from provisions for increase bicycle use.
Bicycle use requires some changes to existing land use design as well as, careful consideration of land use policies for the university and the city.
Through the management of land use planning and design it is possible to make provisions for pedestrian oriented designs and facilities on the University of Waterloo campus as well as in the areas surrounding the campus. Jane Jacobs (1961) discusses how good street design can positively influence social interaction and create healthy communities. "The street depends on the volume of pedestrians and the attractiveness of its uses for its success" (Whitelegg, 1993, p. 99).
Transit users, too, are pedestrians on both ends of their journey (Ontario Ministry of Transportation, 1992). As a way of encouraging people to walk or take transit, the campus should become a more pedestrian-friendly environment. The University has already made significant progress in this area and makes reference to future pedestrian integration in the Master Plan and for the Technology Park. Many of the following suggestions are intended for future North Campus development.
Short Term Recommendations
Pedestrian Safety - Safety must be a high priority when designing pedestrian areas. One way to ensure pedestrian safety is to introduce traffic calming measures such as speed bumps, tables, and humps. Structurally narrowing the width of streets, or allowing on-street parking which effectively narrows the street width (Ewing, 1996) slows traffic and allows pedestrians to cross the street more easily. This is an example of designing on a human scale, rather than an automobile-determined scale. Ideal street widths for pedestrians are about 28 feet (8.5 metres). This width includes street parking (Ewing, 1996). The proposed street width for the main boulevard into the technology park is 59 feet (18 metres) wide, which includes the centre median (4 metres wide) and the two roadways on either side (each 6.75 metres wide). The internal typical roadways are planned at 7.5 metres wide. Even these proposed widths are considered narrow by conventional terms (Roth, 2000).
Accessibility – It is important to design landscape features at a human scale, with pedestrian tendencies in mind. A driver in an automobile is constrained by the street pattern. Pedestrians, though, are encouraged to walk if given multiple route choices. Pedestrian thoroughfares between buildings and diagonal paths that allow for direct access to the street will make it easier and faster to travel as a pedestrian than as a driver. These paths should be straight, short, and well-lit (Ewing, 1996). In order to encourage pedestrian interaction between North and South Campus, the traffic lights should be changed to increase the frequencies of red lights and keep them red long enough for pedestrians to cross the street. The key is to make the area relatively automobile-unfriendly, while also making it automobile-accessible.
Long Term Recommendations
Building Design – Design buildings at a human scale. Buildings should be moved closer to, and oriented towards the street. This allows pedestrians to access buildings without having to walk long distances to the entrance. Accommodating delivery bays at the back of buildings allows buildings to be designed flush with the street and frees the pedestrian of truck exhaust and noise. Parking lots should be placed either to the side of or behind buildings so pedestrians do not have to wade through a sea of cars and asphalt to reach their destination. The preliminary plans for the North Campus Technology Park indicate that many of these concepts have been acknowledged and incorporated.
Aesthetic Design - The environment should be attractive to pedestrians. Stimulating street-facing architecture adds interest to the pedestrian’s journey, while walking alongside blank walls can make a short walk seem longer. Neighbourhood intensification is supported by aesthetic architecture, as pleasing, well-designed buildings can decrease perceived density (Cervero and Bosselman, 1998). Landscaping along sidewalks has two purposes: to a pedestrian’s journey more attractive and more comfortable. A canopy of trees shelters pedestrians from extreme weather (Ministry of Transportation, 1992). Attractive and comfortable street furniture may also lure drivers out of their vehicles. Both landscaping and street furniture are in the proposed plan for the North Campus Technology Park. The plan also shows four-metre wide sidewalks, which will add to pedestrian comfort.
SWOT Analysis for Pedestrian-Friendly
There are positive societal and individual effects of increased pedestrian travel, including health, economic, environmental, and social benefits.
Pedestrian travel is highly dependent on travel distances, weather, and individual physical condition.
The University of Waterloo promotes itself as a pedestrian campus. Pedestrian travel is encouraged and promoted within existing land use design.
Traditionally, funding for pedestrian infrastructure has not been incorporated into transportation planning.
On examining the travel behaviour of the UW community, it is quickly evident that it is useful to segment the population into at least three parts: faculty, staff and students. The different characteristics of these populations have implications for TDM strategy design. Most students use a mode of transport other than Single Occupancy Vehicles. (Russell, et al, 1998). As discussed in Section 3.3.1, the decisions, networks, perceptions, culture and information influencing students promote these alternative modal choices. Their youth, mobility, activity cycle, culture, active and flexible lifestyle contribute to their travel decisions. For these reasons, this is the population most easily encouraged to use alternative transportation forms. However, the turnover of students is high. Between one third and one quarter of the UW student population turns over annually. This makes long-term changes in individual students’ behaviour, in some ways, irrelevant.
In contrast, staff and faculty have a low rate of turnover. As shown by parking statistics (see section 4.1.1), UW staff and faculty are proportionately the highest users of SOVs. Unlike students, their activity cycles, lifestyles, culture, perceptions and choices are least amenable to alternative forms of transportation. However, as long-term employees of the University, they are also the easiest population to target for long-term change. Any long-term changes made to faculty and staff travel behaviour are very important because these changes will contribute to persistence of long-term TDM strategies.
However, it is not enough to look only at the characteristics of the UW population of travelers. Analysis must also include an examination of the institutional context in which staff, students and faculty operate. This includes determining what institutional decisions impact travel behaviour (both long and short term impacts), the sequence of these decisions, and which decisions frame or exclude subsequent choices. By determining the effects of institutional decisions, we can identify the key, high-order decisions that affect the travel behaviour of the great majority of people.
Perception of options has great impact on travel mode choice. How do members of the UW population perceive 1) the range of their current travel options and 2) the quality and characteristics of the different travel options? As discussed earlier, often travelers do not make a ‘choice’ about their travel mode, because they do not perceive that there is a choice, given the priorities that they have in their daily activity cycle.
Finally, it is critical to be strategic about information and educational development and dissemination. It is not enough to merely provide information and education. It must be designed to be effective and timely. Again, the point here is to design TDM strategies that are most influential for targeted segments of the population. For example, for a student, the savings from not owning a car, means more money for tuition or living expenses. For a faculty or staff member, not having to purchase a second vehicle may mean money that can be spent on an exotic vacation. Different strategies need to be used to emphasize the money saving aspects of TDM to the different segments of the UW population. Similarly, will, arguments for sustainability, saving the environment, improving air quality, or a living a healthy, active lifestyle going to impact these populations? Does the population really care about the environment, if it results in significant personal sacrifices? If the population is more concerned about personal flexibility and choice than the environment, then marketing must emphasize the ways in which individuals can maintain travel flexibility when using alternative modes, rather than flogging the proverbial environmental horse to death.
a) Conduct further research to:
a) Conduct further research to
Strategies to address issues surrounding student housing may not be considered traditional TDM strategies, but the unique nature of those who are generating traffic as they commute to campus requires unique types of strategies. Student housing also impacts on other social issues in the community that need to be considered with transportation concerns.
Housing strategies amenable to alternative modes of transportation can be divided into two sections:
1) On-campus housing:
Building new residences or renovating existing buildings to increase UW’s capacity can be addressed through private development or development by the university. Development work by the University is limited by current cuts in government funding in education. Currently the UW is undertaking development of the Mackenzie King residence which is estimated to cost approximately $15 million i.e. $50,000 per student space. Walker (2000) suggests that to break even on the development, the university would have to charge $600-700 per month per student. The university has an advantage in that it can subsidize the new construction with revenue from older buildings that are already paid off. This advantage would not be available to a private developer.
Private development which is rather new practice in Canada is another available option. This practice is widely used in the United States. Private developers have taken up the development of student housing due to Universities diminishing funding capabilities. One such developers is Allen & O ‘Hara of Memphis which has developed more student housing in form of students apartments, residence halls, in more than 12 universities across United States. Most developers uses the privatized housing approach, where a non profit foundation leases University’s land and finances the development through tax exempt bonds. The advantage of this type of financing is not bound to recognize the development in their balance sheets.
To satisfy the bond, these projects are supposed to be self supporting entities, as the project carries all the risk. Therefore a years worth of debt service is maintained, typically 14 months of capitalized interest is carried during construction, a replacement reserve is funded annually and a 1.2 debt coverage is maintained. As such players in the projects expects a fair profit unlike in other types of residential development.
To keep cost at minimal levels, many of these new developments are wood
construction and construction materials are tax exempt. This mode of development
can be replicated in Kitchener Waterloo area due to existence of a number
of tax exemptions such development charges for any development in downtown
areas, the City of Kitchener has waived building permit fee, Parkland development
tax. In addition GST and PST are not applied on building materials. With
this option however, the UW would need to clarify responsibility and accountability
for standards of housing and management. The university would be responsible
if anything went wrong or the developer walked away from the project. These
issues would have to be addressed before private development could be considered
on university property.
Lower costs because UW does not need to purchase land; ample land available on UW campus.
No financial resources available currently; only 35% of students want to live on-campus; only market for full on-campus housing use during fall term.
May be political will to support development on-campus.
If population decreases, potential for empty housing.
The type of market students represent will limit the success of private developments off-campus. If the new university residence is the benchmark for student housing and the cost associated with its development, then the cost of development off-campus would be much higher considering the developer would also have to pay for the land and would have more difficulty in receiving tax breaks or reduced development charges. The market would not support the rent required to make such a project viable. There is potential for private development if one of the cities is willing to give the developer land and waive all development charges. The developer would still have to understand the type of market students demand and be able to carry some empty units in the winter and spring terms.
The MDS by-law may be limiting capacity of those neighbourhoods adjacent to both campuses; however, the general sense is that these neighbourhoods are already at capacity with many of the unlicensed homes already having one or more students. There are two main concerns raised by city planners surrounding the MDS by-law: 1) is it worth it politically to upset the residents by "officially" allowing more students when the status quo is probably near the maximum number of students?, and 2) would an increase in the number of students in these neighbourhoods turn them into student ghettos similar to those in Kingston?. This is a complicated issue and would require further investigation to make proper recommendations; however, this will become an issue regardless in those neighbourhoods further away form the university as increased enrolment and a limited housing supply disperses the students.
One encouraging way to increase the student housing supply in a manner that is flexible and beneficial to many residents would be to develop by-laws in the two cities to allow for multiple unit dwellings. Allowing residents to legally convert a section of their house as a second dwelling would create a flexible type of housing. This would create new housing options for residents who would like to rent to students, but also those who wish to offer an independent lifestyle to a parent or child. As the population in Ontario ages, there will be a demand for flexible housing that is affordable and convenient for families and seniors. Zoning and bylaw changes would ensure the dwellings are safely and legally established. Kaminski (2000) postulates that this type of flexible housing offers advantages to many residents and may have less resistance than lodging houses.
To encourage this type of development, the cities could offer assistance
in financing the necessary renovations. For example, a retired senior may
wish to rent out the basement to students rather than selling the house
and moving into a retirement home. A limited income may prevent the homeowner
from converting the basement to meet the various codes or at all. An incentive
program that offers residents a $10,000 loan to complete the necessary
renovations could be established and the resident could make payments through
their property tax or in some other manner over a period of time that is
fair to both parties. Another option would be to collect a portion of the
rent as repayment of the loan. This type of solution offers a flexible
alternative to convert existing structures at lower cost to the city (e.g.
reduced need to expand infrastructure) and may provide beneficial alternatives
to the aging population.
Developers can carry financing costs; this housing can revert to market housing if student demand falls off.
May not be financially viable for developers; there are limited areas to develop close to university; it is difficult to enforce safety and building code standards for widely-dispersed, off-campus housing alternatives.
Cities may waive development costs for student housing.
Accessory apartments are currently illegal in most parts of the Region; political pressure from local residents against accessory apartments and lodging housing, negative image of potential student "ghetto."
Table -1: Summary of Proposed Implementation
|On-campus||1-3 yrs||UW/developers||New residences|
developers/City Waterloo & Kitchener
|Reduce/ waive development charges||New residences|
|Lodging Licenses||1-3 yrs||City of Waterloo||Consult residents|
|Flexible housing||1-3 yrs||City of Waterloo||Consult residents||Temporary use by-laws|
|U-Pass||1-3 yrs||GRT/UW/Feds||Promote transit to UW population||Pass included in fees|
|Shuttle Bus||1-3 yrs||WLU/UW/GRT/ Feds||Advertise||New/special vehicles|
|Route Changes||1-3 yrs||GRT/Region/
|Promote UW friendly routes||New stops/ shelters|
|Node||4-6 yrs||UW/City of Waterloo/ GRT||Land and facilities for node|
|Increased Fees||1-5 yrs||UW||Promote alternative modes of transportation||Incremental increases over 5 years||In-fill parking lots for other uses|
|Preferential Parking||6 mos||UW||Change rate structures|
|North C.||as North Campus develops||private entrepreneurs, WATPark, UW||Advertise that South Campus services||Provide for space that is conducive to services and retail at grade|
Ring Road one-way
|4-6 yrs||Awareness campaign||·
Barriers, signs, new lights etc..
· Increase metered parking
· Bike lanes on ring road
|Education / Promotion||Institutional
|Bike- Friendly Design|
|Bike Lanes||4-6 yrs||City of Waterloo, UW||Awareness||Bike lanes on pathways|
|Networks||1-3 yrs||UW, Region, City of Waterloo,||Awareness campaign||Signage|
|Locks||1-3 yrs||UW||Awareness campaign||bike lockers|
|PROMOTION AND EDUCATION|
|Bike loans on campus||1-3 yrs||Awareness and promotion campaign||Staff to maintain and loan out the bikes (UW Bike Centre)||Bikes, Pick-up /drop-off sites|
|UW bikes||1-3 yrs||cycling businesses/ UW/ UW Bike Centre||Awareness and promotion campaign||Pick-up/ drop-off sites|
|Walk and Bike to School Day||1 yr||Board of Education, WLU, City of Waterloo||Awareness and promotion|
|University 101||1-3 yrs||Feds, UW||Awareness and promotion||Awareness and promotion|
|survey||6 mos||UW and Region||Survey should explain the social, environmental and financial benefits of TDM||From the results of this survey, apply the appropriate TDM programs within the University|
The following chart summarizes the barriers associated with these strategies. These barriers cover a range of political, economic, technical, and social factors.
Table -2: Summary of Barriers to Implementation
of TDM Strategies
Given these barriers, it is appropriate now to discuss a general approach
to implementation that would address these barriers.
The success of implementation relies as heavily on a proper plan for implementation, as on the soundness of TDM concepts themselves. To be effective in our community, such initiatives will need to focus on the "hierarchy of choice" model (OECD, 1997), which draws attention to pivotal actors and decisions when targeting TDM strategies. It also means that strategies will need to key in on particular individuals and groups who may hold considerable sway over the effectiveness of specific programs. These people need to be convinced of the value of the project, even to implement the most basic TDM strategies. Ultimately, these initiatives will need champions throughout UW as well as WLU, the City of Waterloo, the City of Kitchener and the Region. Building these links may prove time consuming, but in the end, it is these connections and networks that will see any successful project through to fruition.
This section addresses the challenges encountered by our project, followed by four recommended approaches to general TDM program implementation.
Challenges Encountered by Project
Complexity and uncertainty (Mitchell 1998) characterize Transportation Demand Management issues, like so many regional issues. For our project, these characteristics presented several challenges. Table 5-3 summarizes these challenges. In particular, complexity was manifest in the broad range of both 1) data needed to assess and analyse the different factors involved, and 2) actors, interests and influences to be considered and incorporated into our analysis.
There is also great uncertainty in many areas of the environment surrounding
TDM. The provincial funding and enrolment uncertainties for UW make it
difficult to assess and project future scenarios. Current municipal reform
discussions further complicate the situation. Planning must continue in
spite of these turbulent conditions. Four approaches can be used to address
the identified challenges: 1) a systems approach, 2) collaboration and
consensus-building, 3)incremental change and 4) financial co-ordination.
Table -3: Summary of Challenges to Implementation
|Challenges to Implementation||Possible Course of Action|
It is clear from our research that it is critical to develop and implement an entire TDM strategy. It does not make sense to implement only parts – say, the easiest or the cheapest components – because goals will not be achieved. In order for TDM to work, all the components have to work together.
Many departments work very efficiently and perform exactly the task that they have been designed to. However, TDM strategies may contradict the goals and objectives of some of these departments. For example, Parking Services is currently designed to generate income, which is then directed to other UW programs such as the bursary program. Therefore, in order to develop a workable TDM strategy, such departments will need support, funding, renewed mandates, and reorganized structures, so that they can harmonize their goals with those of an effective TDM program. Our research demonstrates an unmistakable need for an organizational approach to TDM; one which will iron out the contradictions between the mandates and goals of UW as a corporate entity, and UW as a player, actor, participant, and stakeholder in the development of a regional TDM strategy.
The systems approach also recognizes the intrinsic value of all participants in the process. Promotion of grassroots support is vital for any plan that hopes to fundamentally change our lifestyle.
The benefits to be accrued by TDM strategies will not only serve transportation
needs. For this reason, a systems approach can be adopted, allowing us
to capitalize on those policy changes that also serve other needs in our
communities. For example, when we are making housing changes, we might
as well make one suited to TDM objectives, for if we integrate TDM considerations
into our master plans, our architectural designs, then we are working to
ensure their long-term sustainability.
It may seem odd to suggest that our present funding crisis, the net result of municipal government restructuring, downsizing, rationalizing, and the like, might provide an impetus for collaborative approaches. However, it is clear that in part, the current situation is couched in a push for greater efficiency. In our current climate, it is sensible to encourage a collaborative approach to these regional-scale issues. Such an approach would clearly be challenging – it would require the identification of common interests, and a powerful will to resist the polarization of debate.
Collaboration and consensus-building techniques have been developed extensively in areas such as land-use, business and environmental management (Gray, 1989 ; Susskind and Cruikshank 1987; Julian 1994; Selin and Chavez 1995). These techniques, perhaps drawing upon the assistance of professional facilitators, can be drawn upon to assist in intra-organizational collaboration.
Intra-organizational collaboration is also a rich potential source of
ideas, information and support for TDM. For example, at the University
of Waterloo, the students, faculty and staff themselves are a tremendous
resource that should be tapped into. There are faculty members in faculties
such as Engineering and Environmental Studies who can contribute to the
development of TDM strategies through student projects and research. UW
could set up grants, awards, and competitions in order to provide incentives
for high quality research, stipulating that projects meet certain requirements,
in order to address some of practical problems of designing and implementing
TDM. Similarly, groups such as Waterloo Public Interest Research Group
(WPIRG) may also contribute to TDM design and implementation.
The recent appointment of a TDM co-ordinator signals the changing direction of the Region’s transportation planning policy. Because UW is the City of Waterloo’s largest employer, it must be an active participant in Region’s TDM initiative. Increasing student enrolment at UW, as well as continuing development throughout the Region, will both contribute to growing traffic congestion. "Policy-makers have often focused on relieving the symptoms of the negative impacts of transport in our society … rather than addressing the root causes" (OECD 1997:6). This report explores TDM strategies for the University of Waterloo that address root causes.
In the Region there is widespread public support for TDM (Regional Municipality of Waterloo, 1998). The Region and the City of Waterloo would like to see a TDM program developed with the co-operation of the University. Although the university has the ability to act independently, there is an opportunity to develop an integrated regional program. Despite the challenges to TDM design and implementation, such as complexity, uncertainty, problem definition and financial limitations, there are a significant number of supportive practices and conditions already extant at UW. These disconnected positive starts could be gathered under a TDM umbrella at the university level, and expanded out to enhance work within the Region’s strategies. Although the university could develop its own TDM program, financial and logistic motivations should push these institutions together. There is strength in a multifaceted program where TDM strategies and key players are interlinked to obtain maximum benefit.
Ideas and applications of TDM strategies have come from the many available case studies. This report draws on the experience of other institutions to develop recommendations. Generally, we have observed that effective TDM programs are underpinned with a strong understanding of behaviour, networks, institutional context, hierarchy of choice, and culture and population characteristics. This understanding is used to strategically target and influence individual transportation choices. This report has targeted TDM strategies in five areas: telecommuting, transit, parking, land use and housing, but this is not an exhaustive list. The five TDM implementation strategies covered are characterized by the following elements: policy change, regulation, education and promotion, institutional change, and infrastructure change. These elements are applicable to any variety of TDM initiatives, not simply the five identified herein. It is also recommended that the general approach of the Region’s TDM program include: a systems perspective, inter- and intra-organizational collaboration, incremental change and financial incentives.
If there is any one lesson to be taken from this research, it is that
TDM objectives are only achieved through the dedication of individuals
and communities who champion the cause of reasoned, sustainable planning.
To make the case for the changes of lifestyle that TDM embraces means a
carefully plotted, determinedly executed participatory method. Building
consensus is a slow and rarely glamorous undertaking, but it is so clearly
the key to changing old attitudes and habits. Constructing social networks
may not yet hold the same cachet as constructing highways, but it will
inevitably produce a healthier, more livable region. In this instance,
"getting there" is not only half the battle, it’s the only game in town.
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Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada. 1999. Where’s Home: A Picture of Housing Needs in Ontario.
Davidson, Diane. 1991. "Impact of Suburban Employee Trip Chaining on Transportation Demand Management". Transportation Research Record 1321, Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington, D.C. pp. 82-89.
Dowling, Richard, Dave Feltham, and William Wycko. 1991 "Factors Affecting Transportation Demand Management Program Effectiveness at Six San Francisco Medical Institutions". Transportation Research Record 1321, Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington, D.C. pp. 109-117.
Dunphy, Robert T. 1995. "Transportation-Oriented Development: Making a Difference?" Urban Land, July, 1995, 32-36.
Dupuy, G. 1999. From the "Magic Circle" to "Automobile Dependence:" Measurements and Political Implications. Transport Policy, 6 (1): 1-17.
Ewing, Reid. 1996. Best Development Practices. Chicago: Planners Press, American Planning Association.
Ferguson, Erik. 1999. Transportation Demand Management. Planning Advisory Service Report No. 477, American Planning Association.
Freas, Alyssa M. and Stuart M. Anderson. 1991. "Effects of Variable Work Hour Programs on Ridesharing and Organizational Effectiveness: A Case Study, Ventura County." Transportation Research Record 1321, Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington, D.C. pp. 51-56.
Frederick, Stephanie J. and Kay L. Kenyon. 1991. "Difficulties with the Easy Ride Project: Obstacles to Voluntary Ridesharing in the Suburbs". Transportation Research Record 1321, Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington, D.C. pp. 13-20.
Gray, Barbara. 1989. Collaborating: Finding Common Ground for Multiparty Problems. San Francisco:Jossey-Bass, Inc.
Graves, T. 1999. "Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Programs: Profiles of Selected Universities." Campus Ecology Research Project Report No.5 December 1999. Online. Internet. 4 Mar. 2000.
Green, Kleran. 1998. Reduced Parking on Campus. Imprint. July 31:4.
Higgins, Thomas J. 1991. "Monitoring and Evaluating Employer-Based Demand Management Programs". Transportation Research Record 1321, Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington, D.C. pp. 118-128.
Huber, Denis. Personal Interview. Associate Provost General Services & Finance. University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON. March 7, 2000.
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Redmond, C. 2000, March 22. Work starts on UW’s budget after ‘disappointing’ grant news; fee hikes limited to 2 per cent. UW Gazette, 40(26) p. 1
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Willson, Richard W. 1995. Suburban Parking Requirements: a tacit policy
for automobile use and sprawl. American Planning Association Journal,
Auburn University · Alabama
Provides transportation services to University students, faculty, administrators and staff.
Students with University ID: all routes are free. AU faculty, administrators and staff : Internal Campus route is free; other routes require a $10 pass each quarter available at Transportation Services.
They also have links to a number of other sites and universities with TDM initiatives.
An interesting page on anti-car stuff. It also has some design links
and some info on how BAD cars are. http://www.carfree.com/
Curry College Shuttle Schedule
Duke University Transit Operations
Duke University provides free bus service to all Campuses and the Medical Center for students, employees, patients and visitors.
This page argues against TDM's and alternatives to urban sprawl by suggesting these actions encroach on our individual freedom.
Go for Green: The Active Living and Environment Program
Grand River Transit:
Light rail transit myths
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Grocery Shuttle To Start
Mississippi State University à Campus Transit System
"The idea of a campus transit system was created in 1994 by the Student Association along with university officials who realized the needs of a growing university. This system requires no fare to ride and can be used by students, faculty, staff, and guests." There are 4 routes around campus and maps for each route available on-line
Excellent web site for sustainable transportation papers from OECD countries
Travel Behavior and Sustainability: Opportunities for ITS http://www.transact.org/ttsc/BEHAVIOR.HTM
Applications of New Travel Demand Forecasting Techniques to Transportation Planning
Transportation Planning for Your Community - System Planning Appendix http://www.bts.gov/ntl/DOCS/SPA.html
Revenues and expenses in the passenger and urban transit bus industry
Employed Labour Force by Sex, Showing Mode of Transportation to Work,
for Canada, Provinces and Territories, 1996; Census (20% Sample Data) http://www.statcan.ca/english/census96/mar17/trans/mode1.htm
Oxford Brookes University, England
Free travel for Oxford Brookes University students and staff is available on Stagecoach intersite services 77 & 77A. A shuttle bus service operates at half hourly intervals during the working day between the Gipsy Lane and Wheatley campuses.
The Wolfline: North Carolina State University's Transit System
The Wolfline is the NC State community’s own bus service. Wolfline buses run every day that classes are in session, serving all 3 campuses, 2 to 3 park & ride lots, and surrounding residential areas.
Trent University Transit Services à Peterborough http://www.kawartha.com/inside_peterboro_transit/trent.htm
The Trent University transit service operates seven days a week during the school year only. Buses don't stop at every stop; it's a semi-express service. They don't meet with all other buses at the terminal for transfers at the same time. We couldn't do that and still offer the semi-express service.
University of Guelph Student Bus Pass
University of Victoria in British Columbia UPASS (http://www.uvss.uvic.ca/u-pass/home.html).
University of Waterloo
Family-Friendly Policies, Programs and Practices. University of Waterloo.
US Department of Transportation:
WTA - Western Washington University Transit Information
WTA is pleased to provide a wide variety of transportation options for students, staff and faculty at Western Washington University
We envision UW transforming itself into a showcase of sustainability, a true ecosystem in harmony with its environment. We refer to this process as "Greening the Campus". This undertaking presents an opportunity for students, staff, and faculty to improve the quality of their environment, while decreasing the overall operating cost of the University. This project offers significant new directions and opportunities for education and research. It is promoting an environmentally-aware campus community. "Greening the Campus" represents an opportunity for UW to act as a model and a catalyst for other campuses and institutions. UW students will take with them into society the knowledge and motivation necessary to foster the transformation to a sustainable society.
Russell, A., R. Houlihan, M. Dunning, D. Ewing, and J. Whitfield. 1997. Cycling at UW. Paper for ERS 285.Waterloo: WATGreen, University of Waterloo.
Wilmorton College Shuttle Service
2000 First Night State College Shuttle
Postal code centroid data for Ontario was acquired from Statistics Canada. This data provides centroid location information in latitude and longitude for all 6 digit postal codes. The data was available only for all of Ontario and not in any further reduced resolution such as CMAs or Regions. The postal code data file was delivered in comma-delimited text file format of file size 58 Mb. The large size of the text file made working with the data difficult and time consuming. Eventually, the data was imported into a table in Microsoft Access from which a database was then constructed.
Data was obtained for 4 student groups at the University of Waterloo for the Winter 2000 term. This data was obtained from the Registrar’s office and was delivered in delimited text file format. The data contained local and home postal code data for the following four student groups:
In addition to student data, faculty postal code data comprised of all full-time and part-time employees at the University of Waterloo was obtained in Microsoft Excel format.
Both student and faculty postal code data were imported into the existing Microsoft Access database for analysis against the Statistics Canada postal code centroid data.
Total number of University of Waterloo student records – Winter 2000: 14,689
Total number of local postal code records provided: 3,577 (24.35% of the total records)
Query for matching local student postal code records with provincial postal code centroids:
SELECT Count([ALL_STUDENTS].[Local]), [ALL_STUDENTS].[Local], [REGION1].[Lt], [REGION1].[Lg] FROM ALL_STUDENTS INNER JOIN REGION1 ON [ALL_STUDENTS].[Local]=[REGION1].[Postal_Code] GROUP BY [ALL_STUDENTS].[Local], [REGION1].[Lt], [REGION1].[Lg];
Total number local postal code records successfully matched to provincial postal code centroids:
3,534 (24% of the total # of records, 98.8% if total local postal code records)
Query for matching faculty postal code records with provincial postal code centroids:
SELECT Count([FACULTY].[POSTAL]), [FACULTY].[POSTAL], [REGION1].[Lt], [REGION1].[Lg] FROM FACULTY INNER JOIN REGION1 ON [FACULTY].[POSTAL]=[REGION1].[Postal_Code] GROUP BY [FACULTY].[POSTAL], [REGION1].[Lt], [REGION1].[Lg];
Total number of Faculty/Staff records – Winter 2000: 3,039
Total number of postal code records provided: 3,034 (99.83 % of the total, 5 known unfixable errors removed)
Total number of local postal code records successfully matched to provincial postal code centroids: 3,030 (99.7 % of the total # of records)
These queries were constructed in such a way as to associate postal code records with latitude and longitude values contained in the Statistics Canada postal code centroid table.
Once the queries were constructed an run, the results were exported in dBase v4.0 format (.dbf file format) to facilitate use in a geographic information system (GIS).
In addition to student and faculty postal code data, to facilitate the spatial analysis, a single line road network (SLRN) was obtained from the Region of Waterloo. The SLRN was obtained in MapInfo format (.MAP file format) and subsequently converted to MapInfo export format (.MIF file format) and then to ArcView Shapefile format (.SHP file format) where problems were encountered in the projection of the map. After unsuccessful attempts to re-project the map in ArcView it was decided to use the MapInfo GIS product.
Within MapInfo, two point coverages were generated based on the latitude and longitude values associated with the postal code centroids. The first point coverage showed the approximate local address location of University of Waterloo students in the four categories for the Winter 2000 term, the second point coverage showed the approximate address location of faculty and current employees for the University of Waterloo. These point coverage were overlaid with the SLRN to show the approximate location and density of students and faculty with respect to the University of Waterloo. Point locations were identified with varying sizes of circles, with progressively larger circles used for locations with a greater number of persons at that centroid location.
Once the point coverage were created and overlaid with the SLRN, several
map layouts were constructed.
Appendix 2: Employee Survey
1. What is your current mode of travel to work?
[[give range of times -- break down peak times into smaller increments
e.g. between 6:00 am -- 7:00 am
7:30 am -- 8:00 am
8:00 am -- 8:15 am
8:15 am -- 8:30 am
8:30 am -- 8:45 am
9:00 am -- 9:15 am
9:15 am -- 9:30 am
9:30 am -- 10:00 am
4. How often do you find your journey to work to be stressful?
[[give similar ranges of times as above (with necessary changes) -- putting peak times in smaller increments.]]
6. If you drive, which of the following streets, or intersections do you usually use to and from work? Check as many as apply:
[list major streets and intersections that you are interested in.]
7. How often do you find your journey from work to be stressful?
a) Would your job be conducive to teleworking?
if a travel allowance were to be implemented where the allowance was the cost of parking, the average of this figure could be used as the allowance amount
16. How much do you currently pay for gas for the journey to and from work per month?
this figure could be used as a base in an attempt to make it more economical to find other means of travel
17. Using the map above (Map 5), in what sector does your home fall?
18. How long does it take you to travel to work?
Sources used to compile these questions: Higgins, 1991 and Davidson, 1991