Transportation Demand Management

Kendall T Station Walkers

What is Transportation Demand Management?

The city uses Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategies to encourage changes in travel behavior to allow the city and the economy to grow in accordance with our environmental and livability goals, most recently laid out in Envision Cambridge.

Benefits of TDM 

  • Cost effectiveness: Cost-benefit analyses often show that implementing TDM strategies is less expensive than expanding roads and parking facilities. 
  • Environmental quality and livability: TDM strategies reduce the negative impacts from driving including congestion, noise, local air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • Flexibility: TDM strategies can be put in place quickly and tailored to particular groups. 
  • Equity: Physically or socially disadvantaged people stand to benefit the most from TDM measures that fairly allocate resources to different groups, especially non-drivers. 
  • Economic transparency: Many TDM strategies correct market distortions by revealing the true cost of people’s travel options. 
  • Sustainable transportation: TDM strategies encourage efficient land use, which supports walking, biking, and riding transit. 

TDM Incentives

A combination of TDM incentives and disincentives can help people make the choice to walk, bike, take transit and carpool instead of driving alone. These incentives include, but are not limited to:

  • Transit subsidy
  • Free shuttle bus
  • Bus shelter
  • Market-rate parking fee charged directly to employees or patrons
  • Daily parking charge available for occasional drivers instead of monthly parking pass
  • Bicycle parking above minimum zoning requirement
  • Shower/locker
  • Financial incentive for walking or biking
  • Emergency ride home
  • Car/vanpool matching
  • Priority/discounted HOV parking
  • Transportation information
  • Hiring of Cambridge residents
  • On-site TDM coordinator
  • TMA membership

These requirements make Cambridge a better place to live, work, and play.

More about the City’s TDM Programs

For developers and non-residential property owners: PTDM Ordinance

For residents: CitySmart

For businesses: TDM Outreach


Video: Using Behavioral Science to Encourage People to Commute Sustainably

Podcast: Using nudges to get better results when trying to bring about behavior change (skip to 14:04 for commute info)

Article 1 and Article 2: Research concludes that an active commute may be as important to increase well-being as marriage or a pay raise

Article: Charging for parking by the day—The not-so-secret trick to cutting solo car commutes

Online TDM Encyclopedia

For more information

For more information on Transportation Demand Management, contact Stephanie Groll at 617/349-4673 or