Transportation Demand Management

Kendall T Station Walkers

What is TDM?

Transportation Demand Management (TDM) encourages people to switch from driving alone to walking, biking, taking buses and trains, carpooling, and other sustainable transportation options.

The City encourages TDM to help more people get around Cambridge without creating more traffic and greenhouse gas emissions. These and other City goals are described in our citywide plan: Envision Cambridge.

Benefits of TDM 

  • Cost effectiveness: Shifting from driving to sustainable modes often costs less than expanding streets and parking facilities. 
  • Environmental quality and livability: TDM reduces negative impacts of driving, like congestion, noise, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • Flexibility: TDM programs can be put in place quickly and can apply to specific groups of people, depending on their needs.

Examples of TDM Programs

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

  • Bus, subway, or train 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 (more than is required by zoning)
  • Showers and lockers
  • Payment for walking or biking
  • Emergency Ride Home program
  • Carpool and vanpool matching
  • Priority and discounted HOV parking
  • Transportation information
  • Hiring Cambridge residents
  • On-site transportation coordinator
  • Membership in a Transportation Management Association (Charles River or Alewife TMA

City TDM Resources

For developers and non-residential property owners: PTDM Ordinance

For residents: CitySmart

For businesses: Employee Commute Information

TDM Research

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 Ryan McKinnon at 617/349-7240 or