incentives and promotions for first-time riders, direct compatibility between transit smartphone applications and the ride-hailing applications, as well as “guaranteed ride home programs” for when transit service may not be available. Other emerging transit technologies that address the last mile connectivity issue include flex-route bus service. Like with a fixed route, the transit vehicle, often a small bus, keeps to a regular M ay 2 0 1 8 47
participation across the state, providing further proof that TDM measures are successfully lowering VMT. To reduce VMT, TDM programs have held commuter challenges, created programs enabling employees of certain organizations to ride public transit for free or at a reduced rate and provided information to commuters about alternative commuting. These programs also promote North Carolina’s rideshare matching program, ShareTheRideNC, a web-based platform that allows commuters to identify potential carpool partners and open vanpool seats. TDM’s initiatives have increased the efficiency of the transpor- tation system by focusing on travel demand instead of supply. They have worked to modify travel behaviors and effectively addressed a variety of transportation issues while providing economic, social, and environmental benefits. Continued success will require improved coordination of services and further emphasis on communicating the multiple benefits of alternatives to the single-occupancy vehicle commute. Reframing Metrics for Performance Enhancement The development of last mile connectivity strategies emerges out of a recognized need for better surface transportation system performance while reducing the negative externalities associated with unimpeded travel growth. Presently, most metropolitan areas in the United States implement TDM as a mobility service, with limited expectations regarding the performance of the strategies as they relate to last mile connectivity. The usefulness of static marketing and modal promotion as conditions change over time is rarely called into question, and economic changes influencing travel demand aren’t wholly considered. Typically, years go by before plans and strategies are changed to suit the current market. Even as more and more jurisdictions embrace strategies to shift modes of transportation as a complement to infrastructure oriented projects, metrics for evaluating the performance of programs has lagged. A cost/benefit analysis-driven approach for measuring traditional and enhanced indicators of success can more accurately assess the distribution of funds to improve efficiencies and enhance existing efforts. Measures of effectiveness are oriented towards providing clarity and uniformity across programs that work to shift modes. To accomplish this, each measure requires sufficient definition so as to provide a high degree of certainty that the measure is accurate as calculated. In North Carolina, the 2018 Statewide TDM Strategic Plan Update has outlined enhanced
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