V. Well-managed transport demand reduces kilometres and car use.

Managing transport demand means shaping mobility behaviour so that transport works best for all people and for the planet. It implies, among others, allocating space, managing flows and pricing modes, roads and parking in ways to discourage inefficient modes, like the use of individual cars. It should be used to free up space for more sustainable modes and for activities with economic and social value, and reduce externalities of a car-dependent mobility system.

Managing transport demand also requires working with actors who can shape transport demand – large employers, centres of social and commercial activities, receivers of freight – towards solutions that allow sharing transport systems’ capacity over time and in the most efficient way.

Facts and figures

Induced transport demand: Road infrastructure development and expansion generates more traffic. In many cases motorised travel demand grows proportionally with road expansion. For example, urban intersection flyovers in Dhaka, Bangladesh, produce 35% increase in vehicles while providing a one-minute time saving. (Read more: VTPI)

Traffic evaporation: It is a phenomenon where traffic disappears once road space is reallocated from private vehicles to more sustainable modes of transport. A global study shows that among 63 urban areas, 51 saw traffic reductions ranging from 147% to 0.1%, with an average decrease of 22%. Only 12 cases saw traffic increases ranging from 0.4% to 25%. (Read more: TheCityFix)

Catalytic measures

  • Integrate land-use with transport demand management to avoid need for travel (commercial activities and public services in all residential areas, compact, dense, walkable places, 15-minute cities)
  • Implement car-reduced residential areas
  • Finance transport investments based on their contribution to low-carbon and sustainable mobility
  • Invest in affordable and decarbonised public transport and level of service
  • Allocate dedicated space to public transport
  • Prioritize and promote active modes, micromobility and public transport (e.g. dedicated lanes, improved availability of services and facilities, awareness and marketing of active modes, micromobility and public transport)
  • Introduce 30 km/h speed limits in urban areas
  • Manage and price parking (e.g. on street charges, workplace levies, parking maximums, pavement parking bans)
  • Regulate urban access to city centres (e.g. zero emission zones in city centers, access based on emissions)
  • Incentivize vehicle and ride sharing
  • Adopt and enforce air quality regulations
  • Plan integrated and connected Industrial Zones
  • Optimise freight movement through proven measures (e.g. promote load optimisation, reduce packaging, reduce empty moves, load consolidation and asset sharing, vehicle maintenance practices, aerodynamic requirements, etc.)
  • Introduce workplace green travel plans (including but not limited to parking charges, car sharing, incentives for public transport use, teleworking, low carbon travel policies such as rail over aviation, etc.)
  • Engage major traffic generators (e.g. major employers, stadiums, business parks) in sustainable mobility schemes (flexible mobility services, parking cash out, parking levy)
  • Tax vehicles based on emissions, weight, footprint, and energy efficiency
  • Promote the restructuring of supply chains to reduce freight transport (e.g. nearshoring)
  • Promote the optimization of intermodal solutions: e.g. better integration between road, rail and inland waterways to reduce GHG and increase efficiency (synchromodal, digitalization, etc.)