Transportation Demand Management

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What is Transportation Demand Management?

Transportation Demand Management (TDM) is the concept of using policies, strategies, and programmatic measures to encourage a shift away from single-occupancy vehicle (SOV) trips toward alternative travel options, such as walking, biking, transit, and ridesharing to reduce traffic and parking issues. TDM efforts try to get people to drive alone less, and instead, walk, bike, ride transit or carpool more. TDM is strategically implemented through the citywide TDM plan, including the TDM program which offers assistance & resources to businesses & development. Or contact staff for additional help.

Transportation Demand Management Chart

A robust TDM program incorporates a variety of interventions to promote sustainable choices during the transportation decision-making process. Some examples of interventions include:

  • New infrastructure and facilities like on-site bike racks, preferred carpool parking or showers, that increase the mobility options available to individuals
  • Marketing and incentive programs that encourage other travel options like transit subsidies
  • Travel planning assistance to empower commuters to make informed decisions

Benefits of Transportation Demand Management

TDM helps the City of Carlsbad achieve its sustainability and mobility goals by:

  • Mitigating congestion 
  • Reduce greenhouse gases
  • Improving air quality
  • Increasing access and connectivity in the transportation network
  • Building inter-agency partnerships and strengthening regional sustainability and mobility efforts
  • Promoting emerging mobility technologies

TDM practices also have many short-term and long-term benefits for Carlsbad workers, businesses, residents, and the community. For success stories, read up on local case studies below.

TDM Benefits Table

A Citywide TDM Plan

As Carlsbad continues to be recognized as a desirable place for people to live, work, and play, it is important that with growth and economic opportunity, the city and community focus on moving people efficiently throughout the city.

The citywide TDM plan broadly describes the city’s strategic approach to implementing TDM. The plan identifies four strategic areas: infrastructure, regulations & policies, guiding resources and the larger TDM program. First, TDM infrastructure involves identifying gaps in our transportation network through efforts like the Sustainable Mobility Plan, to remove barriers to alternate modes of transportation. Regulations & policies like the TDM ordinance and the Village & Barrio Master Plan bring TDM to the forefront of development and land use processes. Next, guiding resources like the TDM Handbook and the online TDM tool are aimed to help inform our community of ways to address TDM on both new and existing development. Finally, the TDM program is a robust effort to achieve this strategic plan robustly throughout the city. Additional resources for employers and employees are available at

Carlsbad’s TDM Program: A Robust Service to Developers and Businesses

The City of Carlsbad’s TDM Program is intended to ensure developers, property managers, and employers have sufficient support to provide on-site amenities and services for walking, biking, ridesharing, and transit to reduce single-occupancy vehicle (SOV) trips among Carlsbad workers.

The city’s primary goal is to increase alternative (non-SOV) mode share by 10 percent among workers in Carlsbad by 2035.

The TDM Program consists of the following major elements:

  • Assistance and review of site-specific TDM plans to ensure appropriateness of proposed TDM measures
  • Proactive assistance to businesses that want to develop TDM plans for their employment site(s) throughout Carlsbad
  • Manage any multimodal services that will encourage workers in Carlsbad to take alternate modes of transportation
  • Appropriate maintain, monitor and report data related to TDM services

Assistance and Resources for Business & Development

TDM Ordinance

The TDM ordinance was approved winter of 2019, and will be effective April 11, 2019. The general purpose of the TDM ordinance is to establish regulatory development requirements for TDM in the City of Carlsbad. The TDM ordinance places requirements on non-residential development that is anticipated to generate 110 or more average daily employee trips. Those developments will be required to design and implement a TDM plan specific to their site.

The 110 threshold was chosen to align with the Governor’s Office of Planning & Research’s Technical Advisory document on evaluating transportation impacts in CEQA. That document, released in December 2018, identified that projects generating fewer than 110 average daily trips could generally be assumed to cause a less than significant transportation impact.

TDM Restaurants

Two examples of how this threshold would be evaluated are provided below. In the first example, a new restaurant generates a total of 120 average daily trips. However, only 20 of those trips, represented by the green car, are generated by employees. Since the city’s TDM ordinance according to the Climate Action Plan is to target reducing employee trips, this project would not be required to submit a TDM plan.

TDM Hotels

In the second example, pictured above, we have a new hotel development with a total of 240 average daily trips. 120 of those trips are generated by employees and so this development would be subject to the proposed ordinance and would be required to submit a TDM plan.

The following resources are available to help developers and businesses develop TDM plans.

Learn more about TDM strategies and their benefits by exploring the case studies below from companies like ViaSat and ThermoFisher.