Transportation Demand Management (TDM)

EPA Case Studies

Community Transit Report

High Ridership Shuttles

1. EPA's Case Studies: What reduces suburban solo commuting?

Most TDM programs are crucially important, but few produce more than a 15% net shift away from driving alone. EPA's Best Workplaces for Commuters ( has compiled a spreadsheet with 41 TDM case studies. Please see: epaModeShiftCaseStudies.xls.

  • 40% net mode shift! Georgia Power/Southern Company (Case #9). Between 1997 and 1999, Georgia Power/Southern Company increased commute alternative mode share from 10% to 50% for their 3,000 employees via 1) $65 per month subsidy for transit, shuttles, or vanpools; 2) Ran shuttles to MARTA rapid transit every ten minutes all day. Monthly shuttle boardingss rose to 11,000 per month. But that's only ~220 employees connecting to MARTA every day via the shuttle. How did the other 1,280 employees partake of commute alternatives? Why did Georgia Power discontinue this amazing program? Something is fishy.
  • Charging for parking and transportation allowance programs are universally successful in shifting commute mode share. Case #10 saw a net 16% reduction in solo driving; case #11 saw a net 25% reduction; case #18 - 28%; case #27 - 20%; #33 - 16%; #35 - 25%; #36 - 34%. #38 - 25%.
  • Portland's Lloyd District (case #4) TMA reduced solo driving by a net of 19% from 72% to 53%. The program is extensive and comprehensive and appears to have hit the "tipping point" to change the corporate culture of commuting. See: This is the Portland central business district (CBD), so is not directly applicable to surburban office centers. Hartford Steam Boiler (case #13) is another CBD case study which achieved a net mode shift of 18%.
  • Case #19, Bishop Ranch, had a very promising 15% net reduction, but the calculation of the net reducation is not "previous SOV share minus resultant mode share," instead the resultant Bishop Ranch SOV mode share is subtracted from a questionable control group share. Bishop Ranch's resultant SOV mode split was comparable to that of Bay Area suburban commute mode share provided by the annual RIDES commute survey.

2. Community Transit Best Practices Report: CommunityTransitBestPractices.pdf

An 88-page, 2.5MB paper on community oriented transit best practices is now avaiable on the web. This report is a nice contribution to the field. Best Practices reviewed in this paper include: Emery Go Round, PRTC OmniLink, Menlo Park Midday Shuttle, Caltrain and SamTrans Shuttles, Boulder Community Transit Network, SMART Family of Transit Services. The paper was created for Alameda-Contra Costa (CA) Transit District, by:
12036 Nevada City Highway, #200
Grass Valley, CA 95945
Phone: (530) 271-0177

3. High Ridership Community Shuttle Bus Systems (3/7/05)
Community shuttles buses "Special case" shuttle bus systems
Microsoft Campus - 5,500 pax/day Denver 16th Street Mall - 60,000 pax/day
Boulder HOP - 3,300 pax/day (50%+ students). University of Texas/Austin shuttle - 20,500 pax/day
Emery-Go-Round, Emeryville, CA - 2,500 pax/day I-Ride Trolley, Orlando - 6,600 pax/day
  Stanford University Marguerite - 4,800 pax/day
  UC Berkeley - 2,100 pax/day

A partial list of shuttle bus systems with high daily ridership (more than 2,000 passenger trips/day). These systems should serve a relatively well-defined area like: an office park, "last-mile" connections from a single line-haul transit station. Route coverage should be within a 5 square mile or smaller area. County-wide systems should be avoided. Longer routes like the Boulder SKIP should be avoided. I've now classified university shuttles as "special case," because it is accepted policy to make university campuses hostile to cars. There must be military bases with busy shuttle bus systems, but we have none listed. Thanks to CUTR's Transp-TDM list serve for helping in building this list.

*** Community Shuttle Bus Systems

1. Microsoft Campus, Redmond, WA - 5,500 passenger trips/day

Microsoft's three Redmond campuses (Main, West, and RedWest) hold more than 30,000 employees and contractors. Microsoft recently purchased a large adjacent parcel, the Eddie Bauer campus, and has plans to add another even more people and 8,000 parking spaces there. Microsoft currently has one of the nation's most extensive shuttle bus systems, with 43 buses serving 5,500 campus trips per day, often bring employees to and from remote meetings (a somewhat unique trip generation pattern). The shuttles also distribute bus commuters to their buildings from MS's own Overlake Transit Center. While the bus system is state-of-the-art, employees find door-to-door trip times comparable to walking. One of the "worst case" trip scenarios (including wait time) requires 25 minutes to traverse 1 mile. Most new campus buildings have stacked underground parking, and MS is infamous for scarce parking / time wasted cruising for parking spaces. Thus, driving to and from remote meetings is deterred by parking hassles. MS has recently modified their service from being demand responsive to scheduled service with 10 minute headways. MS has cut TDM budget recently.

2. Boulder, CO HOP - 3,300 trips/day.
(See Community Transit Best Practices Report)

Ridership goes down 50% in the summer when students have left Boulder. Thus, this system could be classified as a special case system. This short route connects campus to downtown.

3. Emery-Go-Round, Emeryville, CA - 2,500 trips/day
Fleet of seven 32 pax buses. 10 minute peak service. TMA-run non-profit. Two loops connect the BART station to the 14 major employers of the TMA. TMA Mgr Wendy Silvani should be given a medal, because her personality is what makes this system so successful.
(See Community Transit Best Practices Report)

4. Miami Beach Electrowave - 2,050 trips/day,
(from Errin Welty's Downtown Circulator research and Jeff Bechdel, MB TMA)

The ELECTROWAVE shuttle in the City of Miami Beach circulates around the historic Art Deco District in a 5.4 mile route and averages 2050 rides per day, 7 days a week 8 AM- 1 AM Monday - Saturday and 10 AM - 1 AM Sunday & holidays. There are 10 electric buses in the fleet with a maximum of 7 in service at peak times- but the service is scheduled to be discontinued by the end of 2005 - and Miami Dade Transit will expand an existing route to replace the service.

*** Special Case Shuttle Bus Systems

1. Denver 16th Street Mall
The one shuttle system that comes to mind immediately is the 16th Street Mall in Denver. Of course, this is a fairly unique case because much of the downtown transportation system is built around it. But it is a pedestrian/transit mall just a little more than a mile long that carries 60,000 passengers a day on its many buses that traverse between two major bus terminals in downtown Denver. There are also 90,000 pedestrians that go through it daily. I'm not sure if it might apply to you, but there is a lot of information available on it. They run frequencies of every 75 seconds and have everything down to a science in terms of timing with the traffic lights of the many intersecting streets. They use hybrid electric vehicles, charge no fare, and have three doors to board and alight from each bus. (from Joel Volinski)

2. University of Texas/Austin shuttle (suggested by Ann Joslin) . The UT Shuttle System is the largest university shuttle system in the country, with 16 routes and over 7.5 million passengers annually. 20,500 trips/day.

3. I-Ride trolley which serves the International Drive area (Sea World, Convention Center, hotels ets.) in Orlando. (suggested by Ann Joslin). - 6,600 trips/day. This shuttles system serves about 10 square miles, so is slightly too big for this analysis, but let's put it in anyway.

4. Stanford University Marguerite bus shuttle, Stanford, CA: 4,800+ trips/day
4,800 must have been adjusted to account for summer slow down. Annual ridership is 1.4M trips, which translates to 3,800 trips per day.
Number of Shuttle Stops: Over 90 stops on and around campus.
Maximum Number of Shuttle Buses Running at One Time: 20
Unlike most of Silicon Valley, Stanford University is a very hostile place for staff and students to park at.

5. UC Berkeley - 2,100 trips/day
From Bay Area Shuttle Summary (September, 2004) by Bay Area Clean Air Partnership (BayCAP) Shuttle Project, Funded by Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

Like Stanford, Berkeley is a hostile campus for cars. Parking is expensive and spaces are hard to find.

*** These systems may have large ridership:

  • MASCO (Longwood Medical Area/Boston) also operates several shuttles which may be worth checking out - not sure about ridership or service area. (suggested by Ann Joslin)
  • Try the transit agency in Champaigne-Urbana, Illinois for starters where they carry over 45,000 passengers a day on their entire system, but there are a few routes in particular that are particularly loaded. (from Joel Volinski)
  • Another that comes to mind is the RTS transit system in Gainesville, Florida that serves the University of Florida. (from Joel Volinski)

Future shuttles:

  • The Washington DC Downtown Circulator does not appear to exist, but studies should it would have a high demand of 40K trips/day on 4 routes: . (from Errin Welty's Downtown Circulator research)
  • Future Downtown Houston "The Trolleys" rubber tired trolley buses. At roughly 10 minute headways, estimate is for 6,000 trips/day. (from Errin Welty's Downtown Circulator research)


  • Bay Area ACE Shuttles carry 800 pax/day
  • Caltrain daily shuttle ridership is 4,100 pax/day, covering multiple stations in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.
  • UCSF shuttle - 3,300 trips/day. From Bay Area Shuttle Summary (September, 2004) by Bay Area Clean Air Partnership (BayCAP) Shuttle Project, Funded by Bay Area Air Quality Management District. "I'm not sure the UCSF Shuttle meets your earlier stated criteria of serving a well defined campus area. The UCSF shuttle provides service to/from and between scattered medical facilities throughout San Francisco." - Daniel McCoy
  • Lake Cook TMA "Shuttle Bug" in Lake County, Illinois. Service runs from rail station and serves multiple employers that are TMA members. Contact person is Bill Baltutis - E.D. Lake Cook TMA. (From Shamus Misek) "It began its "Shuttle Bug" van pools now serving Northbrook, Deerfield, Bannockburn, Buffalo Grove, Glenview, Lake Forest, Lincolnshire, Mettawa, Prospect Heights and Riverwoods business in 1996. Now, there are 17 "Shuttle Bug" buses serving 33 companies from Deerfield's Lake-Cook Road Metra station and other depots. TMA executive director Bill Baltutis says the shuttles handle about 1,200 trips a day, 72 percent of which were previously taken by individual vehicles. " ,