How the ATL Airport Slashed Commute Times, Costs With Their Award-Winning Carpool Program​

How the ATL Airport Slashed Commute Times, Costs With Their Award-Winning Carpool Program

Case Study

As the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (HJAIA) employs over 63,000 people. To support them, UrbanTrans currently manages AERO, a transportation management program dedicated to helping these employees get to and from work every day.

Atlanta, Georgia
Ongoing Project
April 2021 – Present

Upon collecting data on employee commuting behaviors, UrbanTrans uncovered a challenge: employees who earn lower wages pay more out of pocket for commuting and parking than employees who earn higher incomes.

 

Because of home locations and late night or early morning shift times, these employees often lack access to transit and depend on driving to get to work. To extend a more cost-effective and convenient option to these employees—and reduce airport congestion in the process—AERO partnered with the Parking Operations department to develop the AERO Insiders Carpool Parking Pilot Program.

AERO reserved 30 carpool exclusive spots within the International Hourly Parking Deck and coordinated a discounted parking rate of $15 per day (compared to a $36 daily rate). This parking deck is conveniently located adjacent to the terminal, which provides easier access to the security line and to job sites in all concourses.

Thanks to this program, participating employees reduced their commute time by up to 30 minutes while paying less for parking.

The success of this program was realized through a crucial partnership with the ATL Parking Operations department. Though the airport relies on parking revenue, AERO was able to provide a valuable service to employees while still benefiting ATL’s bottom line in the long run. As this program expands, both organizations will realize additional benefits.

This program was recognized nationally by the Association of Commuter Transportation with the Commute Options – Carpool Award in 2020.

During the program's pilot demonstration period (April 2021 to December 2021), the service successfully
0
registered riders and has completed 12,000+ total rides to LAX and back.
0 M
(and counting) fewer drive alone commute miles annually
0 +
discounted transit passes sold per month

Designing an Equitable, Sustainable Transportation Option for Airport Employees

Designing an Equitable, Sustainable Transportation Option for Airport Employees

Case Study

Over 3,000 Inglewood, CA residents work at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), and they all need a reliable way to get to work. Few options existed, though, and many Inglewood residents had to resign themselves to driving to off-airportpaid parking facilities.

Iride Inglewood (Inglewood, CA)
Ongoing Project
April 2021 – Present

To support these commuters, UrbanTrans partnered with the City of Inglewood to design, develop, and deliver an innovative service that addresses complex issues surrounding equity, workforce development, and essential workers., Our team used primary market research, geospatial analysis, service design, technology needs assessments, and comprehensive marketing services to help the city launch a successful, dynamic microtransit service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The micro-transit service, Iride Inglewood, offers a safe, reliable, and on-demand ride to work in dedicated vans. As a bonus, it helps Inglewood accumulate data-rich metrics on commute travel to inform local, regional, and statewide goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and vehicle miles traveled. Most importantly, though, it has immediately and dramatically improved the commute experience and riders’ quality of life while reducing costs for a historically underserved TDM target audience.

Since the service’s launch in April 2021, UrbanTrans has used innovative marketing tactics to gain riders during the extremely complicated COVID-19 pandemic. To start, we helped riders feel safe using the service by implementing improvements to the vehicle experience, such as “no-touch” automatic door openers, onboard policies based on CDC guidance, vehicle ventilation enhancements, and other pandemic-related efforts.

Additionally, to make the service more user-friendly, we developed an automated process for critical steps in Iride’s service delivery—from downloading the Iride mobile app and authenticating a new account to booking the first few trips. 

To build demand for the service among 3,000 potential riders, UrbanTrans designed a marketing plan tailored to the target audience’s demographics, workforce attributes, and values. The subsequent marketing paired high-visibility tactics like large-scale billboard and transit advertising and mailers in the Inglewood residential neighborhoods with more targeted promotional avenues, including airport employer outreach, SMS marketing, and paid social media advertisements. The outreach also included bilingual promotional assets, customer service, and messaging.

These efforts have netted positive results—the service has more than 1,100 registered riders and has completed 12,000+ total rides to LAX and back.

During the program’s pilot demonstration period (April 2021 to December 2021), the service successfully decreased average commute times from 64 minutes to 18 minutes, delivered on-time performance over 98% of the time, and achieved an average of 4.8 stars out of 5 stars in passenger satisfaction.

The pilot’s success has  led the city of Inglewood and Los Angeles World Airport (LAWA) to agree to adopt the program for the long- term.

During the program's pilot demonstration period (April 2021 to December 2021), the service successfully
0
registered riders and has completed 12,000+ total rides to LAX and back.
0 M
(and counting) fewer drive alone commute miles annually
0 +
discounted transit passes sold per month

Readying Toronto for the Great Welcome Back

Readying Toronto for the Great Welcome Back

Case Study

Following a topsy-turvy 2020 that caused much of Toronto—and the world—to work remotely, Toronto employers had to plan how they would reintroduce in-person workplace activities. Even with the excitement of re-invigorating the City of Toronto’s employment centers, the City raised concerns about the barriers employers and employees faced, including growing traffic congestion.

Toronto, Ontario
Ongoing Project
August 2021 – Present

To ease commuting concerns, UrbanTrans partnered with the City of Toronto’s Smart Commute Toronto program to develop a campaign and series of resources to help Toronto-based employers and residents prepare to return to the workplace. As a pivotal moment for behavior change, this return-to-the-workplace campaign focused on equipping employers and their employees with tools for planning long-term hybrid and remote work policies while supporting safe travel to and from the office via transit, carpooling, walking, or biking to work.

With more than 85,000 employers based in Toronto, the Smart Commute Toronto program staff needed to expand their reach and the scale of their services. So, in partnership with the City of Toronto and the Smart Commute program’s TMA partners, UrbanTrans developed and implemented an integrated marketing campaign and companion campaign website called SmartCommuteToronto.ca. The website served as a resource center continuously updated with in-depth guides, tip sheets, and webinars on top-of-mind topics, including hybrid work, hotelling, commuting alternatives, and returning to transit. To support broad campaign awareness and resource distribution, UrbanTrans also worked with the Smart Commute Toronto team to create a marketing kit packed with promotional materials that could be used by the City of Toronto and its partners on their direct communications and marketing channels.

Results
0
unique webpage hits in the initial campaign promotion period of Oct-Dec 2021
0
total page hits since the website’s launch
0
‘Return to the Office’ resources downloaded from the campaign website
0
new employer contacts generated through the campaign website and webinars

South Orange County Multi-modal Study

South Orange County
Multi-modal Study

Orange County, CA

New approaches to transportation are coming to South Orange County, CA, and UrbanTrans is part of the team developing them.

UrbanTrans is helping create a multimodal transportation plan for South Orange County, conducting a study that examines a range of options. It will lead to adopting a new, locally-preferred strategy to set the stage for future transportation project development in South Orange County.

UrbanTrans’ focus is on providing TDM recommendations. To accomplish this, we conducted a geospatial analysis of various factors that impact the need, desire, and effectiveness of TDM. The analysis was used to identify TDM strategies applicable to the study area.

We then created several scenarios that allocated dollars to a collection of complementary TDM strategies and estimated how much each collection could reduce vehicle travel miles in the short and long-term ensuring that TDM was included in all the plan’s transportation alternatives. 

UrbanTrans’ staff is now supporting the refinement of the TDM strategies and evaluating the impacts of the remaining preferred alternatives.

Atlanta Airport Ridehailing Pilot

Atlanta Airport Ridehailing Pilot

Atlanta, GA

A focus was placed on shared rides to test the viability of shuttle services from neighborhoods south of the airport with high concentrations of employees to the airport.

The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (HJAIA) is the busiest airport in the country and a major employer. UrbanTrans has been working with the airport and helped develop, launch, and now manage AERO, a transportation management program designed to help over 63,000 airport employees get to and from work.

While the airport is well served by transit, many current and potential employees still have trouble getting to jobs at the airport. This is particularly true for commuters who live south of the airport, many of whom are low-wage earners and rely on infrequent and indirect bus service. UrbanTrans worked with the airport to develop and implement the first employee ridehailing commute program at an airport.

This pilot program provided airport employees without transit access a viable commute alternative using UberPool. This service matches riders heading in the same direction, and the program subsidized those rides to and from the airport. A focus was placed on shared rides to test the viability of shuttle services from neighborhoods south of the airport with high concentrations of employees to the airport.

To develop this pilot program, UrbanTrans reviewed applicable best practices and coordinated with airport staff to identify desired outcomes and measures of success. Implementation of the pilot required:

  • Identification of target neighborhoods
  • The selection of a service provider
  • Identification of pick-up and drop-off locations
  • Creation of eligibility requirements
  • Determination of subsidy values and fare payment
  • Marketing efforts to raise awareness.

In addition, UrbanTrans developed a process through which program utilization and costs were tracked.

Pilot participants were selected based on an annual survey of airport employee commuting patterns administered by AERO. Survey data showed that commuters living south of the airport had very long transit trips, an average of 49 minutes one way, and often paid significant parking fees.

Based on survey data and MARTA service, a target area was established to focus on employees who lived up to 10 miles south of the airport. Employees living less than five from the airport received a $5 subsidy and those living 5 to 10 miles from the airport received a $10 subsidy. The subsidy amounts were selected to make the cost of taking UberPool to and from work approximately equal to the cost of riding transit.

The project was implemented by AERO staff in coordination with Commutifi, a technology company that provided a software solution to invite participants, verify eligibility, and distribute UberPool subsidies.

The AERO program had contact information for approximately 350 employees who lived within the target boundaries of the pilot and utilized that information for marketing. Employees were required to select the UberPool option when requesting their Uber ride and be dropped off or picked up within 0.25 miles of Georgia International Convention Center, where they could catch the free SkyTrain to their worksite at the airport.

Results:

The pilot provided 508 rides at a total subsidy of $3,900 to employees living south of the airport. In a post-pilot survey, program participants reported that the pilot was successful in reducing commute times and commute costs. Survey respondents reported time savings of 25 minutes per day and cost savings of $12 per day.

The pilot showed that employees were willing to use a shared service and pay a cost similar to riding transit to get to and from the airport, indicating a demand for scheduled shuttle service. Shuttles could increase the number of employees who can access jobs at the airport, which has the potential to increase employee retention and facilitate recruitment.

FHWA Mobility on Demand Business Model Analysis

FHWA Mobility on Demand Business Model Analysis

Washington D.C.
The changing nature of the MOD marketplace has made it difficult for planning agencies to integrate MOD solutions into their communities and adequately mitigate for the frequent changes in MOD business models.

UrbanTrans is part of a team that is developing guidance to help transportation planners and agencies better integrate mobility on demand (MOD) business models into their planning processes. The changing nature of the MOD marketplace has made it difficult for planning agencies to integrate MOD solutions into their communities and adequately mitigate for the frequent changes in MOD business models.

The project began with an assessment of existing MOD business models. The assessment provides planners with a better understanding of the various services in the MOD ecosystem and what drives business decisions. When planners have a better understanding of business models, they are better able to predict how those models may change, what motivates MOD companies to work with communities, and how regulatory models may impact service provision. The project team then built a multi-step planning template to walk users through the selection of MOD services. The template includes a community mobility needs assessment to identify needs and match those needs to appropriate MOD business models. Planners are then walked through a planning exercise scenario to consider how internal and external factors may impact the delivery of MOD services. Examples include a MOD company ceasing service, moving from a business-to-government model to a business-to-consumer model, and loss of access to technology vendors that distribute key transportation information. The scenario planning template includes sample mitigations that can be used to address identified factors that may affect service delivery.

The final tool will help planners understand what MOD solutions are best for their community, what risks may occur when adopting solutions, and what mitigations can be taken (including not pursuing MOD solutions) to address potential risks.

Perimeter Case Study

Transforming Commuting in one of Atlanta's Thriving Business Hubs

Case Study

Central Perimeter is home to one of Atlanta’s densest employment areas in the region, with more than 130,000 employees and 3,000+ companies representing a mix of Fortune 500 companies, large to small enterprises, and service industry businesses across four square miles. An advocate for infrastructure and transportation, the Perimeter Community Improvement Districts hired UrbanTrans to implement transportation solutions that improve access and mobility and reduce congestion within the commercial district.

Atlanta, Georgia
Ongoing Project
2015 – Present
TDM, First/Last Mile

Perimeter sits at the confluence of two major highways, and its primary intersection sees over 400,000 cars each day. As the area continues to gain popularity among leading companies in Atlanta due to its convenient location and reasonable office rent prices, Perimeter’s influx in commuters is pushing its infrastructure past its limits—resulting in high volumes of traffic and significant commute times. However, the area boasts three heavy rail stations and a commuter bus service. UrbanTrans leverages these key amenities and works directly with properties, employers, and employees to decrease drive-alone commutes and increase transit ridership, carpools, telework, and active transportation among employees throughout the district.

UrbanTrans leverages a unique two-pronged approach to drive results and redefine what it means to get to work in Perimeter: deep-dive programming for major employers and scalable solutions for area businesses. UrbanTrans works with large properties and employers to impact thousands of commuters through programming, urban planning, and policymaking. To serve the rest of the market, UrbanTrans offers a digital menu of services and resources, so employers of all sizes can benefit from the same advising and support given to larger enterprises.
Results
0 K
Commuters served at partner employers or properties
0 M
(and counting) fewer drive alone commute miles annually
0 +
discounted transit passes sold per month

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City and County of Denver TDM Regulations

City and County of Denver TDM Regulations

Denver, Colorado
The project included significant public outreach that targeted developers, financiers, elected officials, neighborhood groups, transportation-related non-profits, regional governments, and shared-mobility service providers.

UrbanTrans is helping lead the development of a Transportation Demand Management (TDM) plan for the City and County of Denver. The city has seen significant growth in recent years that has resulted in increased congestion and parking demand. Simultaneously, the region and city have made large investments in transit infrastructure while suffering decreases in transit use.

The city hired UrbanTrans and its project partners David Evans and Associates and Fox Tuttle Hernandez to develop TDM policies to decrease vehicle trips and parking demand associated with new development and encourage the use of transit, walking, and biking. The planning effort included a review of citywide plans, policies of peer governments, and applicable academic research.

The project included significant public outreach that targeted developers, financiers, elected officials, neighborhood groups, transportation-related non-profits, regional governments, and shared-mobility service providers. Outreach included one-on-one meetings, focus groups, public meetings, a webinar, and an online survey.

The research and community feedback were used to develop three draft recommendations that were refined through additional stakeholder input leading to a final preferred option. The preferred option involves a tiered TDM requirement that adjusts based on development size, land use, location, and proximity to transit. An online tool will be developed that will provide developers with an interactive list of TDM strategies based on the specific characteristics of their development.

The final recommendations include specific actions that the city needs to take to implement the new regulations including staffing requirements, updates to internal tools to assure compliance, and incentives that should be provided to offset TDM program costs for developers and subsequent landowners.

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California Institute of Technology (Caltech) Employee Mobility Plan

California Institute of Technology (Caltech) Employee Mobility Plan

Pasadena, California
Recommendations included a parking pricing plan; increased and simplified vanpool and transit subsidies; a last-mile service; and TDM branding and messaging among other strategies.

UrbanTrans developed an Employee Mobility Plan for Caltech that identified actions to enhance mobility for its 4,290 employees through an effective transportation demand management (TDM) program. This plan was an update to the institute’s 1989 plan that was required to comply with the City of Pasadena’s TDM ordinance. The plan proposed new and enhanced strategies to further reduce single occupancy vehicle trips to campus, helping to ensure that Caltech continues to meet the average vehicle ridership (AVR) goal set by the City.

TDM strategy recommendations were developed based on a thorough analysis of existing TDM strategies and land use and transportation conditions, feedback obtained during the campus focus groups, analysis of SCAQMD employee commute survey data, campus site visits, and a review of best practices and benchmarks. Recommendations included:
A parking pricing plan

  • Increased and simplified vanpool and transit subsidies
  • A last-mile service
  • TDM branding and messaging among other strategies.
Results:

Impacts associated with the enhanced TDM programs were modeled using TRIMMS and were estimated to reduce the number of single occupancy vehicle trips to and from campus by between 11% and 23% and increase AVR from 1.6 to between 2.0 and 2.5. UrbanTrans also developed a Year One TDM Program to accompany the plan that outlined actions to commence delivery of the recommended TDM strategies in the first year of implementation.

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Downtown Westminster TDM Plan

Downtown Westminster TDM Plan

Westminster, Colorado
TDM strategy recommendations included parking management strategies, infrastructure investments, a transit pass program, a bike share program, educational efforts, and incentives.

UrbanTrans developed a Transportation Demand Management (TDM) plan for downtown Westminster to facilitate the city’s goals to encourage density, minimize parking demand, and promote an active environment, supportive of walking, biking, and transit use, at the 105-acre redevelopment site of a former mall. To develop the plan, UrbanTrans undertook an inventory of existing and planned transportation infrastructure and services, collected anticipated resident and employee demographics, and evaluated projected vehicle trip generation. TDM strategy recommendations included parking management strategies, infrastructure investments, a transit pass program, a bike share program, educational efforts, and incentives.

To help assure successful implementation of plan recommendations, UrbanTrans developed an implementation timeline based on the completion of development milestones. Additionally, the plan included:

  • Estimates of staffing and funds needed to implement the recommended strategies
  • Potential funding sources
  • Estimates of the likely impacts implementation will have on travel behavior and parking demand.

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