Transportation Demand Management (TDM) is a powerful strategy for managing urban transportation needs and controlling pollution. Through TDM research and development, A Better City provides tools and resources to a wide range of stakeholders that encourage alternative transportation options and reduce the mobile sources of greenhouse gas emissions.

Why It’s Important

Transportation demand in Greater Boston will increase in volume and complexity as the city continues to grow. Transportation is currently responsible for close to 30% of Boston’s emissions, primarily from burning fossil fuels in cars, trucks, ships, trains and planes, and more than 90% of the fuel is petroleum-based.

A Better City’s Role

To better manage TDM, A Better City has created a number reports, programs and resources.

Mobile Source Emissions

The Mobile Source Emissions Calculator helps the commercial real estate and business sectors understand how emissions from commuters, business fleets and business travel contribute to a facility’s overall greenhouse gas emissions.  The compendium report describes the calculator, its goals, methodology, benefits and uses. 

TDM Related Reports

Anticipating Post-Pandemic Return To Work Trends In 

June 2021 - COVID-19 disrupted our lives and our regional economy in a way not seen in generations. The pandemic has also broadened our thinking about how we work and how we move around the region, highlighting the essential roles that public transit and public space play in the health of our citizens, vibrancy of our communities, and the strength of our economy.   

A Better City conducted eleven interviews with member companies across six sectors in fall 2020 and winter 2021 to forecast, from the employer perspective, the ‘future of work’ and related commute patterns and to better understand how our individual and collective choices can shape the future. These interviews build upon the results of ‘Anticipating Post-Pandemic Commute Trends in Metro-Boston’— an employee-focused commute survey completed in September 2020 — and inform the key learnings and the recommendations included in this new report.   

This interview effort was made possible thanks to generous support from the Energy Foundation via the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge.  


Anticipating Post-Pandemic Commute Trends In Metro-Boston 

November 2020 – As the COVID-19 pandemic has unfolded in metro-Boston, impacts upon daily commute patterns have been clear even to the most casual observer. News of a car-buying boom, the majority of business professionals working from home, widespread pop-up bike lanes, and sparsely populated subway cars have led to many questions in recent months about the future of transportation in the region. At the same time, the importance of meeting citywide goals to increase transit and bicycle riders to reduce carbon emissions has been dialed into even sharper focus. Against this backdrop, the City of Boston partnered with A Better City to survey over 4,200 employees in metro-Boston to better understand how COVID-19 has impacted commuting choices before, during, and in the anticipated future beyond the current pandemic. This survey effort was made possible thanks to generous support from the Energy Foundation via the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge. 

October 2015 - Dynamic Ridesharing Technologies explores ways to better serve the transportation needs of seniors and people with disabilities by utilizing new ridesharing technologies in paratransit services, particularly the MBTA’s The RIDE.

August 2015 - The Opportunities to Expand the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s Corporate Pass Program aims to increase by 10% the number of small and medium-sized businesses participating in the MBTA Corporate Pass Program.

April 20215 - Unified Transportation Payment Media: Options for Massachusetts outlines possibilities for a unified payment system for transit services in the Commonwealth, enabling users to pay for transportation with their mobile phone or contactless credit/debit card.

August 2014 - Establishing an Effective Commute Trip Reduction Policy in Massachusetts reviews best practices in Trip Reduction Ordinances in communities throughout U.S. This data can help to strengthen the Massachusetts DEP Rideshare Regulation and Boston’s Transportation Access Agreement Plans.