Just how (Travel) Smart are Universities when it comes to implementing sustainable travel
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Australia, like the United States, the UK and Europe, has seen the development of policies for sustainable travel in the past decade. Although not a new approach, Travel Demand Management Plans are one tool seeking to manage commuter travel for transport sustainability. Australian universities generate substantial commuter trips which result in a significant impact on transport infrastructure and on the community. Travel planning for universities needs also to be cognizant of the particular characteristics which set universities apart from other large employers.The paper reviews international literature on TDM at universities in order to establish the extent to which TDM actions have been implemented. This provides a benchmark with which to compare action taken by Australian universities. The survey findings indicate that implementation of TDM in Australian universities is still in its infancy with only six of 25 surveyed universities developing TDM plans. The main focus of these plans is on improving public transport access. None seek to implement disincentives for access by car despite the heavily car dependent nature of those universities in suburban locations. Universities are reliant on individuals to champion the cause in the absence of federal legislation requiring such action. Such legislation may now be required in order to accelerate progress towards sustainable travel practices at Australian universities.
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