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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Transportation management associations : vehicles for democratizing Canadian transportation planning? Jolly, Carole J.

Abstract

Research on transportation demand management and Transportation Management Associations has been largely relegated to an American context. This has left a gap in the knowledge of how Transportation Management Associations have played out in the Canadian realm, and more importantly, leaves us to wonder about the potential contributions that Canadian-based TMAs may make in moving towards more sustainable transportation. While recognizing that some US-based research can help in our understanding of Canadian-based Transportation Management Associations, there remains an element of uncertainty about the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and constraints that Canadian-based TMAs face in reaching transportation demand management goals. This thesis studies the program and implementation features of two Canadian-based TMAs to reorient the American focus to a Canadian context, provide insights to the processes and outcomes surrounding their implementation, and to determine their potential for contributing to the democratization of transportation planning over the long term. This thesis concludes that the TMA organization plays an important role in driving processes of decentralized transportation planning. Through a democratized and decentralized planning approach, the transportation sector becomes better suited to meet the needs of civic society in a more sustainable fashion. This thesis highlights the importance of government support in the promotion of TMA organizations and TMA initiatives at the local level. A decentralized planning approach works when civic society organizations become engaged in the development of transportation programs that meet the needs of the local area. At the same time, higher levels of government must learn from local experience and use local expertise to implement policies that support local TDM initiatives. Without such multi-level government support networks, civic efforts to create TDM programs become undermined. Shifting transportation planning and decision-making processes to the local level enables civic engagement where the collective learning and knowledge about local transportation problems help foster collaborative action towards workable solutions.

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