The Atlanta Regional Transportation Demand Management (TDM) 2021 Annual Report is an overview of the efforts and outcomes of the region’s TDM Program, which consists of Georgia Commute Options (GCO), providing TDM services to employers and commuters across the 20-county region, as well as several Transportation Management Associations (TMAs) focused on key regional employment centers. By providing TDM services and programs across the region, the program has the overarching goals of:
Increasing the use of travel modes other than single-occupant vehicles (SOV)
Keeping the Atlanta Region economically competitive
Expanding travel options and regional accessibility
This report describes the work accomplished, program and regional trends, and undertaken initiatives in 2020, including the GCO’s and seven TMAs’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This report can also be viewed as an interactive story map.
For 2021, in response to the pandemic’s ongoing impact on commuting, the GCO Program helped employees and employers continue to commute and/or transition to teleworking.
This 2021 Annual Report tells the story by:
Summarizing the current and past commuting characteristics in the Atlanta region
Describing the coronavirus’ evolving impact to commuting and the program’s outreach to commuters and employers
Identifying GCO program performance and outcomes
Presenting innovative and new initiatives to help employees commute
Preparing the Regional TDM program for future commuting changes and continuing its response to the changing pandemic
Below are some snapshots of highlights from the Atlanta Regional TDM 2021 Annual Report. These detail, among many others, are available through the full report and interactive story map:
Commuting Remains Drastically Different
The COVID-19 pandemic led to a historic shift in commuting patterns. While the reaction in 2020 was primarily tied to stay at home orders and mandates, in 2021, as mandates changed or ended, many commuters, particularly those with the flexibility to do so, remained in a remote-work environment.
While telework has decreased the number of trips during peak commuting hours, the flexibility of remote-work has contributed to work and non-work related trips being spread throughout the day. Despite this decreased reliance on peak period travel, travel times in 2021 increased compared to 2020, inching towards levels seen in 2019.
The GCO logging application, where commuters can record carpool, vanpool, transit, telecommute, bike, or walk trips to earn prizes, continued similar commuting patterns as 2020. In 2019, approximately 38 percent of trips were transit and 25 percent were telework. In 2021, this shifted to 12 percent transit trips and 74 percent telework.
Desire for Continuing to Telework
GCO continued conducting surveys in 2021 to gather employee and employer’s opinions on teleworking. These surveys found employees are still interested in continuing to telework after the pandemic. Survey respondents desired to work from home an average of 3.6 days per week in the future and noted saving money and decreased stress as the most positive benefits due to a lack of commuting. This flexibility is highly desirable to employees, with 40% of survey respondents noting they would leave their job if required to be in the office 5 days per week.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the GCO Program continued to provide outreach resources and services to support employers and employees, ranging from telework best practices to guidance on safely working at the office. Some key GCO activities included FlexWork Implementations helping employers work, manage, and collaborate remotely; engaging with public and community entities; and continuing to engage partners on alternative commuting modes.
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