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Transportation Management Organizations (TMOs)

Transportation Management Organizations (TMOs)

What are Transportation Management Organizations (TMOs)?

Transportation Management Organizations (TMOs) are typically a public-private partnership and have the potential to tap the strengths of each sector. TMOs can improve the level of communication between the sectors and to ensure that community goals are promoted in the most flexible and creative way to maximize the benefits for businesses, residents and commuters. A primary benefit of TMOs is the ability to move TDM efforts from a site specific application to more flexible and effective area wide application. Examples in other locations range from clustering bike parking in more logical and higher quality facilities to the provision of managed and shared parking through a parking district. In many ways, both the Downtown area and the University have characteristics and activities that are typical of a TMO, and these activities support the unique character of these areas.

TMOs work to successfully coordinate transportation efforts of various stakeholders including: employers, developers, residents and government agencies. Additionally, communities that have growth restrictions or trip reduction ordinances have found TMOs to be economically efficient in promoting alternative modes and for complying with ordinances. The goal of the TMO is to improve access to employment and retail centers while reducing traffic congestion and its resulting pollution.

How do TMOs work?

TMOs are often structured as membership organizations formed to provide flexibility and a forum for employers, developers, building owners, residents, government representatives and others to work together to establish policies, programs and services to address their district's particular transportation issues.

TMOs are typically private business associations staffed by an Executive Director or a small staff, and overseen by a volunteer Board. They are often initiated by Chambers of Commerce, business associations, developers or businesses as an economic tool as well as to address congestion issues.

How do you form a TMO?

Forming a TMO is very similar to starting a new business. Before getting off the ground, the viability of the “business concept” should be applied. This includes setting the groundwork for the service that is rendered (i.e., Transportation Demand Management (TDM) services at employer worksites) and the anticipated returns on investment (expected reduction in single-occupant vehicle use within the TMO district).

During the 2003 TMP Update process, additional background information was provided on TMOs.