Paper presented at the 20th Annual South African Transport Conference 16 - 20 July 2001 "Meeting the transport challenges in Southern Africa", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa. ABSTRACT: Since 1998 Midrand has been the site of the first coordinated implementation of Travel Demand Management (TDM) in South Africa. As a demonstration project co-funded by national and metropolitan government, the project aimed at assessing the appropriateness of TDM in the local context. TDM has lately been hailed as a cure-all for traffic congestion, environmental degradation, and government's inability to keep up with infrastructure expansion needs -problems increasingly faced by South African cities. This paper considers the likely truth in such claims from a policy
perspective, based on some of the initial outcomes of the experiment.
A brief overview is given of the pilot project and its implemented measures. These included a land use component, development incentives, priority measures for high occupancy vehicles (described in more detail in an accompanying paper), and a rideshare agency. Some of the major issues around
implementation of each component are discussed. An assessment is given of the likely impact of the measures, both in the short and long term.
Lastly, some pointers are given around the implementability of TDM in South Africa. A strategy focusing on incentives rather than disincentives is more likely to be politically palatable in the short term, while paving the way for more controversial measures (like pricing) to be introduced later. It is also suggested that the IDP process may provide opportunities to achieve the multidisciplinarity needed to develop a common vision and cooperative action within the local authority. The active
involvement of provincial government to provide an enabling policy framework is very important.
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