Technology &
Air Quality Management

San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments - Air Quality Implementation Strategy

As part of multi-jurisdictional effort to formulate a sub-regional air quality strategy, the 30 cities of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments contracted with the Natelson Group and The Planning Center, who in turn subcontracted with Technology Place to develop an approach to garner AB2766 funding for an alternative vehicle demonstration program.

The first element of the project was an assessment of the history of project funding since program inception. The second task was to extract from that history, and current policy debate, what would be a preferred areawide project on which the SGVCOG cities could collaborate. The third task was to generate a how-to set of instructions for the cities to follow to define, develop and submit a well-supported program to test or demonstrate alternative transportation technologies and to ensure their emission reductions were both significant and attainable.

Date: March - July 1995
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Client: San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments
Prime: The Planning Center
Contact: Susan DeSantis

Southeast Cities' - Transportation Management Program

Technology Place was part of a team, led by The Planning Center of Newport Beach, CA, chartered to conduct the Phase I Development Plan to assess the feasibility of a Transportation Management Association (TMA) to serve the Southeast Los Angeles area, involving 14 of the sub-regional consortium of 25 member cities.

The project objective was to establish a foundation for selecting a preferred approach and program for area-wide transportation management services that could be supported by member cities. The results of this phase were to provide guidance and a framework for the Phase II Implementation Program.

The project team conducted extensive analysis of the travel corridors, business clusters, and the economic profile of area residents and businesses. It concluded that the area was too dispersed and disaggregated a market to implement, successfully, a traditional transportation management association structure (even if local business support could be garnered).

The study recommended instead that the consortium undertake selected, priority transportation management efforts, coordinated with other business attraction/retention efforts, under the sponsorship of a Joint Powers Agreement among interested cities.

Second, the study recommended use of the already-established Planning Directors' Committee as a vehicle for information sharing and consensus building in support of targeted corridors where limited transportation management projects were feasible. This alternative approach was found to be preferred among area employee transportation coordinators (ETCs) and business interests interviewed in the community, rather than a separate TMA structure that would divert scarce local resources for set-up and operations maintenance.

Third, it was suggested that the Southeast Cities target efforts in those areas where business, ETC and public consensus appeared most developed: specifically in the area of improving coordination and cooperation linking transit-providing services.

Finally, other candidate demonstration projects were identified among shuttle or "third tier" transit services (possibly using alternatively fueled vehicles) between transit nodes, major employment concentrations, and other community-scale destinations.

Date: 1994
Location: Lakewood, CA
Client: Southeast Cities Air Quality Consortium
Contact: Charles K. Ebner, Director of Community Planning
Prime: The Planning Center
Contact: Susan DeSantis

San Bernardino County/Cities - Air Quality Implementation Plan

Technology Place was a member of the project team led by The Planning Center (Newport Beach, CA) which undertook several pilot program efforts designed to avail the San Bernardino County/Cities' Planning Directors of practical experience in the use of tools and techniques to reduce or eliminate travel in the pursuit of their Air Quality Plan objectives.

Date: 1992-1994
Location: San Bernardino, CA
Client: San Bernardino County/Cities Planning Departments
Contact: Julie Hemphill
Prime: The Planning Center
Contact: Susan DeSantis

The projects listed below are those in which Technology Place played a leading role:

The Technology Spectrum

Technology Place presented an overview of 20 specific candidate technologies from which the Planning Departments could chose and implement a pilot program oriented to the objective of reducing or eliminating their recurrent travel to regional standing committee meetings in the Southern California marketplace.

The technologies were described and rated based on the following decision-criteria:

  • initial cost
  • on-going costs
  • accessibility to users
  • ease of set-up
  • ease of use

The Technology Spectrum was used as the vehicle for presenting complex technology concepts to individuals with little or no interest in the operating details, but who did have a strong and growing interest in the work-related benefits that those technologies might provide to individuals or municipalities.

Date: June 1993

Survey of the Planning Department Staff: Quantifying Local and Regional Staff Travel

Interviews with the Planning Department Staff: Identifying Work Content, Linkages and Technologies

Using trip logs and personal interview instruments, Technology Place identified the baseline travel patterns of the participants and their normal work-trip profiles. Participants tended to emphasize their budgetary pressures, their need for cost containment, and expressed interest in identifying those options or strategies that might make them more effective users of their existing technology as contrasted with an interest in acquiring net new technology.

Date: July 1993 Working Paper Guidelines for Action Based on the analysis of current work and travel patterns, Technology Place developed guidance materials to assist the Planning Directors in experimenting with new ways they could

  • reduce costs or save money and
  • improve the reach or more efficient use of existing technology tools.

    A series of guidelines were provided in the following:

    • The Real Cost of Telephone Tag
    • Computer Investments: Controlling Costs
    • Video Conferencing
    • How to Connect Online
    • Government Sponsored Electronic Bulletin Boards
    • Online Real Estate Information Access
    • A Shared Calendar for County and City Budget Schedules
    • Books and Publications for Further Information
    • Changing the Way You Manage Information:
    • How to Handle All that Paper

    Date: August/September 1993

    Pilot Program: A Demonstration of County/Cities Access to Online Information (CityLink)

    Technology Place surveyed the Planning Directors to generate information sharing opportunities on subjects where, normally, they would have traveled to a conference or a regional meeting to access information. The project team posted these queries at several public and private information bulletin boards, databases, maillists, and conferences, using only online or electronic access methods.

    The responses from all sources were consolidated, organized and distributed to the Planning Directors. In addition, the responses were re-posted back to the same sources, including a description of the pilot project experience. A second round of feedback was generated from those sources which commended San Bernardino County/Cities for their experimentation and their re-investment of information back to the online community.

    The results of the pilot effort significantly broadened the participants' view of the power and scope of online information resources. They liked the high quality of responses and indicated that the content was, in some cases, better than what they usually received at conference and meeting sessions. They were impressed by the reaction of the online community to their information sharing and willingness to experiment with this new media.

    Date: November 1993

    Funding Possibilities for Transportation Demand Management Projects

    The final aspect of the San Bernardino County/Cities Air Quality Implementation Plan was Technology Place's analysis of information regarding funding opportunities in the TDM field.

    Our research determined that,

      "Today, public agencies are beginning to downsize, outsource, and re-invent themselves almost in mirror image to the actions of the private sector over the past two to three years."
    Therefore, the crucial question was,
      "Do opportunities exist to find public funding for projects in [support of] transportation demand management...? in the environmental quality arena? in support of air quality improvement?"
    The study involved a broadbased inquiry of online electronic data resources, concluding with the following findings:

  • funding was migrating away from regulatory support and moving instead toward experimentation with market mechanisms (especially if a program promoted job creation, education and training, economic development or telecommunications);

  • funding organizations were looking for partnership, collaboratives, and combinations of public, private, and quasi-public/non-profit organization where the financial support could be leveraged to promote technology transfer and other business synergy among team members;

  • money was available to seed commercialization more than to initiate net new R & D efforts;

  • preferred public funding was that which helped a public agency cut costs, reduce overhead, minimize bureaucracy, and become a more customer/constituent-responsive entity.

    Federal, state, regional, and local programs and initiatives were evaluated and summarized, including general funding levels, guidelines, and contacts.

    Date: April 1994

    Innovative Community Services And Public Benefits

    Technology Place recommended that the San Bernardino County/Cities fine-tune the telecommuting centers and public information delivery projects so that they addressed the more well-defined and uniquely local economic and market conditions prevailing in the Inland Empire.

    Specifically, the need was to focus on local economic development opportunities rather than try to be part of the mass market appeal of the telecommuting movement.

    A key recommendation was that the County/Cities view the array of information gathering and dissemination technologies as a vehicle by which they could assist businesses in creating or attracting new, information-oriented industries, small business enterprises and jobs in support of that local economic base.

      "Telecommuting centers and public information delivery services are rapidly changing and redefining how companies and communities package and deliver information and services to their constituencies."

    Second, the project suggested that information delivery programs should focus on serving key local constituencies with better delivery of public data and information, rather than trying to implement complex, expensive, county-wide telecommunication systems.

    Third, the project recommended establishing benefit goals that could easily be tracked, measured, and monitored on a regular basis.

    And finally, the project recommended looking for opportunities to demonstrate remote access through public information technologies at community and telecommuting centers.

    Date: 1992
    Location: San Bernardino, CA
    Client: San Bernardino County/Cities Planning Departments
    Contact: Julie Hemphill
    Prime: The Planning Center
    Contact: Susan DeSantis

    Sources of Information Supply and Demand for Home- and Community-Based Information Delivery Systems

    Technology Place, as a sub-contracting consultant to The Planning Center (Newport Beach, CA) identified specific information sources within each agency of the San Bernardino County government which might be delivered through public information systems, by department, by type of data, and by type of trip or community benefit.

    Remote access, referral, and information which enabled citizens or employees to eliminate or reduce trips were classified as producing directly measurable benefits, while those services which generally improved community awareness and knowledge of agency products, services, or procedures were classified as providing less measurable indirect benefits.

    The project also identified the probably sources of information demand for public data from specific population concentrations in the County. Factors considered important in identifying these potential market clusters include: their locational characteristics, the specific data demanded, the frequency of need, and the affected agency.

    Population groups that could be targeted were identified:

    • home-owners
    • voters
    • entitlement households
    • business license holders
    • military-related populations
    • visitors

    The project developed a prototype of a county-based public information "window" as an example to demonstrate possible display options.

    Date: 1992
    Location: San Bernardino, CA
    Client: San Bernardino County/Cities Planning Departments
    Contact: Julie Hemphill
    Prime: The Planning Center
    Contact: Susan DeSantis

    Home- and Community-Based Information Delivery Systems to Support Air Quality and Trip Reduction Programs

    Technology Place, as a sub-contracting consultant to The Planning Center (Newport Beach, CA) surveyed the available technologies which offered the greatest potential to eliminate or reduce trips in support of air quality objectives of the San Bernardino County/Cities in their Air Quality Plan.

    The project used the paradigm of The Technology Spectrum as the means for representing the wide array of available computer, telephone, and communications technologies serving this objective. Within this framework, public agencies could evaluate technology options ranging from limited purpose systems that were low cost, easy to learn, and required only minor technical support all the way up the spectrum to multi-purpose, broad-based systems that were expensive, complicated, and required more complex technical support infrastructures.

    Technology Place evaluated the decision-making criteria for governmental agencies to use in their evaluation of possible technologies to support TDM trip avoidance/reduction objectives. The criteria were segregated into six key areas:

    • purpose of the system
    • communications
    • participants
    • delivery methods
    • location
    • functionality
    • management

    Over fifty individual information delivery products and services were documented within 10 general levels of classification, ranging from single-, limited-purpose telephone and computer-based data inquiry systems to multi-purpose satellite or cable video based broadcast technologies.

    Date: 1992
    Location: San Bernardino, CA
    Client: San Bernardino County/Cities Planning Departments
    Contact: Julie Hemphill
    Prime: The Planning Center
    Contact: Susan DeSantis

    Employee Transportation Coordinators' Ridesharing Perceptions

    Technology Place completed a project for the Orange County Transportation Authority's (OCTA) Commute Management Services Department to survey employee transportation coordinators (ETCs) within Orange County.

    The first study objective was to elicit ETC input into the department's forthcoming work program:

    • to determine ETCs' awareness and opinions about OCTA's ridesharing products and services;
    • to identify any adverse reactions to the prior year's agency consolidation and re-organization; and
    • to gather ETC recommendations for how OCTA could improve client services in the future.

    The survey was conducted for Technology Place by Facts Consolidated Inc. and revealed that, while the re-organization did not create any new problems for the ETCs, nevertheless, it did not clarify what benefits members of the regulated community could realize from the more coordinated agency or where ETCs should now go for assistance and services from the new organization.

    The study also developed a clearer perspective of the characteristics of the ETC job function within Orange County, including a profile of the typical ETC. It reported a pattern of difficulty gaining interdepartmental management support and a heightened awareness of businesses' concerns about the rising costs to support TDM programs.

    Finally, the study documented problems that OCTA clients were experiencing with their voice mail telephone system, and it provided recommendations to improve the effectiveness of that customer interface.

    Date: May 1992
    Location: Garden Grove, CA
    Client: Orange County Transportation Authority, Commute Management Services Department
    Contact: Mike Phillips
    Sub-contractor: Facts Consolidated Inc.
    Contact: Nancy J. Strauss

    Transportation Management Associations: Effectiveness Study

    Technology Place completed a project for the Orange County Transit District's (OCTD) Commuter Network to evaluate the operating performance of eight transportation management associations (TMAs) in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

    Working with The Planning Center of Newport Beach, CA, the project surveyed stakeholders and beneficiaries of the TMAs in order to determine whether OCTD should continue its support of these partnership and how OCTD could provide for greater efficiency and effectiveness in the allocation of agency resources.

    The study concluded that,

      "... the TMA industry [is] dynamic, divers, growing, and potentially very supportive of the objectives of TDM [transportation demand management] implementation and trip reduction strategies."

    At the same time, it found that more quantifiable measures of performance needed to be maintained by the TMAs if OCTD were to compare and contrast, with any confidence, their effectiveness in achieving TDM objectives. The project recommended a limited set of performance indicators and demonstrated how these would be applied to the TMAs surveyed. From that analysis, it was possible for OCTD to gauge, on a more consistent basis, whether or not their invested resources were efficient and what management decision should be taken.

    The project also identified,

      "... services redundancy, unintentional competition, policy overlap, duplication or miscommunications, which ... constituted areas of potential improvement."

    In addition to more regular and consistent performance monitoring, the project recommended other management, organizational, financing, and service delivery improvements to strengthen Orange County's oversight of the public-private transportation partnerships within its jurisdiction.

    Date: May 1991
    Location: Garden Grove, CA
    Client: Orange County Transit District, Commuter Network
    Contact: Marilyn Marquez
    Colleague: The Planning Center
    Contact: Tom Kirk/Susan DeSantis

    Multi-Site Corporate Transportation Demand Management Planning

    Technology Place directed the work of the company-wide task force responsible for GTE California Inc.'s corporate transportation demand management plan, involving 32 worksites located throughout the four county Southern California air basin. Technology Place evaluated the full spectrum of TDM techniques and options as part of the GTE California Transportation Demand Management project, recommending TDM options and incentives tuned to the unique needs of each worksite employing a total of more than 20,000 employees.

    Other companies and transportation management associations in the basin were surveyed to develop actual case study experience and to document the relative effectiveness of specific TDM elements within corporate programs. The project gathered and evaluated basin-wide indicators of TDM program effectiveness from commuter rideshare organizations, employee transportation coordinators, and their associations, as well as from regional and state air quality district offices.

    In addition to working on specific site plans, Technology Place provided in-depth senior level analyses of existing and proposed TDM legislation and local ordinances to identify areas of potential corporate responsibility and opportunity.

    Noteworthy among the products and recommendations for this project were the following:

    • the concept of "worksite AVR goals": a method for forecasting and quantifying the number of single occupancy vehicles that each site management would be responsible for removing in order to achieve a fair share of corporate AVR improvement, and
    • the "priority circle of TDM options": an hierarchy of TDM tools and incentives from which each worksite could select its basket of preferred strategies to improve AVR at that location.

    Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
    Client: GTE California Inc.
    Contacts: Marti Schmidt, Pegi Matsuda, David Fisher

    Congestion Management Planning

    Technology Place, in tandem with The Planning Center of Newport Beach, CA, provided policy level input to SCAG's Growth Management and Transportation Task Force on Air Quality Management Plan implementation issues in the areas of transportation demand management ordinances, conformity review, jobs/housing balance, and local air quality element policies and programs.

    Location: Los Angeles, CA

    Traffic and Financial Analysis

    Technology Place conducted the Traffic and Financial Analysis for a Silicon Valley developer interested in identifying the development options available to the firm to reduce traffic expected to be generated by commercial and retail land uses in a major 3,400 acre development near Cupertino, California.

    In order to design the mitigating measures and to assess their impact on project economics, the work program compared the specific benefits and costs of alternate TDM strategies and drew upon the input of expert traffic and transportation consultants, civil engineers, and real estate brokers to develop those measures.

    Location: Cupertino, CA

    Traffic and Transportation Study

    Analysis of anticipated traffic flows and development of alternative, and community-sensitive transportation concepts for the Master Plan for Century City.

  • . . . we make your complex world
    by bringing emerging technology
    home to business.

    © 1995-2014 by Technology Place.
    All rights reserved.