Find Events Find People Find Jobs Find Sites Find Help Index


April 9, 2001

Conference highlights Emory TMA, alt-transportation strides

By Michael Terrazas


President Bill Chace will speak at a biennial international summit of transportation management associations (TMAs) to be held April 18–20 in the downtown Wyndham Atlanta Hotel. Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes is scheduled to deliver the event’s keynote address.

Sponsored by the Association for Commuter Transportation, the conference is titled “A TDM (Transportation Demand Man-aagement) Revival.”

The conference will feature sessions and workshops on such traditional alternative transportation issues as carpooling, vanpooling, public transit, etc., but also on creative TMA funding, international TMAs and TMA alliances. The summit will also hand out awards to individual organizations.

About 130 TMAs currently exist in the United States, according to Emory alternative transportation Director Brian Shaw, and eight of them are in Atlanta. Shaw added that groups from such countries as the Netherlands and Canada will attend the summit, as well.

The event is open to the public. For more information, including registration forms and fees, visit

Though technically Emory is not its host, Chace will deliver the conference’s welcoming remarks.

“We are immensely proud to [participate in] the event, and we hope that what we have done on campus will continue to serve as a helpful model for others,” Chace said.

Emory was the driving force behind the creation of the three-year-old Clifton Corridor TMA (CCTMA), and two University administrators—Shaw and Erick Gaither, senior associate vice president for business management—are currently serving as CCTMA executive director and president, respectively.

The University has also drawn national recognition for its recent moves toward a more pedestrian-friendly campus, exemplified in the Open Space projects that have turned several previously car-cluttered, concrete Emory thoroughfares into green, aesthetically pleasing walkways paved with red brick. Tours of the Emory campus will be offered at the TMA summit.

More options are on the way for clean commuting at Emory, Shaw said.

For example, this year the University has extended its value pass program to all employees who do not register for a daily parking permit. Previously available only to carpoolers and vanpoolers, the passes allow holders to park their individual vehicles in either the Michael Street or University Apartments parking deck 12 times per year, with additional permits available for $2 a day.

“It was an equity issue,” said Shaw, adding that it didn’t seem fair to offer the passes only to carpoolers. For example, people who normally walk or ride bicycles to campus, or even those who take advantage of Emory’s MARTA subsidy, previously were ineligible for value passes.

Also coming soon are four new Ford Th!nk electric cars, available for use by those people participating in alternative transportation programs. Fifteen of the European-manufactured vehicles are being leased to Georgia Power, and under a partnership agreement Shaw said Emory will get four of them.

“It’s taking away an inconvenience, providing one less reason for people not to use alternative transportation,” Shaw said. The two-passenger cars, which can travel up to 53 miles on a single charge at a top speed of 56 mph, are street legal under a three-year exemption from the federal Department of Transportation. Shaw said the pilot program will be used to determine whether Emory will purchase more of the vehicles once the lease expires.

But Shaw is loathe to predict a date when the vehicles will be available. Beyond the logistical preparations—scheduling and administrative systems, recharging capabilities, insurance liability matters—he’s not sure of when the DOT grant funding will come through for Georgia Power to acquire them.

Last year Emory and Georgia Power were awarded a federal matching grant to purchase electric buses, but because of restrictions on what sort of agency can receive DOT funding, the money has not materialized, to say nothing of the buses. Shaw said he’s confident both will arrive—someday.

“It’s been an exercise in what’s wrong with getting federal money, and not to trust people who say they know what they’re doing,” Shaw said. “It’s unfortunate because we’ve been ready for them since October. We’ve done everything we can do, preparation-wise, without actually knowing the make of bus we’ll be getting.”

For more information about alternative transportation alternatives, visit


Back to Emory Report April 9, 2001