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CommuteCon 2019

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Scale Up! TDM Strategies for Large Employers

Shawn Chavira
Associate Director of Transportation
University of Southern California

Session Description

In his role as Associate Director of Transit Operations and TDM Initiatives for the University of Southern California, Shawn Chavira has been tasked with helping tens of thousands of students, staff, and faculty members navigate one of the most challenging commuting landscapes in the United States. USC is located in Los Angeles, which ranks among the most car-centric and congested cities in the country. Shawn’s successful work in creating a flexible, multimodal mobility program for USC holds many important lessons for large organizations seeking to enhance the reach and effectiveness of their TDM strategies.


USC’s mobility management program is built around four main pillars: 


  • A fixed-route bus system with 45 employees that serves about 5,000 passengers daily
  • A “Campus Cruiser” program with 25 vehicles that serves about 3,000 passengers per week
  • A subcontracted service with Lyft that supplements the school’s “Safe Ride” program 
  • Rideshare and parking services that include carpools, vanpools, and links to local Metro stations


This program has helped USC avoid the need to build additional cost-prohibitive parking structures by reducing the overall number of solo driving trips to campus.


Shawn also talked about the ongoing culture shift he’s witnessed during his time at USC, which has seen support for solo driving continually erode in favor of smarter, more sustainable alternatives. Personal mobility devices like electric-powered scooters have become a huge driver in the continued move away from single-occupancy vehicles, with TDM platforms playing a major role in shaping, refining, and improving USC’s commuter programs.


Emphasizing the critical role that statistical insights play, Shawn discussed how USC has used surveys to identify the best ways to serve its commuter base. He encourages large organizations to do the same, as surveys and statistics guide decision-makers to find the best possible uses of limited commuter management resources. In addition, Shawn mentioned the success of USC’s gamification campaigns, noting that the school’s TDM solutions are scalable and broadly applicable.


To learn more from USC’s remarkable success story, be sure to view Shawn’s full CommuteCon 2019 presentation.