NCHRP Synthesis 406: Advanced Practices in Travel Forecasting - A Synthesis of Highway Practice
Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc. (Rick Donnelly, Greg Erhardt, Rolf Moeckel & William A. Davidson)
National Academy of Sciences, Transportation Research Board, National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP)
At the beginning of the 21st century, clear indications of a paradigm shift in transportation modeling are apparent. A growing number of agencies across the United States are abandoning established traditional modeling techniques and exploring advanced practices in travel forecasting. This synthesis report evaluates the benefits advanced models might offer, summarizes implementation and institutional issues that may form barriers to change, and distills lessons learned from those agencies that have invested in advanced modeling practices. The findings are based on narrative interviews with more than 30 agencies that have pioneered these models, literature reviews, and practical experience gained by leaders in the field of advanced travelforecasting.
Advanced transportation modeling is defined as those practices that go beyond the traditional four-step travel demand modeling approach. Specifically, this includes five areas of modeling: tour- and activity-based models, land use models, freight and commercial movement models, statewide models, and dynamic network models. All of these advanced models, with the possible exception of dynamic network models, have been successfully used to address policy and investment options at urban and statewide levels. Several of these analyses simply could not have been credibly evaluated with traditional four-step models.
Once advanced models were applied and implementation obstacles overcome, most agencies reported significant benefits from them.
February 1, 2010