As a result of a Metropolitan Planning Organization travel demand model peer review conducted by TRB in 2003, it became clear that at that time, little information was available to practitioners to assist them in making judgements about state-of-the-practice techniques for model development and application. The peer review committee had to rely on their judgement to make this technical evaluation, rather than on detailed information on how key technical issues were treated by the MPOs peers. This lack of information prompted the US Department of Transportation to ask TRB to conduct a study focused on three elements of metropolitan travel forecasting – identify the current state of the practice, evaluate the state and identify deficiencies, and make recommendations for improvement. A 13 member committee and four consulting firms collected information on current practice, heard presentations from a broad range of interested organizations and agencies, and consulted with leading model developers in the US. The resulting report, SR 288-Metropolitan Travel Forecasting Current Practice and Future Direction , included an important set of recommendations to improve travel forecasting. This report caused considerable “soul searching” across the travel forecasting community and among the organizations and agencies involved in forecasting.
Through many meetings, phone conversations, and conceptual plans, a proposal for a community based web site was developed as a response to the need identified in SR 288. This proposal received initial financial support from the Federal Highway Administration in 2009 and TRB formed the Special Committee for Travel Forecasting Resources (ADB45) to guide the effort. The first rendition of TFResource.org was developed. During 2009-2011 the Committee worked to develop content for the website and organize it in a useful manner. Funding became a challenge late in 2011 and the effort was put on hold.
The need for the Resource did not fade, however, so TRB and FHWA began again in late 2012 to redefine the effort. FHWA has once again provided funding for the development of this resource. The previous content management system was abandoned in favor of the current wiki based approach in hopes of encouraging a broader base of participation and developing a self-sustaining website. The overarching goal continues to be the development of a collaborative, community based website where all manner of travel forecasting related resources can be accumulated to aid in raising the bar for travel forecasting throughout the user community.