Commercial Packages for Travel Modeling

# Introduction

This page contains brief descriptions of commercial travel forecasting packages for which technical support is currently available. TFResource does not endorse any specific package.


Company: Bentley Systems

Brief description of what the software does: CUBE is comprised of the primary product CUBE Voyager, and its five extensions to enhance capabilities for specialized tasks such as demand modeling, land use planning (CUBE Land) and dynamic traffic assignment (CUBE Avenue). CUBE supports multi-level forecasting of people and vehicles with the customization necessary to create a digital replica of the transport system in your area. CUBE supports any mode of transport, delivering a true, multimodal demand modeling approach with feedback interactions between different modes (walking, cycling, cars, freight, transit, air, water, etc.).

Uses of the software and types of users: CUBE is a flexible platform allowing the incorporation of 3rd party applications into the workflow if required. CUBE is used for multimodal mobility planning in the public, private, and education sectors. It is typically used to study; highway projects, public transport systems, cycle demand and route choice, toll-roads, air quality and accessibility studies, to name a few.

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# Emme

Company: INRO (Acquired by Bentley Systems in April 2021)

Brief description of what the software does: Emme is software for multimodal transport planning. It is a complete transportation forecasting system for planning the urban, regional and national transportation of people.

Uses of the software and types of users: Emme is used to implement mobility models which allow planners a virtual laboratory in which to test the impacts and interactions of transport policy, demographics and urban geography on available transport infrastructure including roads, traffic, public transit, fares and other modes of travel. By modeling the people, places, processes, and options involved in travel, transport planners can forecast transport system performance, accessibility and equity, and evaluate any number of virtual scenarios or interventions to better inform real world planning decisions. Emme applications include travel demand forecasting, transit planning, traffic planning, economic and environmental analysis, and related studies. User agencies include regional councils, MPOs and DOTs or their equivalents, national planning agencies, transit agencies, toll road operators, consultancies and more.

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# PTV Visum

Company: PTV Group

Brief description of what the software does: PTV Visum is a software system that allows you to model all private and public transportation types in a single, integrated model. PTV Visum’s data model is designed to store all types of common transportation data including aggregate and disaggregate person and household data, land use, detailed roadway and intersection representations, public transit schedules, and travel demand modeling results. A large set of procedures are provided for importing and manipulating data, modeling demand, and assignment. Network editing and all procedures are available through the graphical user interface. Unlike simple GIS systems, PTV Visum allows complex relationships within single or several transportation systems and modes to be retained, enabling you to create a complete, multimodal transportation model.

Uses of the software and types of users: PTV Visum is used as a complete travel demand modeling tool capable of modeling at both the Macroscopic and Mesoscopic level. It is used for both traditional trip-based and activity-based models. PTV Visum offers several impact models for analysis and evaluation of transportation supply. The user model simulates the travel behavior of public transit passengers and car drivers. It calculates traffic volumes and service skims. An operator model determines operational indicators of a public transit service. Visum displays the calculation results in graphical and tabular form and allows you to perform various graphical analyses of the results. The software is used by traffic engineers, private and public transportation operators and authorities, and decision-makers in the field of transport planning.

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# Quick Response System II

Company: AJH Associates

Brief description of what the software does: QRS II is a state-of-the-practice, trip-based, travel forecasting package. Its capabilities include equilibrium traffic assignment and stochastic multipath transit trip assignment. Dynamic and multiclass equilibrium traffic assignments techniques are also available for highways. It explicitly considers traffic-controlled intersections – signals and signs – following the Highway Capacity Manual, in order to incorporate the presence of conflicting and opposing traffic. Default parameters are supplied, but can be easily modified. QRS II offers exceptional speed of calculation with true parallel processing on multicore computers. QRS II provides an extensive range of methods for refining forecasts from traffic counts, and its traffic assignments can reflect uncertainty in travel times.

Uses of the software and types of users: QRS II provides traditional region-wide forecasting, as well as project-level and strategic (short to medium term) travel forecasting. QRS II runs the four-step planning process for highway and transit forecasting. QRS II has been greatly influenced by NCHRP Reports 187, 365, 716, and 765. QRS II is used by MPOs, state DOTs, municipalities, and traffic consultants.

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# TransCAD

Company: Caliper Corporation

Brief description of what the software does: TransCAD is the only travel modeling software built on a native GIS platform. The GIS is fully functional supporting overlays, buffering, isochrones, clustering, adjacency, spatial autocorrelation, etc. TransCAD both estimates and applies cross-classification, regression, gravity, and simple and nested logit models for mode, destination, and other choices. Assignment methods include link and path-based classical and stochastic multiclass user equilibrium, system optimal, macroscopic DTA, etc. TransCAD is fully multithreaded and all functionality is available both through a Windows user interface and through scripting with GISDK, Python, and R.

Uses of the software and types of users: TransCAD is widely used across the United States and around the world, being used by 37 state DOTs and over 215 MPOs in the US as well as in over 80 other countries. TransCAD is used by FTA, FRA, and FHWA for FAF and the national long-distance models.

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