Status report on the ampo pooled research initiative on travel modeling
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Status Report on the AMPO Pooled Research Initiative on Travel Modeling. Presentation to AMPO Travel Modeling Work Group November 4, 2010 MWCOG / NCRTPB offices, Washington, D.C. Rich Roisman, VHB, Inc. Phil Shapiro, Shapiro Transportation Consulting. Presentation Outline.

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Status Report on theAMPO Pooled ResearchInitiative on Travel Modeling

Presentation to AMPO

Travel Modeling Work Group

November 4, 2010

MWCOG / NCRTPB offices, Washington, D.C.

Rich Roisman, VHB, Inc.

Phil Shapiro, Shapiro Transportation Consulting


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Presentation Outline

Study Purpose / History

Scope of Work

Work Completed

Challenges / Issues

Next Steps


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Study Purpose

Learn about MPO experiences with activity-based travel forecasting models

Document the reports and related information available from MPOs

Assess the usefulness of documentation of the use of activity-based models available from MPOs


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Study Purpose (2)

  • Assess how advanced travel models have performed in actual practice

  • Evaluate costs and benefits of such models

  • Identify work activities needed for additional documentation to permit a comprehensive assessment of:

    • Costs, advantages, drawbacks, and any transferable model components relative to traditional trip-based models


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Study Purpose (3)

  • Design Phase II study

    • Develop the additional documentation

    • Carry out the comprehensive assessment


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Original Scope of Work (1)

Identify MPO Experiences with Activity-Based Models That Would Be of Interest to Other Practitioners – COMPLETE

Describe the Status of the Documentation of and Information Available from Selected MPO Experiences with Activity-Based Models -- COMPLETE


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Original Scope of Work (2)

Identify Work Activities Required to Develop Additional Documentation Needed of MPO Experiences with Advanced Travel Models (ONGOING)

Design a Study to Develop Additional Documentation and Carry Out a Comprehensive Assessment of Advanced Travel Models

Final Report


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Task 1 Review

Identified MPO Experiences with Activity-Based Models That Would Be of Interest to Other Practitioners

Reviewed activities of 21 MPOs having some level of experience with activity-based models

Literature review (NCHRP Synthesis 406, etc.)

Conducted telephone interview (based on survey / discussion guide) with selected agencies

Selected agencies for more detailed study


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Agency Criteria for Task 2 Inclusion

  • Is the activity-based model the MPO production model?

  • Has the activity-based model been applied to specific projects?

  • Is there sufficient information (documentation) available to determine the relative costs?

  • Eight MPOs and one county transportation agency included in Task 2 analysis


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Task 2 Review

Agencies studied: ARC, DRCOG, KRTPO, MORPC, NYMTC, PSRC, SACOG, SFCTA, Tahoe MPO

Reviewed formal model documentation and additional technical memoranda

Conducted follow-up telephone discussions with MPO modelers

Determined whether or not available documentation and information is sufficient to permit a full comparison of the costs and benefits of trip-based and activity-based models


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Task 2 Review (2)

Determination: documentation and information insufficient to permit full comparison between trip-based and activity-based models

Documentation high quality, but not designed in such a way to permit comparisons

Fully documented project applications of activity-based models non-existent


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Task 2 Review (3)

  • Only SFCTA has fully exploited activity-based model capabilities

    • Doyle Drive

    • Countywide Transportation Plan

    • Many transit studies (including New Starts)

    • Congestion Pricing

    • SF Climate Action Plan (including land use linkage)


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Task 2 Review (4)

  • Useful information gathered on some cost and performance elements of activity-based models

    • Input data requirements

    • Hardware costs

    • Model development costs

    • Run-time

  • Comparable cost data for trip-based models not possible to track


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Task 2 Review (5)

  • Staff costs for training and implementation of activity-based models not possible to track

  • Not possible to measure any criteria regarding quality of activity-based model forecasts

  • Not possible to find any measurable benefit of activity-based models



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Challenges / Issues

Schedule (initially planned completion April 2010)

Answers sought by steering committee cannot be found in existing materials

Evidence of advantages of activity-based models to date largely theoretical and anecdotal

A structured comparison test between trip-based and activity-based models in the same area must be conducted


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Next Steps: Original Task 3/4/5 Scope

Identify Work Activities Required to Develop Additional Documentation Needed of MPO Experiences with Advanced Travel Models (ONGOING)

Design a Study to Develop Additional Documentation and Carry Out a Comprehensive Assessment of Advanced Travel Models

Final Report


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Next Steps: Revising Tasks 3/4/5 (1)

  • Three high-level questions when choosing a model:

    • What policy questions can the model answer?

    • How reliable are the answers given by the model?

    • How much does the model cost to develop and use?


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Next Steps: Revising Tasks 3/4/5 (2)

Task 2 has determined that none of the three questions can be fully answered with the available information from MPOs

Study team recommends no further effort be spent “mining” existing documentation


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Next Steps: Revising Tasks 3/4/5 (3)

  • Tasks 1 and 2 revealed we are not going to get the answers sought by the steering committee by examining existing models and how they have been used in the past

  • Need a controlled study to compare the effectiveness and cost of activity-based models and trip-based models for analyzing specific policy questions

  • Quantify the effect of a selected list of policy questions using an activity-based model and trip-based model for the same MPO area


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Next Steps: Proposed Scope of Work

Summarize costs of activity-based models

Identify an extensive list of policy questions that MPOs need to address

Develop draft criteria (measures of effectiveness) to evaluate the answers to questions asked by MPOs regarding alternative travel forecasting models


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Next Steps: Proposed Scope of Work (2)

Work with steering committee to refine and finalize policy questions and criteria

Final report


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