TRB 2016 Blue Ribbon Committee
16th National Transportation Planning Applications Conference

Getting the Most out of Your Data: Applying Passively Collected Travel Demand Management Data to Transportation Planning in El Paso

Corresponding Author: Thelma Ramirez, Texas Department of Transportation

Presented By: Roberto Miquel, CDM Smith, Inc.


The generation of data in today’s digital environment provides engineers and planners with a wealth of information that in the past was too inaccessible to be of use. One of the greatest challenges currently facing transportation agencies is how to determine the best way to interpret and use these emerging data sources. Data developed primarily for Transportation System Management & Operations (TSM&O) may also have applications for transportation planning. Identifying additional uses of data developed for other purposes can help planning agencies to make better use of existing resources and greatly enhance the benefit to the public of a given data source. To that extent, the El Paso District of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority (CRRMA) and the El Paso Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) decided to implement Metropia Synergy (Metropia), an incentive-based Active Traffic and Mobility Management platform to allow travelers to discover and engage available mobility options. Data acquired via the platform would be used to provide regional travel patterns, mobility and reliability performance measures as well as support the traffic management center, TransVista’s, operations.

This presentation will discuss how the Metropia Synergy data were assessed, how suitability was determined, and the development of guidelines for the proper use and interpretation of the data. Factors addressed include defining data density thresholds required for using the data to develop volume delay curves, origin-destination seed matrices, and time segmentation factors, identifying sufficient market penetration of the app to ensure the proper representation of the traveling public, methods of comparison between the newer Metropia data and other more traditional data sources to establish suitability, and assessing the support for other planning and modeling related activities. Topics will focus on how travel demand management and traffic operations data generated by this source such as travel time and speed estimates, reliability metrics, travel patterns for construction zones, origin-destination seed matrices, and arterial level of service (LOS) can aid in the development of travel demand and operation models.


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