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

A Statewide Activity-based Model for Maryland

Corresponding Author: Carlos Carrion, University of Maryland

Presented By: Sepehr Ghader , University of Maryland


Statewide models are used by planners to provide travel demand estimates for various statewide, rural, and intercity planning studies, similarly to the manner in which regional travel demand models provide such estimates for urban areas. Many agencies have been developing activity based models to be able to address planning issues for which conventional aggregate models offer only limited analytical capabilities. Many of these issues are important in the state of Maryland, which has maintained a statewide model as a tool to perform a variety of planning analyses.

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (SHA) maintains the Maryland Statewide Transportation Model (MSTM). SHA has noted the need to update the model, and has determined that it would be preferable to use an activity based approach. An activity based model (“InSITE”) has recently been developed for the Baltimore region for the Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC), the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Baltimore region. SHA decided to take advantage of InSITE to leverage the development of a new activity based statewide model (MSTM2). Since developing an activity based model from scratch can be a time consuming and resource intensive process, adapting an existing activity based model that covers much of the state can be an attractive option for states to develop their own activity based statewide models, at least in states where a regional activity based model exists.

In addition to the extension of InSITE to the entire state of Maryland, MSTM2 includes components representing long distance travel, freight movements, and external travel. The long distance component is based on the a national activity based model developed by the University of Maryland. The freight component is based on work done in the SHRP2 C20 freight demand modeling project undertaken by SHA and BMC and uses a supply chain and tour based structure.

This presentation will describe the development of MSTM2, including the geographic expansion of the activity based model and the integration of the long distance and freight components. The specific challenges and issues in expanding the regional activity based model to the entire state will be presented.


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