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

A Bridge to Activity-Based Modeling: Development of an Advanced Tour-Based Model by the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments

Corresponding Author: Maureen Paz de Araujo, Wilson & Company

Presented By: Maureen Paz de Araujo, Wilson & Company


The Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG), the Colorado Springs, Colorado Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), has identified limitations in their current modeling suite in addressing current and emerging planning irssues. In the long-term, the MPO anticipates migration to a full activity-based model. In the near-term, limited resources and the immediate need to serve ongoing planning requirements and clients called for a proactive approach that would allow to MPO to support rigorous evaluation of alternative investment strategies and policies, and to provide a viable platform to support transportation equity analyses. As a resource sensitive, interim step toward migration to a full activity-based model, the MPO elected to develop a “quick-response,” advanced tour-based travel model.

Development of the new tour-based model was completed in less a year by a blended MPO staff – consultant team. The new model retains the general structure of the four-step model, implementing enhancements to take full advantage of a tour-based approach. The tour-based model retains selected four-step model elements, including the trip-based visitor, truck and airport sub-models, although tour-based updates of these elements are anticipated as future development activities. Key updates include: the addition of a tour generation model, loosely based on a combination of the Day Pattern (Bowman) and the methodology that was used in the Sydney, Australia transport model (RAND Europe); the combined adaptation of distribution and mode choice to a tour-based format; and implementation of higher resolution time-of-day representation.

The proposed session will address:

• Selling the Project – how MPO staff convinced decision-makers to support the model update.

• The Vision - how taking small steps recognized resource constraints and avoided “throw-away”.

• The Model Framework – how the unique approach, model framework and expansion-ready design of the model will support eventual migration to a full activity-based model while continuously providing the ability of the modeling suite to support ongoing MPO planning functions.

The authors will wrap up by presenting first-cut applications of the new model and previewing future model development activities and timing.


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