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

Managing Models for Continuous Improvement: The Texas Travel Demand Model Dashboard

Corresponding Author: Kevin Hall, Texas A&M Transportation Institute

Presented By: Kevin Hall, Texas A&M Transportation Institute


In Texas and around the country, millions of dollars are spent gathering travel behavior data, forecasting demographics, developing and enhancing travel demand models, and using data and results from models to aid decision making and planning. With recently enacted legislation in Texas that is adding billions of dollars for construction related projects, support for transportation planning activities throughout the state continues to be a high priority for the department to promote efficient use of these funds. Developing schedules and allocating resources while centrally coordinating these activities is a challenge for a state as geographically large as Texas. Coordinating staff across multiple offices and agencies, managing production of surveys and models, and producing consistent models while continuously enhancing techniques poses serious challenges.

The Texas A&M Transportation Institute, under direction of TxDOT, developed a Texas Travel Demand Model Dashboard (TDM Dashboard) for use by each Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), TxDOT District Planning Office, and stakeholders associated with travel demand model development and application in the state. The concept of the TDM Dashboard is to provide a platform to communicate among the involved stakeholders and study area team members and to enhance transparency and communication. The TDM Dashboard architecture is a three-tier management information system (MIS). The first tier summarizes the status of study area milestones for the entire state, the second tier provides study area specific information and data, and the third tier is a data exchange and documentation for each study area to utilize during current model development activities. The TDM Dashboard serves as the central repository for models in Texas, with a high degree of accessibility and transparency for users. Data is held in the cloud, and the goal is to facilitate sharing of modeling data, results, schedules, work plans, and meeting notes – all in a central location.

This presentation will review the key concepts and motivations behind the development of the TDM Dashboard as well as highlight key aspects of the implemented Dashboard that other state agencies may find relevant for consideration.


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