planning activities

Travel Demand Model

  1. What type of travel demand model(s) does the MPO use? How are they incorporated into the planning process? What type(s) of travel demand model is used in the development of the MTP?

The Northeast Regional Travel Demand Model (TDM) covers all of Outagamie, Winnebago, Calumet, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Brown, Kewaunee, Door Counties and part of Oconto, Shawano, Waupaca, Dodge, Washington Counties and portions of Waupaca County. The TDM includes vehicle, single-unit and combination trucks and a transit component that includes 4 fixed route systems.

The Travel Demand Model consists of the following:

  • Traffic Analysis Zones (TAZ) – are the basic geographic unit for inventorying demographic data and land use within a study area. The number of zones in a study area is typically a function of network geography (>3,000)
  • Road Network
  • Socioeconomic Data

o   Households

o   Employment (service, retail & “other” ((Wholesale Trade, Construction, Transportation etc-(think truck trips))

o   School Enrollment

o   Regional Shopping Centers

o   Passenger Airports

o   Casinos

The Northeast TDM uses a trip based four-step gravity model consisting of:

  • Trip generation

o   Number and type of trips each TAZ produces or attracts is calculated, truck trips are generated based on the FHWA Quick Response Freight Manual variables.

  • Trip distribution

o   Trips are distributed by TAZ from origins to destinations.

  • Mode choice

o   Assigns trips to cars or public transit

  • Trip assignment

o   Trips are assigned to highway network, using the shortest time. Once a roadway becomes congested with speeds reduced, the next shortest time is used.

The model estimates trips by calculating the number and types of trips traveling between transportation analysis zones across the transportation network. The model uses base year data from 2010, with a forecast year of 2045. Straight-line intermediate years have been developed for the model for conformity analysis in the Sheboygan non-attainment area. Within each analysis year, the Northeast TDM estimates traffic movement for four distinct time periods, AM, midday, PM and evening. The TDM is used to analyze the composition of traffic, purpose of travel, peak hour usage, and origin-destination linkages. This allows for explicit analysis of future travel behavior along major transportation corridors. The TDM is used for forecasting traffic volumes and patterns for corridor studies and congested roadways for the Metropolitan Transportation Plans (MTP).

  1. How many staff members are involved in travel demand modeling?
  • East Central has three planning and one GIS staff members that are involved in model trainings and analysis.
  1. What formal training has the MPO technical staff received in travel demand forecasting? 
  • East Central tries to take advantage as many training opportunities as possible. The most recent training focused on transit and editing and coding which was held on August 12 and 13, 2015 facilitated by SRF Consulting.
  1. Does the MPO organizational structure include a technical committee to review planning assumptions and forecasting methods?
  • East Central works closely with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Northeast Regional Model User Group and local municipalities to develop model forecasts.

Please be prepared to discuss the following at the site review meeting. A written response is not required.

  1. What is the base year for the travel demand model and what is the MPO using for inputs in terms of a household travel survey, employment data and traffic. Where does this data come from and how “good” does the MPO think it is?
  • The model socioeconomic data and forecast were developed from a number of sources in cooperation with WisDOT and their consultants.