This study was focused on developing a travel demand model for a small sized Metropolitan Planning Organization using the Transportation Analysis and Simulation System, also known as TRANSIMS, which is a set of software tools initially developed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory to analyze transportation systems.

This system of tools was developed under the NASA open-source agreement that makes the software’s source code and changes to the source code publicly available. Under the open-source license, TRANSIMS is available to anyone at no cost. This presents a good opportunity for small- and medium-sized MPOs to develop a travel demand model without spending limited financial resources on commercially available software.

The study sought to determine whether TRANSIMS would be able to provide the necessary tools to achieve the functional requirements of travel demand modeling for small- and medium-sized MPOs. It also looked into other resources needed for implementing a travel demand model in TRANSIMS and also the accuracy of the results. Furthermore, the study looked into issues and opportunities in implementing such a model.

An example of a travel demand map created by TRANSIMS

In this study, a travel demand model was developed for a small-sized MPO using TRANSIMS. The model was then calibrated and validated, and the results were analyzed. The study documented issues, advantages and future opportunities for small-sized MPOs in developing a travel demand model using TRANSIMS. This study was complementary to another study, Illinois Travel Demand Modeling Technical Support Group, conducted by CUUATS in cooperation with the University of Illinois at Chicago, and funded by the Illinois Center for Transportation.

The findings of the TRANSIMS study provides a better understanding of the TRANSIMS tools and will be a valuable input to the ICT study. The results could be used to encourage small-sized MPOs in Illinois to consider TRANSIMS as a viable alternative to other travel demand modeling packages that are commercially available in the market.

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