Travel Demand Modeling Status and Needs Study

Travel demand modeling (TDM) is an important tool in the transportation planning community. It helps forecast travel characteristics into the future at various planning levels such as state, region, and corridor. Using travel demand modeling to evaluate different situations (changes in land use and/or transportation network) would allow Metropolitan Planning Organizations’ (MPOs) staff to make educated decisions regarding growth and improvements to their respective transportation networks.

This study established a framework for developing travel demand models at the MPO regional level considering their limited available resources. Special attention was given to simplicity and accuracy of the travel model development process. Extensive calibration and validation checks were recommended, as accuracy of travel forecasting is of high importance.

As an important part of this study, a statewide group, the Illinois Modeling Users Group (IL-MUG), was created to support, set standards, and guide the development, implementation, and maintenance of travel demand models in small and medium sized MPOs in Illinois. Completed 2011.

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