Making Household Microsimulation of Travel and Activities Accessible to Planners

There is a large gap between the aggregate, trip-based models used by transportation planning agencies and the activity-based, microsimulation methods espoused by those at the forefront of research. The modeling environment presented here is intended to bridge this gap by providing a palatable way for planning agencies to move toward advanced methods. Three components to bridging the gap are emphasized: an incremental approach, a demonstration of clear gains, and a provision of an environment that eases initial implementation and allows for expansion. The modeling environment (called STEP2) is a household microsimulator, developed in TransCAD, that can be used to implement a four-step model as well as models with longer-term behavior and trip chaining. An implementation for southern Nevada is described, and comparisons are made with the region’s aggregate four-step model. The models perform similarly in numerous ways. A key advantage to the microsimulator is that it provides impacts by socioeconomic group (essential for equity analysis) and individual trip movements (for use in a vehicle microsimulator). A sensitivity analysis indicates that the microsimulation model has less inelastic cross elasticity of transit demand with respect to auto travel times than the aggregate model (aggregation error). The trade-off is that microsimulators have simulation error; results are presented regarding the severity of this error. This work shows that a shift to microsimulation does not necessarily require substantial investment to achieve many of the benefits. One of the greatest advantages is a flexible environment that can expand to include additional sensitivity to demographics and transportation policy variables.


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01020689
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309094054
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 24 2006 8:48AM