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Travel Demand Modeling Software Evaluation

Travel Demand Modeling Software Evaluation

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Travel Demand Modeling Software Evaluation

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  1. Travel Demand ModelingSoftware Evaluation By Jimmy X. Chen, Ph.D, AICP City of Irvine Advanced Transportation Division Department of Public Works Presented at the SCAG Modeling Task Force Meeting January 24, 2007

  2. Presentation Outline • Project Objectives • The City’s ITAM Models • Software Evaluation Methodology • Overview of Modeling Software Packages and Their Use • Modeling Software Transition Options and Evaluation Criteria • Modeling Software Comparison • Recommendations for Software Transition Plan • Future Work and Conclusions

  3. Project Objectives • Have an overview of modeling software packages and their use in transportation agencies • Evaluate the City’s modeling environment and develop a software transition plan for the new ITAM system • Provide recommendations of future tasks for the implementation of the transition plan

  4. The City’s ITAM Models • Traffic modeling/forecasting is an important task to identify needs for the improvement of the City’s infrastructure. It produces information needed for the development of the City’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and Strategic Business Plan (SBP). • The ITAM system is used to forecast future traffic volumes for base year, 2010, 2025, and post 2025. • The rapid assessment of the ITAM model suggests that the City should conduct modeling software evaluation and select a new software platform for ITAM.

  5. Software Evaluation Methodology • Conduct literature review on experience and lessons learned from modeling software transitions, particularly the transition from TRANPLAN to other advanced software platform. • Define a list of software transition options. • Develop a set of criteria for software evaluation, group them into three categories (“Must have”, “Desirable”, and “Nice to have”) based on their importance to the City. • Compare software transition options using the criteria and select a “best” option for the City.

  6. Software Evaluation Methodology For Example, Criteria 1: Compatible with the City’s Computer Environment Importance: Must Have, Rank of 5 TRANPLAN: A scale of 8 Contribution: 5 * 8 = 40 Points

  7. Transportation Modeling Overview • Transportation Modeling Techniques Move away fromfour-step modeling approach and step into travel behavior-based modeling approach Incorporate GIS technologies into transportation modeling software to forecast traffic conditions on the actual shape of transportation networks. • Transportation Modeling Software Packages UTPS -> TRANPLAN, EMME2, TRIPS -> TransCAD, Cube

  8. Use of Modeling Software Packages (Source: The Urban Transportation Monitor, 2001) Note: 10% of MPOs use both TRANPLAN and TP+/Viper

  9. Modeling Software Transition Experience Florida’s Experience: The Florida Statewide Model Task Force developed an approach for software evaluation. It first developed a list of transition options and a set of criteria for the software evaluation. It then evaluated these options against the criteria. TransCAD was selected to replace TRANPLAN in 2003. Cube was selected in 2004 to replace TransCAD due to reasons not released to the public.

  10. Modeling Software Transition Experience ARC’s Experience ARC switched its modeling software from TRANPLAN to TP+ to Cube. The ARC’s Program Manager recommended “Any agencies with needs to convert from TRANPLAN-based models to something else should go with Citilabs”. NCTCOG and NCDOT’s Experience The North Central Texas Council of Government (NCTCOG) and the North Carolina DOT were successful in transitioning from TRANPLAN to TransCAD.

  11. Modeling Software Transition Experience SCAG’s Experience SCAG selected TransCAD to replace TRANPLAN in 2005 and now is in the process of transitioning its TRANPLAN models into TransCAD. TransCAD-based regional models will be available in other platforms for use by other agencies. OCTA’s Experience OCTA selected TransCAD to replace TRANPLAN for the new OCATM system in 2003. Conversion from TRANPLAN-based models to TransCAD-based models is a time-consuming task. It almost took OCTA two years to develop the OCTAM highway network using TransCAD. OCTA uses TRANPLAN for daily tasks and TransCAD for new model development.

  12. Modeling Software Options Null Option Keeps the TRANPLAN-based ITAM models as they are. Cube Option Use Cube to upgrade the existing ITAM models and develop the new ITAM system. TransCAD Option Use TransCAD to upgrade the existing ITAM models and develop the new ITAM system.

  13. Modeling Software Criteria

  14. Software Comparison Two phases are recommended for the software transition for ITAM models: Phase I “Wait and see” Phase Look at the software transition within two years The focus of this phase is to upgrade the existing TRANPLAN-based ITAM models and to meet the OCTA’s model consistency requirements. Phase II Look at the software transition after the OCTA’s new regional model is fully completed. The focus of this phase is to develop a new ITAM system that meets the OCTA’s consistency requirements.

  15. Software Packages to be Evaluated TRANPLAN 9.2 Currently used in the existing TRANPLAN-based ITAM models Cube 4.0 Most up-to-date version TransCAD 4.8 Available for this project

  16. Software Evaluation for Phase I

  17. Software Evaluation for Phase I Criteria 1: Compatible with the City’s Computer Environment TRANPLAN: Runs under Windows XP. One limitation: TRANPLAN DOS 8.3 Windows XP Full Name May cause difficult in exchanging modeling data Scale: 8 CubeFully compatible with Windows XP Scale: 10 TransCADFully compatible with Windows XP Scale: 10

  18. Software Evaluation for Phase I Criteria 2: Support the City’s GIS System TRANPLAN: Does not have GIS capabilities to support the City’s GIS system. Scale: 0 CubeIncorporates GIS functions of ArcGIS In Cube. With GIS functions, Cube can build transportation networks from ArcGIS shapefiles, edit modeling networks, and modify shapefile’s data structure, etc. Scale: 9.5 TransCADCombines GIS and modeling capabilities in a single environment. It has limitations with respect to data sharing with the City’s GIS system. It only supports data sharing through ArcGIS’s shapefiles Scale: 9

  19. Software Evaluation for Phase I Criteria 3: Support Other Business Areas in the City TRANPLAN: Modeling results from TRANPLAN-based ITAM system cannot be geographically aligned with data used by other business areas. Scale: 5 CubeSupports geographical overlays with data used by other business areas. However it requires conversions of TRANPLAN model data Scale: 9 TransCADSupports geographical overlays with data used by other business areas. However it requires conversions of TRANPLAN model data Scale: 9

  20. Software Evaluation for Phase I Criteria 4: Support OCTA’s Subarea Modeling Framework TRANPLAN: The current TRANPLAN-based ITAM models are certified to meet the OCTA’s modeling consistency requirements Scale: 10 CubeSensitivity test runs specified by OCTA may be required because Cube is different from the software packages used by OCTA. Cube is fully compatible with TRANPLAN since both packages come from the same vendor. Scale: 8 TransCADSame as the OCTA’s software. However conversions from the existing TRANPLAN-based ITAM models to those in TransCAD are required. Scale: 9

  21. Software Evaluation for Phase I Criteria 5: Compatible with OCTA Modeling Software TRANPLAN: Fully compatible with the OCTA modeling software Scale: 10 CubeSensitivity test runs specified by OCTA may be required because Cube is different from the software packages used by OCTA. Cube is fully compatible with TRANPLAN since both packages come from the same vendor. Scale: 9 TransCADFully compatible with the OCTA’s modeling software Scale: 9.5

  22. Software Evaluation for Phase I Criteria 6: Support Conversions of TRANPLAN Databases and Highway Networks into the New Platform TRANPLAN: No conversions are needed. Scale: 10 CubeConversions are required. They are easier since Cube and TRANPLAN come from the same vendor. Scale: 9 TransCADModel conversions from TRANPLAN to TransCAD are required. Since TransCAD and TRANPLAN come from different vendors, the conversions might not as smooth as those from TRANPLAN to Cube. Scale: 8

  23. Software Evaluation for Phase I Criteria 7: Network Editor TRANPLAN: NIS is an old and obsolete network editor. Cannot overlay with other geographical maps. Cannot represent the actual shape of transportation networks. Scale: 5 CubeRelies on ArcGIS’s GIS functions for network editing Can overlay with other geographical maps Can represent the actual shapes of transportation networks using ArcGIS’s GIS functions. Scale: 9 TransCADTransportation modeling tasks are performed in the GIS environment. Can overlay with other geographical maps Can represent the actual shapes of transportation networks Scale: 10

  24. Software Evaluation for Phase I Criteria 8: Highway and Transit Path Builder TRANPLAN: Has powerful highway and transit path builders Scale: 10 CubeHas powerful highway and transit path builders Scale: 10 TransCADHas powerful highway and transit path builders Scale: 10

  25. Software Evaluation for Phase I Criteria 9: Matrix and Link Calculators TRANPLAN: TRANPLAN has powerful matrix utilities to handle up to 200 matrices in a matrix file Scale: 9 CubeCube can handle large-scale matrix operations and calculations. Scale: 10 TransCADCube can handle large-scale matrix operations and calculations. Scale: 10

  26. Software Evaluation for Phase I Criteria 10: Easy to Use Customized Scripts TRANPLAN: Developers need to know control file specifications for traffic models. These specifications are not easy to learn. Scale: 8 CubeCube has a scripting language similar to that of TRANPLAN. But it has a flow-chart type wrapper to help developers develop traffic models. With the wrapper, developers concentrate more on the logic of traffic models, not on the detail of scripting programs. Scale: 9 TransCADTransCAD has the GIS Developer’s Kit (GISDK) to help developers create and customize transportation models. However the GISDK language is not easy to learn. Scale: 8

  27. Software Evaluation for Phase I Criteria 11: Wrapper or Transportation Modeler TRANPLAN: Does not have the transportation modeler Scale: 0 CubeIt has a flow-chart type wrapper to help developers develop traffic models. The wrapper is powerful to create Cube applications based on predefined templates. If developers want to create an application that cannot be derived from predefined templates, extensive knowledge of scripting language in Cube is required. Scale: 9 TransCADDoes not have the transportation modeler Scale: 0

  28. Software Evaluation for Phase I Criteria 11: Wrapper or Transportation Modeler

  29. Software Evaluation for Phase I Criteria 12: Capital and Maintenance Costs TRANPLAN: The City currently uses TRANPLAN for the ITAM models. No capital costs are required. Maintenance costs are small. Scale: 10 CubeThe implementation costs required for the transition of the TRANPLAN-based ITAM models into Cube models are much higher than the purchase costs of Cube. Capital Cost: $9000/license Scale: 9 TransCADThe implementation costs required for the transition of the TRANPLAN-based ITAM models into TransCAD models are much higher than the purchase costs of TransCAD. Capital Cost: $9995/copy Scale: 8

  30. Software Evaluation for Phase I Criteria 13: Technical Support TRANPLAN: The owner of TRANPLAN is changed from UAG to Citilabs. Citilabs stops further development of TRANPLAN. Support is limited. Scale : 7 CubeCube is the flag ship product of Citilabs. Support is sufficient. Scale: 10 TransCADTransCAD is the core product of Caliper Incorporation Support is sufficient. Scale: 10

  31. Software Evaluation for Phase II

  32. Software Evaluation for Phase II Criteria 1: Compatible with the City’s Computer Environment TRANPLAN: Runs under Windows XP. One limitation: TRANPLAN DOS 8.3 Windows XP Full Name May cause difficult in exchanging modeling data Scale: 8 CubeFully compatible with Windows XP Scale: 10 TransCADFully compatible with Windows XP Scale: 10

  33. Software Evaluation for Phase II Criteria 2: Support the City’s GIS System TRANPLAN: It cannot convert TransCAD-based modeling results easily and put them into the new ITAM system. Scale: 0 CubeAll the OCTA’s TransCAD-based modeling results need to be converted first and put them into Cube-based ITAM system. Scale: 7 TransCADThe modeling software is same as that for the OCTA’s regional models. However modeling results need to be further processed so that they can be used in ArcGIS. Scale: 9

  34. Software Evaluation for Phase II Criteria 3: Support Other Business Areas in the City TRANPLAN: TRANPLAN does not have GIS capabilities. Scale: 0 CubeThe OCTA’s TransCAD-based modeling results need to be translated into Cube-based ITAM system. Scale: 8 TransCADThe OCTA’s TransCAD-based modeling results can be directly used in the new ITAM models. Scale: 10

  35. Software Evaluation for Phase II Criteria 4: Support OCTA’s Subarea Modeling Framework TRANPLAN: The support to the OCTA’s modeling framework is limited. Scale: 5 CubeThe support to the OCTA’s modeling framework is limited. Scale: 7 TransCADIt fully supports the OCTA’s modeling framework. Scale: 10

  36. Software Evaluation for Phase II Criteria 5: Compatible with OCTA Modeling Software TRANPLAN: The compatibility is very limited. Scale: 2 CubeThe compatibility is limited. Scale: 7 TransCADIt is fully compatible with the OCTA’s modeling framework. Scale: 10

  37. Software Evaluation for Phase II Criteria 6: Support Conversion of TRANPLAN Databases and Highway Networks into the New Platform The conversions of TRANPLAN databases and highway networks into the new platform is not necessary. The scale for this criteria is 0.

  38. Software Evaluation for Phase II Criteria 7: Network Editor Criteria 8: Highway and Transit Path Builders Criteria 9: Matrix and Link Calculators Criteria 10: Easy to Use Customized Scripts Criteria 11: Wrapper or Transportation Modelers Same as those for Phase I

  39. Software Evaluation for Phase II Criteria 12: Capital and Maintenance Costs TRANPLAN: The City currently uses TRANPLAN for the ITAM models. Significant costs are required to convert the OCTA’s TransCAD-based model results into TRANPLAN. Scale: 5 CubeThe costs for the development of the Cube-based ITAM models is higher than those for the TransCAD-based models. Scale: 8 TransCADThe costs for the development of the TransCAD-based ITAM system is lower than those for the Cube-based models. Scale: 10

  40. Software Evaluation for Phase II Criteria 13: Technical Support TRANPLAN: Support is expected to be less than that in Phase I. Scale : 5 CubeCube is the flag ship product of Citilabs. Support is sufficient. Scale: 10 TransCADTransCAD is the core product of Caliper Incorporation Support is sufficient. Scale: 10

  41. Recommended Transition Plan Phase I:Cube option is preferred The Cube option has the highest points of contributions in support of the Phase I model improvements. The City can take advantages of the TRANPLAN-TransCAD conversions done by the OCTA. Phase II: TransCAD is preferred The TransCAD option has the highest points of contributions in support of the Phase II model development. The OCTA’s modeling results can be directly used by the TransCAD-based new ITAM system

  42. Future Work For Phase I Model Improvement: Convert existing TRANPLAN models into Cube Improve the modeling highway network that can represent the actual shape of roadways Improve model input databases (such as GIS-based land use databases) Improve the post-process reporting and displaying capabilities For Phase II Model Development: Have quarterly or yearly meetings with OCTA to know the development status of the new OCTAM models Evaluate TAZ boundaries, modeling networks and databases developed for the new OCTAM models Evaluate the OCTAM modeling results step-by-step

  43. Conclusions • The ITAM system plays an important role in identifying needs for the improvements of the City’s infrastructure. • The rapid assessment of the existing ITAM system indicates the City should develop a new ITAM system powered by a new software package. • This project conducted a study on modeling software evaluation for the City. • This project recommends that the Cube option should be selected for Phase I model improvements and the TransCAD option for Phase II model development.

  44. Any Questions?