Statewide Travel Demand Model
MassDOT Planning maintains a statewide travel demand model for use with transportation studies, traffic forecasts and other travel estimation, air quality conformity activities, and scenario planning. The Massachusetts Statewide Travel Demand Model is primarily used to estimate travel speeds, vehicle emissions, and vehicle miles of travel (VMT), based on the latest planning assumptions, demographic data, surveys, and professional judgment about travel characteristics and growth. Historically, a collection of regional travel demand models throughout Massachusetts were used and totaled together. A statewide model provides more consistency in input data, modeling procedures, and future projections – which ultimately produces better estimates of travel.
The statewide model has over 60,000 network “links,” nearly 3,500 traffic analysis “zones,” and covers all of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and a portion of southern New Hampshire. The network reflects MassDOT Planning’s official Road Inventory files, as well as existing transit lines. The model currently has a “base” year of 2010, which has been initially “calibrated” to replicate traffic and travel patterns from that year, based on various information including recorded traffic counts and 2010 U.S. Census data. Calibration of a travel demand model is often a continuing process in order to achieve results that are more accurate and to keep pace with changes in the latest planning assumptions and growth projections. Click here for a general explanation of the travel demand modeling process used for the statewide model.
Future model year scenarios – out to the year 2035 – have been developed from the base year model, and contain the latest planning assumptions, including socio-economic changes and updating of roadway and transit networks in the model to incorporate regionally significant transportation projects reasonably expected to be completed by a given milestone year.
For additional information, please contact:
Bob Frey, Director of Planning Systems Information