An Agent Based Simulation Suite for Public Transit Planning and Design

Accurate ridership estimation is a pivotal component of developing a sustainable transit system, applicable to both proposed and existing transit networks. Different methods, including travel demand models, direct ridership models, and regression models, have been used by the practitioners and researchers to estimate ridership at station and network levels. However, travel demand models, the widely used approach for new transit lines, have inherent limitations of aggregate nature and complexity based on their types. Researchers also identified other drawbacks, such as their inability to capture small spatial resolutions and specific characteristics of stations, as often these models are designed for large- scale analysis. This leads to the scope of this study. In this study, authors presented a novel approach utilizing three microscopic agent-based models to develop a travel demand modeling suite, serving as a policy-sensitive forecasting tool reducing these limitations of traditional demand model. The modeling suite incorporates three agent-based models: SILO-MITO-MATSim. The model was validated against the previous year's data and applied for the future year. It was applied to estimate network level ridership for the proposed 'Purple Line’, a light rail transit line proposed by Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), Maryland. This line will connect with Washington D.C. Metro which is USA's fourth largest transit system, with an average daily ridership of half a million. The findings indicate a projected ridership of approximately 18,320 passengers during the opening year of 2027. The proposed model offers a robust and policy-sensitive solution empowering decision-makers to make informed choices to support sustainable transportation system.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $150000
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      University of Maryland, College Park

      Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
      College Park, MD  United States  20742
    • Project Managers:

      Cirillo, Cinzia

    • Performing Organizations:

      University of Maryland, College Park

      College Park, MD  United States  20742
    • Principal Investigators:

      Cirillo, Cinzia

    • Start Date: 20230815
    • Expected Completion Date: 20240814
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01909256
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Center for Multi-Modal Mobility in Urban, Rural, and Tribal Areas (CMMM)
    • Contract Numbers: CMMM-UMDCC-2023-C0002
    • Files: UTC, RIP
    • Created Date: Feb 22 2024 3:51PM