Guidelines for Selecting Travel Forecasting Methods and Techniques

The objective of this research is to develop guidelines for travel forecasting practitioners to (1) assess the suitability and limitations of their travel forecasting methods and techniques to address specific policy and planning questions; (2) scope model development or improvements so as to attain the desired policy sensitivity within constraints such as institutional, budget, model development time, and resources; and (3) communicate limitations and any improvements to decision makers. The guidelines should be accompanied by a method selection tool that illustratively guides the practitioner through the selection of methods and techniques based on application needs, resource constraints, available data, and existing model structure. Planning and policy questions to be addressed, at a minimum, should include: (a) long-range planning, (b) performance-based planning, (c) safety, (d) project prioritization, (e) traffic detour planning/work zone analyses, (f) operational analyses, (g) managed lanes and toll revenue forecasting, (h) air quality and climate change analyses, (i) transit analyses, (j) walk and bike activity forecasting, (k) freight planning, (l) environmental justice analyses, (m) benefit-cost analyses, (n) economic impact analyses, (o) growth management analyses, (p) emergency management, (q) revenue analyses, and (r) other planning issues that models are asked to address. Each of the planning and policy issues identified should be tied to a set of “information needs” such as (a) level of temporal and spatial flows by market segment, (b) volume and speed outputs, (c) mode of travel, (d) travel cost, (e) travel time variation and reliability, and (f) other relevant performance metrics. The products of this research should be prepared for use by practitioners at state transportation agencies; metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs); transit agencies; and consultants who scope, develop, and apply travel forecasting models. Published as NCHRP Report 852..  


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $500000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 08-94

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Goldstein, Lawrence

  • Performing Organizations:

    Resource Systems Group Incorporated

    55 Rail Row
    White River Junction, VT  United States  05001
  • Principal Investigators:

    Outwater, Maren

  • Start Date: 20140516
  • Expected Completion Date: 20160716
  • Actual Completion Date: 20160716
  • Source Data: RiP Project 37719

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01543759
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 08-94
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Nov 21 2014 1:04AM