Traffic on the roads results from individuals deciding on where, when, and how to travel. Individual decisions such as where to live, work, and shop also impact travel behavior. A travel demand model is a set of mathematical procedures and equations that represent the variety of transportation choices people make, and how those choices result in trips on the transportation network.
Why we Need a Model
We need a travel demand model to make objective, judicious and informed decisions on transportation infrastructure investments. In addition, travel demand models also provide a platform to assess future transportation issues, to identify potential solutions, and to evaluate the efficacy of such solutions.
More specifically, the Thurston Region uses a multimodal travel demand model to support programs like:
Major Transportation System Investment Studies and Funding Applications
Regional Land use and Transportation Policy Evaluation
Regional Transportation Planning
State Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) law
Traffic Impact Studies
Travel Demand Management (TDM)
How Travel Demand Modeling is Used in the Transportation Planning
Identifying a unified transportation vision for the region involves coordinated planning effort with all of the regional partners. Usually, this planning process leads to exploring transportation issues and opportunities, and evaluating the alternative options to achieve that unified transportation vision.
Travel demand models play an important role in this planning process. They provide an objective and unbiased approach to look at the transportation system and help policy-makers, planners, and engineers to make informed transportation investment decisions.
Why TRPC Maintains a Travel Demand Model
As the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and the Washington State designated Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RTPO), TRPC is responsible for developing, maintaining, and running the Thurston Regional Travel Demand Model. We are committed to working with all of our member jurisdictions to provide the highest quality data to support both local and regional modeling needs.