Examination of Simplified Travel Demand Model

by Robert L. Smith, Jr., (A.M.ASCE), Asst. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisc.,
William J. McFarlane, Transportation Engr.; Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, Detroit, Mich.,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1978, Vol. 104, Issue 1, Pg. 31-41

Document Type: Journal Paper


A simplified travel demand model, the Internal Volume Forecasting (IVF) model, proposed by Low in 1972 is evaluated as an alternative to the conventional urban travel demand modeling process. The calibration of the IVF model for a county-level study area in Central Wisconsin results in what appears to be a reasonable model; however, analysis of the structure of the model reveals two primary mis-specifications. Correction of the mis-specifications leads to a simplified gravity model version of the conventional urban travel demand models. Application of the original IVF model to forecast 1960 traffic volumes based on the model calibrated for 1970 produces accurate estimates. Shortcut and ad hoc models may appear to provide reasonable results in both the base and horizon years; however, as shown by the IVF model, such models will not always provide a reliable basis for transportation planning and investment decisions.

Subject Headings: Structural models | Model accuracy | Traffic models | Travel demand | Travel modes | Forecasting | Calibration | Urban areas | Wisconsin | United States

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