What You Will Learn
- Understand the basis for travel demand and the utility-maximizing assumptions in models.
- Learn about basic facts in urban travel behavior – trip purposes, travel modes, trip distance, trip origins and destinations.
- Introduce trip generation, trip distribution, mode split, and trip assignment used in zone-based transportation models.
- Critique the four-step modelling process for the types of questions addressed in contemporary transportation planning.
- Understand innovations in modeling, such as disaggregated activity and trip tour-based models.
- Be able to conceptualize how transportation models can address contemporary problems in transportation planning such as transit-oriented development.
Transportation planning has traditionally relied on economic theories in which travelers maximize their utility by choosing among travel opportunities according to travel time, cost, and convenience. A class of models, called four-step models, was developed based on these theories and found wide practice in transportation agencies. The course explains and critiques the four-step model as a way of introducing this way of thinking and then addresses other approaches, such as cognitive theories, ecological models of behavior, or prospect theory, as alternative models.