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PLENARY SESSION Overview of the Policy Issues Chandra Bhat, University of Texas at Austin, Conference Planning Committee Cochair Ken Cervenka, North Central Texas Council of Governments, Conference Planning Committee Cochair Frank Koppelman, Northwestern University Michael Morris, North Central Texas Council of Governments Edward Weiner, U.S. Department of Transportation WELCOME been a literal revolution in the development, testing, and use of activity-based travel models. In particular, we have Chandra Bhat seen significant advances over the past decade in survey methods and analysis tools available to the travel My name is Chandra Bhat and I am the cochair of the demand modeling profession. The past decade has cer- planning committee for this innovative modeling confer- tainly been a very fertile period for the development of ence. Ken Cervenka is the other cochair. On behalf of new approaches and techniques in travel modeling. It is Ken and the entire Conference Planning Committee, I indeed a very exciting time for travel demand modeling would first like to extend a very warm welcome to all of professionals. you to our glorious longhorn world and city of Austin. Planning for this conference began 2 years ago under We are pleased you are able to join us in what we hope the auspices of the TRB Transportation Demand Fore- will be an important landmark conference in travel casting Committee. The Traveler Behavior and Values modeling. Committee, the Travel Survey Committee, and the Mov- I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the ing Activity-Based Modeling into Practice Task Force sponsors of the conference. These sponsors include the also participated in the development of the conference. Transportation Research Board (TRB), the Federal High- The Conference Planning Committee did an excellent way Administration (FHWA), the Federal Transit job of organizing an interesting, informative, and chal- Administration (FTA), the Capital Metropolitan Trans- lenging conference. portation Authority, the Central Texas Regional Mobil- The conference is intended to promote an open and ity Authority, HNTB Corporation, PBS&JAustin, and frank exchange of ideas and experiences among academ- URS Corporation. ics, model developers, and practitioners. The planning I will spend a few minutes on the history that led up committee identified three objectives for the conference. to this conference and the objectives of the conference. The first objective is to examine advances in travel As you are all probably aware, the last major specialty demand modeling. The second objective is to facilitate travel demand modeling conference was held as part of the sharing of ideas and information among academics the U.S. Department of Transportation's Travel Model and practitioners on the opportunities and the challenges Improvement Program (TMIP) in the fall of 1996. At associated with the implementation of advanced travel that time, there was little research and no practical appli- models. The third objective is to identify additional needs cation of land use models and activity-based travel for research, education, and training to ensure that the demand models and their integration with demographic, travel demand modelers of today and tomorrow are ade- economic, and network modes. Since then, there has quately prepared to apply the new model techniques. 1