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L E S S O N S L E A R N E D F R O M T H E N E W Y O R K A C T I V I T Y- B A S E D T R AV E L M O D E L 175 years due to retirement or better opportunities. These staff county. The future-year forecasts for the four main members cannot be replaced in a timely fashion because of variables--population, household, employment, and the hiring freeze imposed by the hosting agency. labor force--were shared with local and county agencies to ensure consistency with individual county forecasts. This was a drawn-out process in which members' sug- INSTITUTIONAL COORDINATION gestions were often divergent, resulting in conflicting forecast numbers. After several rounds of modifications, As an MPO, NYMTC must take a regional perspective and numerous meetings and negotiations, the forecasts in all of its work and products. NYBPM implementation were finally found acceptable and adopted by the MPO requires consideration of two important factors: work- member agencies. Consensus building among the stake- ing with stakeholders and getting consensus. holders is vital in the NYMTC forecasting process. These forecasts are used in all the major investment studies and corridor-level studies in the region. Working with Stakeholders Throughout the model development process, NYMTC FUTURE IMPROVEMENTS staff work closely with all stakeholders to define the model needs and applications at the beginning of the With more than 4 years of experience, NYMTC has process. All modeling issues and application support, many ideas on sensitivity tests and improvements of coordination of data collection efforts, discussion of model performance, ease of use, and quality control pro- model calibration and validation results, and issues cedures, to name a few. Those ideas are either under con- related to model usage and improvements require close tracts with University Transportation Research Center involvement of stakeholders in the complex NYMTC and consultants to implement, or will be implemented region. through various model improvements and contracts in NYTMC staff held 10 sessions with stakeholders the years to come. throughout the NYMTC region to discuss modeling One of the problems of NYBPM is its long running needs that became the guidance for NYBPM develop- times. Previous experiments and new developments sug- ment. NYMTC staff also coordinated with stakeholders gest massive speedups are possible, however. NYBPM on various modeling issues, including data sharing will also try to relax hardware requirements so that more among different zonal systems, consensus building on users could use NYBPM, create a full-featured User socioeconomic and demographic forecasts, design and Interface and a super fast version for production. implementation of regional household travel survey, To address the data standard issues, NYMTC staff update of regional highway and transit networks, and has been working with member agencies through the building the traffic count database for the 2,300 screen traffic, transit, and GIS data coordination committees to line locations. In addition to the complexity involved standardize all data collection in the region. These with the large number of stakeholders, data from stake- groups consist of all NYMTC member agencies who are holders with inconsistent formats and definitions actively working together to collect traffic and transit required the NYBPM project team to spend a lot of data in a standardized format so they can be shared resources to reconcile the assembled data into a common among all the agencies. This will avoid duplication and database format for use in NYBPM. save the region staff time and money. It will also mini- mize any data reconciliation problems in the variability of data from different sources. A GIS-based traffic data Building Consensus editor and viewer developed by NYSDOT has been used as the traffic data clearinghouse for the NYMTC region. NYMTC staff had to work with stakeholders to reach Other ongoing improvements include: consensus on all stages of the model development process, including the definition of zonal system, the sur- · Scenario and file management; vey design, the forecasts and calibration results, and so · Automated reporting and output manager; forth. · New user guide with content-sensitive online One of the required inputs to the NYBPM was the assistance; socioeconomic demographic data and forecasts. While · Improve usability and applicability; base-year data were collected from various public agen- · Move to the latest versions of TransCAD; cies in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, eco- · Exploit features of new TransCAD process; nomic models were run to forecast future years by · Streamline and optimize model code;