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Travel Demand Modeling


The Regional Travel Demand Forecast Model is an important planning tool both for the evaluation of proposed regional transportation improvements and the projection of mobile source air emissions for significant regional projects. The model is the most effective and comprehensive way to project transportation needs within a 20-year planning horizon as required by Federal regulation.

In the Regional Travel Demand Model, traffic volumes are forecast through the interaction of transportation demand and supply. Traffic zones are defined to encompass areas of development that represent the demand, while the actual road network represents the supply. A network is developed consisting of a series of points, or nodes, that graphically show locations of roadway intersections and other elements of the network. Connections between nodes are called links. Links represent highway segments and contain information such as speed and road capacity. Traffic zones contain demographic and employment information, and are represented by special nodes called centroids. Each zone is attached, or “loaded,” onto the network by specialized links called centroid connectors. In the model, the base year is 2020 and the forecast years are 2030, 2040, and 2050.

Current Applications

Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP)

The Regional Travel Demand Model was used to support analysis of the planning scenarios in the CMRPC’s Long-Range Transportation Plan, 2050 Connections. For the LRTP, the model is used to quantify the impacts on vehicle miles of travel, vehicle hours of travel, and vehicle speed on each community and functionality classified road in that community. This analysis shows how land use change impacts congestion and how network improvements mitigate some of this congestion.

Freight Study

For freight analysis, the CMMPO region has been divided into four sub-regions: northeast, northwest, southeast, and southwest. Within each sub-region the model was used to identify congested corridors and the congestion impacts on truck freight activities.

Equity Analysis

To aid in transportation equity analysis the regional model has been updated with the following population information: non-white, limited English speaking (LEP), low-income, 65 years and older, and peoples with disability. This allows the model to quantify how these population groups are impacted by land use and transportation infrastructure changes.


Use the resources below to learn more about the Regional Travel Demand Model.

Municipalities and governmental entities are allowed to contract directly with CMRPC in accordance with MGL Chapter 30B Sections 1 (b) (3) and (b) (9). Contract with CMRPC, contact CMRPC’s Executive Director, Janet Pierce at jpierce@cmrpc.org

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