Modelling UBC Multi-modal Transportation Systems

Urban Data Lab (UDL), through the use of UBC and open-sourced spatial and nonspatial transportation data, is developing multimodal transportation modelling capacity on campus. The transportation modelling system selected by the project team is PTV VISSIM to develop and examine what-if scenarios of UBC’s multi-modal transportation systems. The transportation modelling will not only consider the future transportation needs of the UBC campus, but also support decision making on campus transport solutions and how the Campus as a Living Lab can reduce transportation-related environmental, social and economic externalities. The initial model parameters will utilize accurate prediction and detection models to forecast mode choice, service level, travel time savings and pollution measurements. Three stages of the project are illustrated below, including major completed and ongoing tasks of the methodology.   

Project Initiation

  • UDL researched previous modelling projects of UBC and Vancouver, as well as the best practices worldwide. An example of best practices includes the multimodal modelling of Copenhagen to improve the city’s transportation services where there were more bikes (650,000) than residents.
  • UDL selected PTV software package as the most suitable tool for UBC’s multimodal transportation modelling (vehicular and non-motorized). PTV has strong multi-scale modelling (Macro-level by VISUM; Meso- and Micro-level by VISSIM), and its component object model interface allows interacting with external applications using
  • Data has been compiled about the present status of UBC’s transportation system. UDL collected open-source data from Open street map and Translink GTFS to build a network model in VISUM, and gained access to C&CP GIS database to build a land use model.

UBC’s Macroscopic Model

  • UDL developed UBC’s network model in VISUM, including the vehicular network and the non-motorized network. This model includes mode access code and permitted speed for each transport link.

  • UDL is now forming ‘what-if’ scenarios by engaging both UBC’s researchers and transportation operators. Our models can answer questions ranging from broad issues such as macro planning to specific simulations and projects at the micro level.

  • UDL will conduct a survey using UBC Qualtrics on trips from and to UBC to build a demand model based on priority what-if scenario(s). The outputs of the survey are Origin and Destination (OD) matrixes, which will be the inputs of the demand model.


UBC’s Hybrid Model

  • UDL will perform four-step transportation modelling: trip generation, trip distribution, mode split and traffic assignment.

  • UDL will calibrate multimodal model parameters based on annual transportation surveys done by C&CP. Additionally, UDL can conduct new surveys based on what-if scenarios.

  • UDL will test the what-if scenario results and report to UBC’s decision makers. Documentations and access to UBC and non-UBC transportation data will be available UDL’s GitHub repository and sustain data catalog.

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