RAND Europe has contributed to the development and testing of new approaches in transport studies for over 25 years. The application of discrete choice models using observations of individual travel behaviour has allowed significant improvements in the quality and range of applicability of urban, regional and national (multi-modal) travel demand forecasting techniques.
RAND Europe’s transport models contain substantial detail about travellers, including detailed segmentation of traveller behaviour by person and household types. Many of these characteristics have a significant influence on travel behaviour and we therefore believe that it is essential that such influences are considered when forecasting future travel demand. Our models also contain multiple modes and purposes, and a wide range of possible behavioural responses, including explicit representation of such responses as:
- choice of mode
- choice of access mode, e.g. park-and-ride, and at which station
- choice of route
- choice of travel destination
- choice of departure time
- car ownership and licence holding
- trip frequency
- residential location
- employer location
Considerable attention is given to the implications of excess demand in the form of congestion, and the resulting feedback to other stages in the demand formation process, e.g. time-of-day of travel, and ultimately the mode, destination and frequency of the trip.
Our model parameters are evidence-based, usually derived from local surveys. We frequently combine a range of different types of data, and are adept at developing procedures to overcome data bias during analysis.
We have extensive experience in developing demand forecasting systems from the estimated models, including development of population forecasting methods to produce the detailed population inputs required for future forecasts, methods for implementing forecast changes (referred to as pivoting), and outputting information required for appraisal using the Department for Transport's Economic Efficiency of the Transport System (TEE) or other approaches.
Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) operates the Sydney Strategic Travel Model (STM) to inform long term transport planning, policy development, and infrastructure assessment in Greater Sydney, Australia. RAND Europe has implemented new travel frequency, mode, and destination model components of the STM, and has recently further improved the commute mode-destination model. Previous work extended the model scope to include toll road choice for car drivers, and park-and-ride and kiss-and-ride access to train, and analysed and enhanced the pivoting component of the STM that helps to predict future travel patterns.
Within a consortium of consultancies, RAND Europe has contributed to the development of models to predict future passenger rail demand to assess the benefits of the proposed high-speed rail between London, Birmingham, Manchester and further afield. Our contribution in this work consisted of improving the quality of the travel demand models by using the best available evidence to improve the estimation of key model parameters.
RAND Europe completed the third phase of a study of high-speed rail options in Norway. Analysis done as part of the earlier phases provided initial insight in to the likely levels of demand, and the new phase provided a fuller analysis of the demand on different strategic routes to inform the decisions to be taken by the Norwegian government about high-speed rail options in the country.
To understand the factors affecting the wider adoption of electric vehicles, RAND Europe has sponsored a project to evaluate the barriers, as well as relevant government and public-private interventions that have been used in other countries to facilitate adoption. The project team will also conduct a survey to determine the potential uptake of electric vehicles within a municipality, using Cambridge, UK, as a case study.
Considering the challenges associated with continued growth and demographic changes, the government of Qatar is interested in updating its school transportation system (STS). RAND Europe helped to assess the perspectives of parents and school administrators, identify a vision for the STS, and discuss strategies to achieve it. The four elements of the vision: providing safe, efficient, and high-quality transportation; enabling mobility and access; supporting Qatari values and culture; and minimizing the impact on traffic congestion and the environment.
The UK Migration Advisory Committee commissioned RAND Europe to collate evidence on how migration is likely to impact transport networks. Our analysis finds that migrants tend to live in metropolitan areas and make transport choices strongly in favour of public transport, walking, cycling, and car-sharing when they first arrive in the UK; over time, however, their behaviour becomes more similar to the native population. The report also provides monetised estimates of migrants’ transport impacts.
A major shift to low emission vehicles in the private fleet is likely to be essential to any aspirations for Transport for London (TfL) to deliver significant reductions to its carbon footprint and meet desired environmental outcomes. RAND Europe, working in partnership with MVA Consultancy, developed a model to enable TfL to examine the market for low emission vehicles in order to forecast the CO2
emissions produced by the private car fleet in London.
RAND Europe, in collaboration with URS/Scott Wilson, has developed models to predict demand for long-distance passenger travel in Great Britain to appraise the impact of new transport infrastructure and operation policies aimed at this market, such as high-speed rail, highway management, and policies directed towards domestic air travel. Stated preference surveys were conducted with rail, air and car travellers to enable better representation of high-speed rail in the models.
It has long been known that new roads have a more complex impact on behaviour than drivers merely changing routes. Travellers may reschedule trips, make additional trips, switch from public transport to car, visit new destinations or even move home. To understand and measure the 'induced traffic' effects resulting from the completion of the Manchester Motorway Box, the Department for Transport commissioned RAND Europe to develop a robust predictive choice model whose results were broadly in line with measured changes.
Cost damping is a feature in some travel demand models by which the marginal disutility of cost (and, possibly, of time) declines as journey lengths increase. As cost damping is present in many models in practical use in the UK, the Department for Transport sought recommendations for the advice it issues to local planners in its WebTAG system.
Local authorities requesting capital funding to improve transport infrastructure need to estimate the cost benefits that travellers will receive from these improvements. RAND Europe developed a travel demand model for Cornwall County, using locally collected data, to predict travellers’ responses and quantify their benefits from different ferry service options to the Isles of Scilly. The model predicts changes in modal shift and in total travel demand as a result of changes in ferry services.
Park-and-ride schemes can be effective as a means to reduce car travel within congested city centres. Olympic organisers for London 2012 Games have recently announced plans to ban all car travel, making consideration of using Park-and-ride sites more critical. In this REsource note RAND Europe describes findings from research related to the feasibility and growth in demand of P&R sites.
RAND Europe developed the Policy Responsive Integrated Strategy Model in order to forecast future transport demands in the West Midlands in response to a range of different policy interventions. RAND Europe recently used innovative methods to extend the model to assess the impact of road user charging policies.
The development of a robust method to appraise the monetary benefits of different possible ways to improve regularity of the Paris suburban train network required values for its level of reliability. These values-of-reliability were obtained from a large-scale Stated Preference (SP) data set that was collected specifically for this project. This technical report presents the estimation results of models developed using this data set.
Carried out for the European Commission, the EXPEDITE project produced a transport model for application in forecasting and policy simulation for passenger and freight transport.
FORWARD (Freight Options for Road, Water, and Rail for the Dutch) is a major transportation research study that examined the benefits and costs of a broad range of policy options for mitigating the negative impacts of the expected growth in Dutch road freight transport while retaining the economic benefits. A Decision Support System was developed and used to estimate the effects of numerous policy options and can be used to re-evaluate policy options as projections change and/or more data become available.