Comparisons of Urban Travel Forecasts Prepared with the Sequential Procedure and a Combined Model

Detailed analyses and comparisons of urban travel forecasts prepared by applying the state-of-practice sequential procedure and the solution of a combined network equilibrium model are presented. The sequential procedure for solving the trip distribution, mode choice and assignment problems with feedback is the current practice in most transportation planning agencies, although its important limitations are well known. The solution of a combined model, in contrast, results from a single mathematical formulation, which ensures a well converged and consistent result. Using a real network, several methods for solving the sequential procedure with feedback are compared to the solution of the combined model ESTRAUS. The results of these methods are shown to have various levels of instability. The paper concludes with a call for a new paradigm of travel forecasting practice based on an internally consistent model formulation that can be solved to a level of precision suitable for comparing alternative scenarios.