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TransModeler Traffic Simulation Software

TransCAD Transportation Planning Software

A comprehensive solution for all types of transportation applications

TransCAD is the only software package that fully integrates GIS with demand modeling and logistics functionality. Unlike other GIS software products, application modules in TransCAD are fully integrated with GIS functions for improved performance and ease of use. TransCAD can also solve problems of virtually any size. This makes TransCAD ideal for many types of transportation applications including:

Network Analysis

Network analysis models are used to solve many types of transportation network problems:

  • Shortest path routines can be used to generate the shortest, fastest, or least-costly route between any number of origins and any number of destinations, with any number of intermediate points.
  • Network partitioning can be used to create service districts based on accessibility, perform drive-time analysis, or evaluate possible facility locations. When you perform network partitioning, you can also calculate the network distance or travel time from specific locations.
  • Traveling salesman models construct efficient tours that visit any number of points on a network.
TransCAD network band map with 5-minute interval drive-time rings

Transportation Planning and Travel Demand Modeling

Transportation planning and travel demand models are used to predict changes in travel patterns and the utilization of the transportation system in response to changes in regional development, demographics, and transportation supply. TransCAD is the only planning package that is GIS-based and fully integrates GIS and planning tools for trip generation, trip distribution, mode split modeling, and traffic assignment. TransCAD includes all of the traditional UTPS models, quick response models with reduced data requirements, and advanced disaggregate demand models.

  • Trip Generation/Production models included with TransCAD estimate the number of trips, by purpose, that are produced or originate in each zone of a study area.
  • Trip Attraction models predict the number of trips attracted to each zone or to a particular land use.
  • Trip Balancing methods are provided so that the number of attractions equals the number of productions.
  • Trip Distribution models are used to predict the spatial pattern of trips or other flows between origins and destinations.
  • Mode Split models are used to analyze and predict the choices that individuals or groups of individuals make in selecting the transportation modes that are used for particular types of trips.
  • P-A to O-D and Time of Day tools enable you to convert productions and attractions to origins and destinations, decompose a 24-hour trip table matrix into hourly trip tables, convert person trips to vehicle trips, and apply peak hour factors.
  • Traffic Assignment models estimate the flow of traffic on a network and allow you to establish the traffic flow patterns and analyze congestion points. TransCAD provides a full complement of traffic assignment procedures that are used for modeling urban traffic. These procedures include numerous variants that are tailored for modeling transit, as well as intercity passenger and freight traffic by rail, road, air, and barge.
  • Advanced Highway Assignment procedures included with TransCAD allow for generalized-cost traffic assignment, HOV assignment, multimode vehicle assignment, multiple user class traffic assignment, combined trip distribution/assignment, and assignment with volume-dependent turning delays and signal optimization.

There is a new master, multimodal equilibrium traffic assignment procedure that simultaneously assigns cars, trucks, and buses to the road network. There can be multiple user classes for cars (e.g. HOV users) as well as different classes (e.g. sizes) of trucks. This procedure includes the option of using exact entrance to exit tolls by vehicle class and differential values of time to be used in calculating generalized cost. Network exclusions keep each class of traffic restricted to the links that it is permitted to use. Some vehicles, such as fixed-route buses, can be pre-loaded on the multimodal network. Among the reporting options is a breakdown of link traffic by vehicle class and type.

For more information, see the Planning and Travel Demand page for a comprehensive overview of the travel demand capabilities of TransCAD.

Trip attraction map showing total trips attracted and employment type Trip distribution map showing commodity flows Traffic assignment result map with scaled-symbol theme of flow and color theme of volume to capacity ratios

Transit Analysis

TransCAD also has special tools and procedures for creating and working with transit networks. Transit fares can be specified as either flat or zonal. Using transit networks and fare structures, you can solve shortest path problems and calculate transit path attributes (i.e. skims). You can also have separate and fully integrated networks for non-motorized travel modes. For example, you can include pedestrian links when doing transit network analysis.

Transit networks can also be used for performing transit assignment. You can estimate the number of passengers that utilize links in a transit network as a function of transit level of service. These models produce link level and aggregate ridership statistics. TransCAD includes an array of sophisticated transit network assignment procedures.

TransCAD is the only GIS with specific extensions for public transit. TransCAD can perform data management for complex transit systems and has applications in customer information systems, scheduling, and marketing.

TransCAD traffic assignment map with flow and volume/capacity ratios

Vehicle Routing and Logistics

TransCAD includes a comprehensive library of logistics procedures that apply to all modes of transportation and can be used to solve a variety of logistics problems.

Vehicle Routing/Dispatching
TransCAD provides a rich set of tools that solve various types of pickup and delivery routing problems. These tools are used to prepare input data, solve the routing problem, and provide tabular and graphical output of the resulting routes and vehicle schedules. The TransCAD procedures can solve many variations on the classic vehicle routing problem, including restrictions on the time when stops can be made, the dispatching of vehicles from multiple depots, and the use of non-homogeneous vehicle fleets. The vehicle routing procedure in TransCAD is also capable of solving problems involving mixed pickup and delivery. Once a solution is found and the results displayed graphically, users can edit the routes interactively by adding or removing stops. Once stops have been added or removed, users can perform a re-optimization of the route so as to minimize time window violations.

Arc Routing
Arc routing problems are a class of problems that involve finding efficient ways to travel over a set of links in a transportation network. Arc routing has a large number of public and private sector applications, including street sweeping, solid waste collection, snow plowing, mail delivery, and other door-to-door operations. In a typical arc routing problem, people or vehicles are dispatched from one or more depots to traverse a set of service links. The result of an arc routing problem is a set of one or more routes that cover all the service links with the minimal amount of deadheading.

Network Flow and Distribution Analysis
TransCAD includes a set of procedures for solving network flow problems. These problems involve efficient delivery of goods or services, and arise in transportation and many other contexts.

  • The transportation problem involves identifying the most efficient way to service a set of destinations from a set of origins. For example, a company may be interested in finding the least-cost solution for shipping commodities from its warehouses to its vendor locations.
  • The minimum cost flow problem is a more general version of the transportation problem that takes link capacities into account. For example, the procedure can be used to find multiple paths when capacity constraints make it impossible to utilize the shortest path for an entire shipment.
  • Matching problems try to find the best one-to-one matching between two groups of objects where there is some quantitative measure to be minimized or maximized. For example, you can efficiently assign work to service centers.
TransCAD routing map TransCAD arc routing map TransCAD distribution analysis with the transportation problem

Territory Management and Site Location Modeling

TransCAD procedures for regional partitioning, clustering, and facility location have broad applications in transportation and marketing. Clustering routines assemble customers, facilities, or areas into groups that are compact and can be serviced efficiently. Districting models group Census tracts, ZIP Codes, counties, or other regions into territories that are compact and balanced. Location models evaluate the costs and benefits of any number of proposed facility locations.

Territory Definition
TransCAD provides powerful automated procedures for defining territories:

  • Partitioning involves creating groups of features in a layer based on proximity or measures of similarity. The partitioning procedures in TransCAD support applications in service territory alignment, sales and marketing, political redistricting, and many other disciplines. The partitioning model attempts to produce districts that are contiguous, compact, and balanced.
  • Clustering is the grouping of features into compact clusters where there may also be limits on the size of each cluster. You can specify a maximum cluster size or capacity, which limits the number of features assigned to each cluster. The clustering procedure in TransCAD is very flexible and can be used to solve problems in many disciplines.

Site Location Analysis
Site location problems involve choosing the best location for one or more facilities from a set of possible locations. TransCAD can address virtually all types of location problems. For example:

  • You want to determine the number of facilities that are required to guarantee a prescribed level of service. You may also need to account for financial or operational constraints, such as an upper limit on the number of facilities you are able to add, or a fixed budget for adding facilities.
  • Revenues and profits depend on the choice of facility locations. In these cases, you need to trade off the cost of adding a facility with the potential revenue benefit.
  • You want to maximize the distance between facilities and the population they serve. Landfills and power plants, for example, are often located relatively far from major population centers.
  • You want to consider the presence of existing facilities. The locations of these facilities obviously affect the choice of locations for new facilities. In addition, you may want to consider both adding new facilities and closing one or more existing facilities.
TransCAD routing map TransCAD arc routing map