Evaluating Twin Cities Transitways Performance and their Interaction with Traffic on Neighboring Major Roads

John Hourdos, Derek Lehrke
March 2015
Report no. MnDOT 2015-09


Long-term, regional travel demand models are essential tools used by planning organizations for resource management, project scheduling, and impact studies. Developed primarily at the macroscopic level, these tools lack sufficient detail to capture the influence of local geometry, dynamic traffic controls, or advanced transportation demand management (ATDM) strategies. To bridge the gap, a hybrid mesoscopic-microscopic model was developed. The core of the model, surrounding two light rail corridors in Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota, was developed at high resolution for microscopic simulation to capture the interaction between traffic signals, transit systems, and the road network. The remainder of the greater Twin Cities area was implemented based on the Regional Planning Model (RPM) maintained by the Metropolitan Council. Interfacing the Aimsun-based hybrid model with the Cube-based RPM, the Twin Cities Metro Hybrid Simulation was used to iteratively improve mode choice and traffic assignment to achieve a dynamic user equilibrium state. Important lessons were learned regarding the effort required to develop and maintain such a model with implications for future large scale regional modelling.

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Sponsored by: Washington County, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, ITS Institute (RITA), Minnesota Department of Transportation, Anoka County, University Metropolitan Consortium