Traffic flow management developing Model (2008-2011)

 PROJECT TITLE Traffic flow management development Model
 FINANCED BYPublic research Agency of RS and Ministry for environment and space (CRP project)
 TIME FRAME2008-2011
 PROJECT PARTNERSUniversity of  Ljubljana, FGG , Institute of Traffic and Transport Ljubljana, d.o.o.


Traffic models are used as a tool to support strategic and tactful planning (to support the implementation of a transport policy, as well as general social development policies), or as a tool for the management of traffic flows. Decision makers, transport operators and infrastructure engineers use virtual models which determine the effects of planned measures.

The first, ie. strategic planning level, is concerned with - forecasting the quantity of demand (or "how many goods or people intend to be moved in space", i.e. with the generation of traffic),
-    the prediction of traffic flows between individual generators (or "from where to where the goods or people are moved", i.e. the distribution of traffic), and
-    the basic laws of modal split (or "when and why transport will be made by train, plane ...”, i.e. with modal split).

How various factors affect the generation, distribution and selection of modes is the central topic of the proposed research. Factors like economic activity, settlement, capacity and price of infrastructure but also social and cultural characteristics are considered.

The second level, management of traffic flows or the operational level, deals with traffic flows which already exist in the transport infrastructure. Decision makers are intrested in mechanisms about how travelers (carriers) react to changes (for example: new capacities, reduced congestions, changed cost or selling price, revised taxes, environmental charges and incentives). We determine with these models the changes in path selection (for example: when goods are transported across Slovenia by road and when not, when personal transport changes from a motorway to a regional road) or the changes in the selection of modes (from road to rail, from high spped railways to plane, from personal to public transport or vice versa).

Developments in the real "traffic world" are too complex to be described in detail by a virtual model, therefore these models are simplified and limited to isolated tasks (for example the road is only considered). These models are also called submodels.
For a transport model to yield expected results within reliability limits, the following is needed:
i) system and systematic collection of basic data (state-of-art and facts);
ii) system and systematic determination of "how the system works" or determination of model equations describing how the transport system responses to changes of external and internal parameters;
iii) the determination of expert information on forecasts (eg, growth in energy prices, population ...);
iv) capable and tested software tools which can validate and calibrate a traffic model and different scenarios and variants;
v) the entire system should be semantically correctly documented, the staff and users should be trained; it should ensure sustainability of the installed system.

The proposed project offers:
- the system of construction, maintenance and exploitation of the transport model,
- data collection to start the transport model and first simulations,
- delivery of the model to end users, including education institutions.

The offered traffic model has the following characteristics:
- It is valid for people (passengers) and cargo (goods);
- It can be used for internal (Slovenian) flows, target flows and transit traffic flows;
- It consider several purposes of passenger trips (to work or school, business travel, leisure travel);
- It considers all transport modalities (road, rail, air, water) and two transport modes of persons (personal, public);
- Transport infrastructure is treated in an integrated way (i.e.intermodal way);
- The space is divided to traffic zones, while Slovenia will be divided to the size of  municipalities. The neighboring countries will be divided to NUTS 2 unit sizes at least.

The project will also set submodels for the generation, distribution and modal choice of long distance travel (for the purposes of modeling the potential of high-speed railways and airports).