Activity-Based Travel Model: SoundCast

Last Updated: 
Oct 17, 2017

SoundCast is a travel demand model system built for the Puget Sound Region. The model was designed to depict diverse human travel behavior and include travel sensitivity to land use and the built environment.

SoundCast outputs transportation network measures such as highway volumes in one hour periods in a future year or number of boardings on a transit line. It also outputs people’s travel choices like average trip distances or how many bicycle trips they will take.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does SoundCast work?

The basic organizing principle is an individual’s daily activity pattern, including such activities as going to work or school. Relationships are established between the state of the transportation system (i.e., level of congestion and/or accessibility) and the extent to which it influences substitution of activities outside the home with those inside the home. In other words, a highly congested transportation system will generate less demand for travel than a system with relatively little congestion, all else being equal.

The activity pattern-tour-trip segment relationship provides an individual’s overall travel behavior linked together by mode, destination, time-of-day, and other activities in the daily pattern. This approach differs from traditional trip-based modeling where trip segments are largely treated as unrelated events.

An activity-based model system is a highly disaggregate environment, representing the travel behavior of each individual and household separately. Disaggregation avoids the errors and biases associated with generalization and averaging that plague trip-based modeling and lends itself to a more realistic and accurate portrayal of travel behavior and demand.

What can SoundCast be used for?

  • Forecast transit line use and volumes on a roadsin one hour time periods
  • Analyze how transit, walking, and biking rates will be impacted by future changes in the transportation network and land use
  • Clarify how packages of transportation project and future tolling could impact a variety of households in different ways throughout the region
  • Find good locations for electric car charging and bicycle share stations
  • Describe how the aging population will impact our transportation network