Simulations & Surveys for Birmingham Metro Area Created for Determining Shared-use Economy Travel Demand & Attitudes Related to Ride-Hailing Services

STRIDE researchers in Alabama used open data as well as daily travel activity data collected for Project B titled “Technology Influence on Travel Demand and Behaviors”,  led by Dr. Virginia Sisiopiku of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, to create a prototype agent-based simulation model of the Birmingham metropolitan region.

The Birmingham Metro Area model is developed using the MATSim platform and can be used by transportation planners and researchers to study the impact of shifts in travel demand due to applications of the shared-use economy on local and regional congestion. Future research by the research team is on-going to refine and expand the prototype Birmingham MATSim model.

The updated model will incorporate public transit and will be used to quantify the impacts from the integration of Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) and transit on travel demand and congestion.  Researchers are engaging stakeholders from the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) and the Department of Traffic Engineering of the City of Birmingham on this project. 

Researchers also developed two questionnaires to understand travel behaviors and mode choices of travelers in Alabama and North Carolina.  Researchers and analysts can use these surveys to examine users’ preferences, attitudes, and mode choices in markets where Transportation Network Services (TNS) are available and, in particular, markets where ride-hailing services have taken off in terms of use and coverage in the recent years.