The emphasis of the special issue will be on papers that focus on revisiting and rethinking the foundations of our travel demand models, and how those foundations may be brought together to inform policy analyses of tomorrow.
1. Chandra R. Bhat, Professor, Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin TX, USA, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Rachel Copperman, Principal, Cambridge Systematics, Austin, TX, USA, Email: RCopperman@camsys.com3. Eric J. Miller, Professor, Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Email: email@example.com 4. Rolf Moeckel, Associate Professor, Department of Mobility Systems Engineering, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 5. Ram M. Pendyala, Professor, School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA, Email: email@example.com
Special issue information:
Planning professionals and decision-makers are increasingly interested in shaping, not just forecasting, demand. Understanding the shifting travel behavior and demand patterns is critical for informed transport policy-making. There also is substantial uncertainty in our forecasting ability, especially because communication substitution for travel, new and rapidly evolving mobility technologies, crime, disaster risk exposure, and even political culture are becoming increasingly important considerations, along with the traditional power of accessibility, in forecasting future land use and transportation.
Aim and Scope of Special Issue
The past few years after the onset of COVID have shown that travel demand can change rapidly. Transportation service provision, no matter the mode, has until recently relied upon recurring and relatively stable “weekdays vs weekends” and “peak- vs off-peak hours” demand patterns. Such stable patterns no longer exist and are unlikely to return because of work location hybridization (that is, working remotely on some days and from the regular office on other days). The surge of e-commerce has further disrupted travel patterns, resulting in a much stronger interplay today between passenger travel movements and e-commerce-spurred commodity movements. In this new environment, how can transportation services be provided effectively and equitably? This is a new question that the transportation industry has never encountered before, which calls for new foundational concepts and methods for predicting, and a close coupling of, travel behavior related to passenger and commodity movements. Also, in the fast-shifting backdrop of technology-driven mobility options (including electric, connected, and automated vehicles), it is imperative that their adoption (and rates of adoption) be investigated and accommodated in planning. And with the dire need to combat the climate crisis, how individuals respond to land-use and built-environment designs takes on renewed significance. At the same time, the field of transportation is entering a new world of planning, design, and operations, one in which advances in sensors, cameras, computers, and wireless communications make it possible to gather, analyze, and project data forward in ways that have never before been possible. In particular, advances in sensing technologies and data sciences are opening up exciting new opportunities to obtain and analyze activity-travel data associated with underlying individual personalized preferences.
The issue will be based on resource papers prepared for, and discussions at, the Austin Travel Behavior and Demand Symposium, held October 30-November 1, 2023, at the UT Austin Campus. The research questions that the VSI intends to address include the following:
In an era of rapid technological development characterized by automation and digitization, how do individuals decide on their activity-travel patterns within time and expenditure constraints, and how can transportation services be provided effectively and equitably? These are increasingly relevant and critical questions that the transportation industry has paid scarce attention to before, which calls for a rethinking of concepts and methods of time-use and expenditures.
In the fast-shifting backdrop of technology-driven mobility options (including electric, connected, automated, and micromobility vehicles), how will their adoption (and rates of adoption) unfold over time? Such on-the-horizon and emerging mobility services/technologies, and the associated adoption and built environment response behaviors, require more dedicated and customized consideration in the context of activity-travel behaviors, relative to the more general focus of time use.
How will the interplay among different choice dimensions related to spatial choices in the short term (for example, chaining of activities and activity location choices) as well as the longer term (for example, residential location and dwelling unit choices) change based on new/emerging ICT technologies and mobility services/technologies. In such an environment, choice formation/evolution/dynamics in transportation and transportation-related decisions take on center stage.
How best to consider (and fuse) emerging and traditional data sources in ways that harness the best of both for the effective and efficient capture of activity-travel behavior patterns?
How will behavioral elements associated with route choice, and how to integrate behavioral elements of route choice with other activity-travel choices? This is critical in an era of increased consideration of pricing (and differential pricing based on vehicle body and even fuel type) for infrastructure use, as well as the increasingly mixed vehicles on the road (not only based on body type and fuel type, but also the level of automation of vehicles).