Catalog Data:

240-590 Urban Transportation Planning. 3 cr. Techniques used to plan urban transportation systems: data collection, trip generation, trip distribution, factors underlying the choice of mode, traffic assignment, modeling and evaluation techniques. Prereq: sr st.

Week of Topic

Sept. 1 Course Introduction, Background, Transportation Problems, Approaches

Sept. 8 Urban Transportation Planning Process Alternatives, Decision Making, Inventories

Sept. 15 Population, Economic Land Use Forecasts

Sept. 20 Travel Demand Forecasts Computer Analysis of Demand

Sept. 27 Trip Generation

Oct. 4 Trip Distribution

Oct. 11 (Midterm Exam) Oct. 18 Mode Choice

Oct. 25 Traffic Assignment, Evaluation

Nov. 1 Spatial Analysis of Travel

Nov. 15 Implementation, Introduction to Belle Crisis

Nov. 22 Transit Planning--Goals, Performance Evaluation, Alternatives Routing, Scheduling

Nov. 29 Transit Costs, Demand Forecasts

Dec. 6 Belle Crisis--continued

Dec. 15 Final Exam,


A set of class notes is available at Clark Graphics, 2915 N. Oakland Avenue. Other material may be available from U.S. DOT or as handouts.

Class Assignments

There will be a midterm exam, and each student should work out the Pox Problem. Students will also be expected to prepare a term paper or project report. Students may work in groups of up to three students. A listing of possible projects follows. Students may suggest other projects if they wish. The projects should be selected by the third week of the class.


Grading will be based on exams--25% each, the project--25%, the Belle project--10% and the Pox Problem--15%. Please note the Pox Problem is due in parts. The due dates are: Part I, Sept. 27; Part II, Oct. 18; Part III, Nov. 1; and Part IV, Nov. 22.


UBUS Survey: Conduct an on-board survey of selected UBUS routes. Analyze and report on the results.

Choice Behavior: Conduct a survey to determine factors that people consider when making travel choice decisions (i.e. route choice, destination choice, mode choice). Compare these results to assumptions used in travel demand analysis.

UWM Transit Demand Estimates: Using past data and current information on student residence location, estimate the potential demand for transit service to UWM. Examine how student residences have changed over time and discuss its impact on transit use.

Effectiveness of Clean Air Strategies: Determine the potential effect on pollution emissions of various transportation control measures. These include trip reduction ordinances, ride sharing, job/housing balances, more transit service, etc. Discuss potential problems of implementation.

Inherent Benefits of Rail Transit: Advocates of rail transit contend that rail systems have inherent benefits beyond user time, cost, and convenience which make them different than bus service. Determine/discuss what these might be and discuss how or if they can be considered in transport planning.

Local Transportation System Management: Propose a system or process for the planning and management of transportation resources in small, suburban or rural units of government.

Auto Occupancy: Discuss ways in which auto occupancy (car pools, van pools, etc.) can be modeled. What are key variables: How has it been done in various cities?

Parking Pricing and Policy: Examine the effects of the construction of parking facilities and their rates upon the relative usage of different modes of transport. You may also compare the total expenditures by different government and private agencies for different modes in Southeastern Wisconsin.

Contingencies in Transportation Planning: Identify a set of possible contingencies which might have an effect upon the future transportation plans. Attempt to assess in detail what these effects might be. What changes would you recommend in the planning process to account for these contingencies?

Demand Forecasting Postprocessing: Develop routines using spreadsheets or some other technique to calculate information from travel demand outputs from QRS II. Some examples might be noise effects, air pollution, energy use, etc..

Sensitivity Analysis: Using QRS II or HLFM conduct a sensitivity analysis of various parameters used in travel forecasting.

Developing Country Transportation Planning: Investigate a particular transportation problem in a developing country and identify possible solutions.

Futures: Explore some future general trend, i.e. life-style, changing age of the population, new technology, energy, critical metals, land use, world economic trends, etc. and identify its potential effects on transportation policy and planning.

Freight or Intercity Travel Forecasting: Examine how the Urban Travel Demand Forecasting process might or might not be adapted to forecast demand for freight service or intercity travel.

Logistics: Examine how the UTP process can be adapted to serve as a basis for corporate or business decision making as it relates to shipping of goods.

Suburban Public Transportation: Develop a proposed, cost effective service for public transportation in low density suburban areas.

Shared Taxis: Examine the potential costs and revenues of a shared ride taxi service. How would it need to be operated to be profitable? Or you could conduct an evaluation of a shared taxicab service in some Wisconsin community.