Estimating Risks and Model Credibility (December 12, 2013)


Date: December 12, 2013

Here are the slides of the presentations.

Presentations 1:

Presentation 2.

Description:  This webinar will be split into two parts: the first part, presented by Rick Donnelly, will discuss the credibility of the travel demand models while the second part, presented by Tom Adler, will discuss the risks of under and over-estimating travel demand in forecasting.

Rick's talk will describe the factors that are used by political leaders to evaluate travel demand models. The main thrust of the presentation will focus upon how modeling processes and tools might be better designed in order to enhance their credibility from the outset. Examples from recent contested models and forecasts will be used to illustrate these points.

Tom's talk will describe the approaches that are commonly used to identify risk associated with urban travel demand forecasts, describe the approaches that are currently being used to identify the demand/revenue risks associated with toll facilities, detail the recent advances that could be more widely applied to provide more robust estimates of the risks associated with travel demand forecasts and describe the application of these advanced methods to recent major planning studies.


Rick Donnelly is a senior engineering manager at Parsons Brinckerhoff. He has 28 years of experience in the development and application of travel models at the urban and statewide levels. His primary interests are in statewide, land use-transportation, and freight and logistics models. In recent years he has been involved with defending models in political and legal arenas, giving him a new insight into how they might be best used to inform policy-making and investments. Rick has a PhD in civil engineering from and is a senior fellow at the University of Melbourne, and is active in the Transportation Research Board and Association for European Transport.

Tom Adler serves as a consultant and technical expert on market research methods and applications of discrete choice modeling. He is a co-founder of RSG and has over 30 years of related consulting experience working on nationally and internationally-prominent projects in more than 30 U.S. states, five Canadian provinces and 20 other countries. He has published more than 50 papers on travel demand modeling and, for ten years, was a professor and director of the graduate program in transportation at Dartmouth College. Dr. Adler holds a B.S. from Cornell University and a S.M. and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.