Modelling: to anticipate the impact of a project

In a context where economic development, spatial equity, and environment preservation are at the top of the public agenda, the transportation system which lies at the centre of these dimensions takes a central role in the public arena. The ability offered by models to evaluate before the event the impact of projects is key to the decision process. Models bring an ability to better understand the complexity of observed movements and behaviours. They also bring the ability to evaluate the impact of individual measures and projects and to define priorities.

Over the past 15 years, our consultants have contributed to the development of dozens of models. Based on their experience, they have developed innovative solutions for their management and utilization in the duration. Our solutions are tailored to the client’s needs and include, for example, the reduction of investment and maintenance costs through pooling, the training and support of their users.

We are fully transparent and often involve our clients during the construction of models. Such a co-construction approach avoids the black box effect and prepares for fruitful interactions during the scenario testing and result analysis phases.

Our consultants use modern industry modelling software such as CUBE, VISUM, Aimsun, Transcad as well as Geographic Information Systems such as ARCGIS, Quantum GIS or programming languages such as VBA or Python.

Different scale, different questions

National and European multimodal models

What would be the impact of different tax policies for lorries? How can we justify priorities between large infrastructure projects at national scale? What would be the impact of increased economic growth in Europe on long distance movements? What is the demand for new high speed projects, for new interurban highways? How can we characterize the competition between air travel and high speed rail?

Several of our consultants have treated such questions during several years when developing and using the French National model (MODEV) for the French Ministry of Transport. During the last 7 years, they contributed to several improvements of the model: segmentation of demand, estimation of mode choice models using Box-Cox transformation, detailed representation of air fare and rail fare to reflect yield management techniques, introduction of new modes such as maritime motorways for freight movements, detailed representation of all European air supply, estimation of models using the most recent national transportation survey, etc.

Interregional modelling

What passenger demand for a new high speed service? What is the optimal phasing from a cost benefit perspective? What timetable to optimize demand for a given number of trains? What demand is captured from competing modes? What benefit can we expect from high speed regional services?

Our experts have worked on several high speed rail projects for Réseau Ferré de France and in particular on the GPSO project. They have designed managed and analysed large surveys to understand existing demand and needs, developed large models to evaluate the impact of a high speed line, and used them to feed into cost benefit analysis and financial analysis. Some of our experts have provided continuous support to RFF during the public enquiry for the GPSO project and during the Ministry audits.

Regional models

What regional train services would best serve a region within a given budget? How could we prioritize a list of projects? What would be the impact of opening or closing a train station?

Our consultants have gained experience in responding to such questions. They have developed, updated regional models in Haute Normandy, Basse Normandy, Nord Pas de Calais, and Picardie.

Urban models

How best achieve the objective set in the strategic plan, for example in terms of mode share? What is the demand for a new tramway line or an extension of the existing one? How many park & ride locations, where and of what size? What will be the impact of a new bypass? Of new traffic calming measures? Where should electric vehicle charging zones be deployed? What are the interactions between transport and land-use?

Our consultants have developed, enhanced or used urban models in many cities such as Strasbourg, Nantes and Saint-Etienne. With their analysis they have informed decision makers bringing precise, relevant, well documented and accessible answers to various questions such as those listed above.

Why choose EXPLAIN ?

Because our team includes modelling experts who have been exposed to a variety of modelling techniques and who can select the most appropriate approach to respond to specific needs and contexts.

Because rigor is part of our DNA.

Because we are both modellers and transportation planning experts who can interpret and give sense to quantitative results.

Because we have the experience and the capability to produce short, medium and long term travel demand forecasts which take account of recognised prospective researches on important parameters such as demography, macroeconomy, sector economic activity, land use, and the environment.

Because in addition to our expertise and rigour we offer an ability and a willingness to explain and work hand-in-hand with our clients to help in their interface with other stakeholders.