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Metropolitan Transportation Planning

Transportation plays a vital role in supporting a community's economic well-being and quality of life. Given the complex relationship between transportation and land-use and economic activity, transportation planners need tools that can capture this relationship. These tools allow transportation agencies to identify potential future transportation needs well before they become reality in order to program required funds, develop corridor plans, and involve the public in the decision process.

The cornerstone of effective metropolitan transportation planning is a regional travel demand model capable of accurately estimating demand on the transportation system. This model allows planners to forecast future needs, estimate the impacts of improvements, and explores various transportation operational policies.

Recognizing the importance of travel demand models, ATAC developed a primary program area to support modeling needs in North Dakota. ATAC partners in this program include the Bismarck-Mandan Metropolitan Planning Organization, Fargo-Moorhead Council of Governments, the Grand Forks-East Grand Forks Metropolitan Planning Organization, and the North Dakota Department of Transportation. The ultimate goal for this program is to develop a resource for transportation planning modeling suited for small-to-medium size urban areas.


  • Provide modeling expertise to NDDOT and MPOs
    • Maintain regional travel demand models
    • Conduct model calibration and updates
    • Operate regional travel demand models to support project development, corridor analysis, and other activities
  • Support model improvements
    • Improve quantity and quality of travel and network data
    • Evaluate new software tools
    • Evaluate new modeling approaches
    • Study the potential use of simulation models
    • Refine model structures
  • Facilitate greater institutional cooperation by providing a neutral source for modeling expertise
  • Provide training to partner staff and private consulting firms
NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050