Universities with large student enrollments often constitute special generators and contribute substantially to a region's travel demand. Universities are not only large in size but also unique in nature because the travel patterns of university students are substantially different from those of the general population. Student travel patterns are dictated by class schedules, part-time work, and unique living arrangements. Despite recognition of the unique travel characteristics of university students, there is a dearth of research on the development of operational frameworks to model university travel demand. This study aims to fill this gap by proposing a comprehensive framework to model the travel demand associated with a large university. The framework has several unique features that are specific to a university, such as the special treatment of intracampus travel and the sensitivity of the travel mode to the parking infrastructure on campus. The framework was applied to two major (adjacent) universities in the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The framework was found to perform very well in replicating the travel patterns of the university population, classified by affiliation (student, faculty, and staff), education level (undergraduate or graduate), and living arrangement (on or off campus). The implementation of the framework was done in an open-source coding platform (Python) to facilitate seamless integration with the existing regional travel demand model.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering