DemandTrans and Strafica to develop MaaS and smart city modeling systems

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Chicago-based DemandTrans Inc. has formed a strategic partnership with Finnish company Strafica that will focus on technologies to support Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) transportation modeling, planning, and forecasting for transit agencies, and the development of smart cities.

DemandTrans has been instrumental in delivering advanced technology and software applications to solve challenging problems in the transit industry for over two decades. Its new partner Strafica is a Helsinki-based transport engineering consultancy founded in 2000, which offers a suite of services, including: urban planning, traffic analysis and forecasts, intelligent transport system (ITS) design, sustainable traffic assessment, transit management center analysis, parking, traffic safety, and public transport planning. The two companies will launch an array of robust planning, modeling and assessment tools via the forthcoming DemandTrans Transit Labs suite of products, which will be launched in the summer.

Historically, transit planning and demand modeling has been driven by infrastructure, rather than the actual factors affecting individuals’ personal choices. Strafica and DemandTrans intend to transform how mobility planning is accomplished by providing sophisticated computational and simulation tools to assess varied transport patterns, optimize mode selection, develop interactive demand pattern maps and statistical analyses.

The heart of the Transit Labs system is Strafica’s Brutus transport modeling methodology, which, instead of working with mean values within city districts, deals with every trip an individual takes as a separate entity. Mobility behavior is handled realistically as unique trip chains, instead of simplifications. The Brutus technology accounts for the fact a person may visit a store on their way home instead of returning via the shortest path, as is currently assumed in existing demand modeling and forecasting. The system’s geographical accuracy is practically unlimited, which is important when modeling the patterns of cyclists and pedestrians.

• The key features of the Transit Lab demand analytics system include:

• Ability to accurately simulate the travel decisions of each household and individual;

• Capability to simulate trip chains as they appear in regional mobility data;

• Modeling destination choices based on accessibility;

• Modeling efficiency of mode and route choices in conjunction with destination choices;

• Seamless integration with route-planners and real-time Flex/OnDemand dispatchers with realistic presentation of transport supply.

Roger Teal, president of DemandTrans, commented, “We continue to see sweeping changes and innovation in transit technologies, and our partnership with Strafica positions us to continue to provide the best solutions to our public transit partners in the USA and abroad.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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