Statewide Modeling


The California Department of Transportation Demand Modeling and Simulation Branch in the Division of Transportation Planning, Office of Multimodal System Planning, is located in Sacramento Headquarters. 

The Branch is responsible for a number of functions:

  • Statewide Travel Demand Modeling - Maintaining and updating the California Statewide Travel Demand Model (CSTDM) and performing a variety of interregional travel analysis, including requests for CSTDM data and output.  The effort supports the California Transportation Plan (CTP), Caltrans modal plans, and system planning products.  The staff works with state and regional agencies on statewide and interregional modeling issues and evaluation of the state GHG footprint and VMT measurement.
  • Simulation Modeling – Maintaining state-of-the-practice microscopic, mesoscopic, and macroscopic simulation tools and assisting the Caltrans Districts in implementing those tools. By precisely emulating the behavior of traffic, a simulation model can predict system performance over time. Model runs, which enable practitioners to directly compare alternative scenarios, can be viewed as experiments performed in the laboratory rather than in the field.
  • Transportation Modeling Software Support - Caltrans provides travel demand modeling software, mesoscopic modeling software, and microsimulation traffic software to District and Headquarters staff for Planning and Traffic Operations activities.  Caltrans Headquarters renews annual maintenance and support for software licenses for a variety of software packages.  In addition, Caltrans Headquarters purchases additional licenses for individual users on an as needed basis and must be requested through the Office of Multimodal System Planning and Modeling Office Chief for approval. 
  • Training – provide training to core modeling staff for proficiency and non-modeling staff regarding transportation concepts, techniques, best practices, and travel demand modeling and simulation theories. The proficiency training provides the student with a solid foundation of the principles and current practice of transportation engineering with a focus on traffic analysis.  The aim is to deliver knowledge, understanding and provide the skill sets that will enable the student to solve transportation problems that appear in practice from initial concept (System Planning) through project development. 

    Subject Areas/Learning Objectives also include:

    • Traffic Flow and Queuing Theory
    • Highway Capacity and Level of Service Analysis
    • Traffic Control and Analysis at Signalized Intersections
    • Travel Demand and Traffic Forecasting

    This training program is designed to use both traditional lecture-based teaching materials as well as web-based learning tools.

    Products and Services

    • California Statewide Travel Demand Model
    • California Vehicle Inventory and Use Survey
    • Microsimulation
    • California Inter-Agency Modeling Forum
    • Caltrans Modeling Forum
    • California Statewide Travel Demand Modeling Advisory Committee
    • California Truck Data Collection Project
    • Transportation Demand Modeling and Simulation
    • SB 743 VMT Impact Assessment