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Notes from TREDIS User Group Meeting - January 2012

 
TREDIS User Meeting at TRB
January 24, 2012
 
Once again in 2012, TREDIS sponsored a luncheon for TREDIS Users who were attending the TRB Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. After initial introductions, the group discussed the range of different ways that they were using TREDIS, the creative ways that they were applying it, and their desires for further enhancement.
 
Prioritization. Initially, there was a discussion of TREDIS use for project prioritization, focusing on ways that the new project group classification features and database import/export features have made the user interface more friendly for this type of use. Attendees discussed the range of different TREDIS outcome metrics that can be used for prioritization, and it was found that NCDOT and KDOT use Gross Regional Product, while WisDOT uses jobs and the Colorado Springs MPO uses personal income. In each case, economic impacts were used together with engineering and local factors or political acceptability factors in scoring and ranking projects.
 
Sub-Area Studies. TREDIS staff introduced the new zip-code option for TREDIS study areas, which was followed by discussion of its use for MPO planning. The Boston MPO discussed the importance of zip code detail for their agency, and the group also noted a related use of TREDIS for land use density/cluster scenarios for the San Francisco MPO.
 
Partnership Program. The new TREDIS Partnership Program enables DOTs, MPOs and universities to share a common TREDIS account. NCDOT staff explained how they pioneered the concept by enabling two MPOs to join with them in use of TREDIS. The discussion then moved to alternative partnership arrangements, whereby TxDOT joined with TTI and the Univ. of Texas at Austin in TREDIS account sharing, and the Boise MPO (COMPASS) joined with the state (ITD) in a similar arrangement.
 
New Reports. Benefits of the concise new v3.7 TREDIS Summary Report were discussed, followed by a proposal that future TREDIS versions enable user-customized reports that can be better tailored to specific audiences and uses.
 
Upcoming v4: Dramatic New Versatility & Ease of Use. Attendees got a “sneak peak” at the new “Version 4” user interface planned for later in 2012. This option relies on wizards to simplify TREDIS use and tailor it for most common uses. There was genuine excitement and interest in the ways that this feature will enable a broader set of users. The group also discussed uses of a new “API” interface that will allow all sorts of transport, economic and land use models to seamlessly communicate directly with the TREDIS system.
 
Into the Future…Risk & Agent-Based Analysis. Attendees asked how TREDIS can be expanded to address uncertainty analysis and risk analysis. Since the latter is tied to global macroeconomic issues and can affect the financial success/failure of projects, there can be significant value for TREDIS to address these issues. Staff noted that there are existing uncertainty analysis tools that can be used with TREDIS, and future plans for broadening TREDIS to directly address these issues.

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