Developing Ireland’s Regional Modelling System – an Overview

Developing Ireland’s Regional Modelling System – an Overview


Barry Colleary, National Transport Authority, David Siddle, Jacobs, Paul Hussey, Systra


A summary of the development of the new Regional Modelling System in Ireland.


The National Transport Authority (NTA) has a national transport planning remit with responsibilities which include strategic transport planning and the provision of public transport infrastructure and the regulation of PT services. Jacobs and Systra were commissioned in 2012 to support the NTA in developing and enhancing its transport modelling capabilities. The aim of the commission was to create a “state of the art”, robust and transparent regional modelling system that could be implemented at an appropriate scale for each of the five city regions within the NTA’s remit.
The NTA’s new Regional Modelling System (RMS) was launched on the 25th October, 2016 at a special industry event held for prospective users of the model, including representatives from government, local authorities, universities and the private sector. The RMS comprises of five large regional models which together cover the entire country. The regional models are linked together by a National Demand Forecasting Model which generates trip ends for each of the regional models as well as calculating the number of trips between different models. The five models are all based on the same core structure, consisting of a SATURN-based road assignment and a CUBE Voyager-based PT assignment. The model also includes a highly complex demand model which includes the modelling of active modes, tours, time-of-day choice, and parking constraint and distribution. There are also a number of specialised sub-models including separate fares models, taxi and goods vehicle models, free workplace parking and handling of special zones such as ports and airports.
This paper charts the development of the model, including a summary of the models capabilities and the techniques used to build and calibrate the model. The paper will also describe some of the difficulties that the team have faced, how these were overcome and the lessons learned throughout this challenging model build.


Association for European Transport