Creation of a National Repository of Data to Support Ireland’s Regional Modelling System

Creation of a National Repository of Data to Support Ireland’s Regional Modelling System


Barry Colleary, National Transport Authority, Glenn Hingerty, Jacobs, Sean Kearns, Systra


A description of the NTA's DataStore - an national, online database of transport-related counts developed to support the delivery of the 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 complete in 2016 and is comprised of five large regional models, linked by a National Demand Forecasting Model.
One of the key issues faced by the team was the collection and collation of transport data at a national level. Although some datasets were readily available at this level (e.g. census travel-to-work data, national household travel diary), other important datasets such as vehicle turning counts were held by individual local authorities and in a variety of different formats. Recognising the huge effort that would be required to collate all of this information and convert it into a useable format each time the model was updated, it was decided to store the counts in a single national database which could be accessible online to each of the local authorities. By undertaking the initial task of digitising and converting all of the current count records, we were able to demonstrate the value of having all of the count information readily-available within the online archive. This provides encouragement to upload any future counts to the database, which reduces the burden on the NTA when collating data for model updates.
This paper describes the process of creating the database and the challenges that we faced. The paper also outlines the plans for the database and the additional types of data that could be included in future.


Association for European Transport