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Understanding the structural complexity of induced travel demand in decision-making
Juan Angarita-Zapata, Jorge Parra-Valencia, Hugo Andrade-Sosa, 2016, original scientific article

Abstract: Background and purpose: Induced travel demand (ITD) is a phenomenon where road construction increases vehicles’ kilometers traveled. It has been approached with econometric models that use elasticities as measure to estimate how much travel demand can be induced by new roads. However, there is a lack of “white-box” models with causal hypotheses that explain the structural complexity underlying this phenomenon. We propose a system dynamics model based on a feedback mechanism to explain structurally ITD. Methodology: A system dynamics methodology was selected to model and simulate ITD. First, a causal loop diagram is proposed to describe the ITD structure in terms of feedback loops. Then a stock-flows diagram is formulated to allow computer simulation. Finally, simulations are run to show the quantitative temporal evolution of the model built. Results: The simulation results show how new roads in the short term induce more kilometers traveled by vehicles already in use; meanwhile, in the medium-term, new traffic is generated. These new car drivers appear when better flow conditions coming from new roads increase attractiveness of car use. More cars added to vehicles already in use produce new traffic congestion, and high travel speeds provided by roads built are absorbed by ITD effects. Conclusion: We concluded that approaching ITD with a systemic perspective allows for identifying leverage points that contribute to design comprehensive policies aimed to cope with ITD. In this sense, the model supports decision- making processes in urban contexts wherein it is still necessary for road construction to guarantee connectivity, such as the case of developing countries.
Keywords: induced travel demand, system dynamics, decision-making, dynamic modeling
Published: 23.01.2018; Views: 572; Downloads: 87
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