University of California, Santa Barbara

Forecasting Travel Demands of Demographic Groups—An Optimal Resource Allocation Tool


Judging optimal resource allocation from a social welfare viewpoint has not received sufficient attention in transportation planning. In particular, due to a lack of tools capable of assessing the role of transportation on the efficient allocation of time by the residents of different localities, the demographic aspects of resource allocations are not well understood.

We are developing a GIS tool that computes the quality of service offered by the transportation system at different locations. Using statistical techniques, we are correlating levels of service to the social and demographic characteristics of residents throughout California. The resulting tool will provide a visualization of this relationship in space and across demographic segments. This is meant to aid Caltrans and other cognizant agencies in planning efficient and optimal allocation of resources.

The tool is designed to show the distribution of benefits of the transportation system and to identify differences in benefits across demographic segments. The project is comprised of two distinct phases. The objective of the first phase is to produce a statewide tool for efficiency measurement that is primarily based on available data and off-the-shelf software tools. The objective of the second phase is to explore a more detailed, precise, and accurate methodology that will be tested in Santa Barbara. Lessons learned from the Santa Barbara case study will pave the way for statewide deployment.

The project is funded by the California Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways (PATH), and is expected to run from January 2005 to mid 2007.


2005 06: Preliminary findings: Workers and Accessibility Maps

Further information

Kostas Goulias
Val Noronha