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Using Micro-Simulation Modeling to Evaluate Transit Signal Priority in Small-to-Medium Sized Urban Areas; Comparative Review of Vissim and S-Paramics Burlington, Vermont Case Study
Master of Science in Civil Engineering (M.S.C.E.)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
Micro-simulation, Transit Signal Priority, VISSIM, S-Paramics
With many advances in transportation technology, micro-simulation models have proven to be a useful tool in transportation engineering alternative analyses. Micro-simulation software packages can be used to quickly and efficiently design new transportation infrastructure and strategies, while helping transportation planners and traffic engineers identify possible problems that might arise in a particular design alternative. Over the years these simulation packages have become more advanced, and their capabilities in terms of modeling complex, intricate intersections and producing useful outputs for analysis have increased. Today’s simulations can reproduce many facets of transportation design alternatives while generating outputs that help increase efficiency, reduce cost, optimize financing, and improve safety.
Recently micro-simulation models have been employed in the analysis and design of alternative transit signal priority (TSP) strategies. This research reviews the similarities, differences and functional capabilities of two micro-simulation software packages: 1) VISSIM, and 2) S-Paramics. A special effort is made to discuss the usefulness of each package when used to analyze TSP alternatives for small and medium sized urban areas, where data and staff availability are typically limited. The paper includes a case study of Burlington, Vermont in which each software package is employed to evaluate several alternative TSP strategies. Each package is evaluated in terms of ease of use, usefulness of outputs, and consistency of results. The results of the evaluation are intended to guide planners and traffic engineers in small and medium urban areas in the selection of an appropriate simulation package for TSP analysis and design.