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Dr. Rick Donnelly presents “Rediscovering the lost art of travel forecasting”

December 3 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

The point of travel forecasting is to inform decision-makers about the likely impacts of transport policies and investments that will irrevocably shape our cities and regions. In the past, we’ve assumed that tomorrow will simply be a more crowded, prosperous, and congested version of our existing world. But today, assuming a “business as usual” progression towards 20-30 year planning horizons lacks credibility with politicians and investors. Rick will present a vision of the future of transport planning and engineering where scenario thinking might be used with data-driven models, machine learning, and big data analytics to extend the power and relevance of our current behavioural models.

head shot of Rick Donnelly

Dr. Rick Donnelly

Rick Donnelly, PhD, AICP is a Vice President and Technical Fellow at WSP USA, based in New Mexico. His 36-year career has been devoted to designing, building, and defending regional travel forecasting models and applying them to transport megaprojects. He helped found the TRANSIMS initiative at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and later directed Oregon’s Travel and Land Use Model Integration Progam (TLUMIP), one of the first uses of activity-based models at the statewide and regional levels. He has since focused on activity-based travel models at the urban and statewide levels in North America and Australia.

More recently he designed the Transport and Regional Economic Simulation of Ontario (TRESO) used by MTO, updates to their Greater Golden Horseshoe Model, and independent reviews of VIA Rail forecasts.

His current interests include applications of machine learning for decision-making and rethinking how uncertainty in forecasts are communicated.

Rick holds a PhD in civil engineering from the University of Melbourne and is an active member of the Transportation Research Board.


Presented by University of Toronto ITE Student Chapter, UT-ITE.

Free. All are welcome.

If any specific accommodations are needed, please contact ite@utoronto.ca. Requests should be made as early as possible.

Join link: https://utoronto.zoom.us/j/87624482177. Please note that the same Zoom link will be used for all of the UT-ITE fall semester seminars.

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