Document Type


Publication Date



Transportation -- Planning -- Computer simulation, Transportation -- Planning -- Oregon

Physical Description

34 pages


The impact of interactive graphics and an improved multimodal transportation planning software package on the urban t ransportation planning process and organization responsible for the planning is assessed. The focus is on the results of applying the new technology, which allows the planning organization to increase capacity to conceptualize and evaluate alternative courses of action. This emphases on the results of planning raises the likelihood of changes in the way transportation decision making occurs.

An advanced interactive graphics system for urban transportation planning process was adopted by the Metropolitan Service District (METRO) of Portland, Oregon, a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). In September 1983, METRO's Transportation Planning Department acquired a state-of-the-a rt software program called EMME/2 (a bilingual acronym for Multimodal Equlibrium) which runs on a super microcomputer. EMME/2 is an interactive graphic method for highway and transit planning. This program aids transportation planning by graphically plotting, in a map format, detailed inforrmation a bout travel flows. It provides graphic display quickly to aid in the interpretation of heretofore voluminous amounts of difficult to assimilate data.

The new system is saving time and cost, but more importantly it is improving analysis by allowing more opportunity to interact with the results of analysis . It is also changing the character of work. The quicker turnaround time for analysis has created a demand for short-range studies, i.e . more traffic management applications. Finally, interorganizational impacts are occurring. Other agencies in the region are becoming active users of the system.


Catalog Number PR018.

A product of the Center for Urban Studies, College of Urban and Public Affairs, Portland State University.

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