The Four Step Model
The history of demand modeling for person travel has been dominated by the modeling approach that has come to be referred to as the four step model (FSM) (see Chapter 2). Travel, always viewed in theory as derived from the demand for activity participation, in practice has been modeled with trip-based rather than activity-based methods (as presented in Chapter 4). Trip origin-destination (O-D) rather than activity surveys form the principle database. The influence of activity characteristics decreases, and that of trip characteristics increases, as the conventional forecasting sequence proceeds. The application of this modeling approach is near universal, as in large measure are its criticisms (these inadequacies are well documented, e.g., by McNally and Recker (1986)). The current FSM might best be viewed in two stages. In the first stage, various characteristics of the traveler and the land use - activity system (and to a varying degree, the transportation system) are "evaluated, calibrated, and validated" to produce a non-equilibrated measure of travel demand (or trip tables). In the second stage, this demand is loaded onto the transportation network in a process than amounts to formal equilibration of route choice only, not of other choice dimensions such as destination, mode, time-of-day, or whether to travel at all (feedback to prior stages has often been introduced, but not in a consistent and convergent manner). Although this approach has been moderately successful in the aggregate, it has failed to perform in most relevant policy tests, whether on the demand or supply side.