Week 7 – Transportation Economics and Data

Edward Z -

Hey all, welcome back!

Yesterday, I had a meeting with my faculty mentor. Using data from BASIS Scottsdale, we discussed estimating the tradeoff between the value of time of students and parents (held in a parameter called ß – utility function). While I have yet to receive the data, we calculated a rough estimate for ß to get a value of time. I’m also planning on using logistic regression (or “logit model”) to probabilistically estimate the percentage of parents who are willing to switch from the current status quo to the new reservation-based system. This is extremely important to understand, as in some schools or situations, there may not be a clear or definitive enough reason to implement such a system.

In addition to the meeting, I’m currently reading up on Smalls’ of Urban Transportation to get a better understanding of the language and usage of the equations. I’ve found it particularly interesting how transportation economics is put into equations, especially in regard to utility and disutility. It is fascinating to see complex consumer behavior represented in a few (albeit complex nonlinear) functions that represent aggregated behavior.

Finally, I’ve begun downloading the data from Open Street Map to get the link-node network for the school. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the links and nodes for parking lots, so I’ll have to manually create it myself! This should be relatively easy, but tedious, so I’ll have to share my results in the next blog post.

Overall this week’s work is a bit short, but I hope you enjoyed it. Leave any questions/comments below and I will see you next week where we code the bulk of the simulation.

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    Hey Eddie - amazing project!! I'm excited to see your results for the links and nodes for the parking lots!
    Hey Eddie, how would the ß – utility function vary based on the overall location of the school? For example if it were in a more densely-populated area compared to a more open area? Excited to see where the project goes and definitely looking forward to the presentation at the end of the year. Keep up the good work!

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