Every study of development will include the research over topics of interaction between land, man, and activity. The development in the field of transports was exponential after the industrial revolution, and it has been incorporating new technologies to improve the feature of convenience. Every country has its own national transport system, and many of them have become a part of the international system as well. Transportation is considered as an integral part of the economy; planned and sustainable growth is imperative to keep it as robust as ever.
The planning of transport is simply the process of controlling and regulating the provision of transport to ensure efficient functioning of the political, social, and economic life at the lowest cost. For this to be possible, every country needs to put in considerable effort and investments into developing the standards and capacity of transport. Let us now have a look at the planning process of transportation.
As mentioned earlier, transportation planning is the process of managing the transport services of a country by identifying and evaluating future needs. The process consists of four main stages:
- Data collection and transportation survey
- Using the transportation model
- Forecast of future land use
- Evaluation of the alternative policy strategies
1. Survey, Data Collection, and Analysis
This stage would include the collection of all forms of data such as the nature and intensity of traffic, journey behavior patterns, cost, freight structure, and the benefits like income and employment estimates. The traffic pattern and flow of every defined area have to be gathered in addition to other traffic data. The survey should be conducted clearly and divided into zones to make it easier for them to monitor the origins and destinations of trips. Collection of the existing travel patterns would take considerable time and is an expensive affair. The authorities collect network characteristics and travel times of public transport networks simultaneously. After processing the data, the planners have to begin its analysis.
2. Transportation Model
This stage is the process of building a strong model using the collected data to predict future demands and network needs, and it is derived from the following stages:
- Trip generation
- Trip distribution
- Traffic assignment
- Model split
All these steps have elaborate pieces of information that needs to be studied by every analyzer to understand the existing conditions and predict the changes that need to be brought into the transport system.
3. Forecast of Travel Demand and Future Land Use
Planners will have to collect data about the potential land use in the future to create reliable forecast information on the travel demand. When forecasting the travel modes of the future, the planners might have to face a whole lot of criticism for its possibly bizarre nature. But that is how it would be when the variables of population, personal income, and employment are considered.
4. Evaluation of Policies
Although it is the most important stages in the process of transportation planning, not enough attention has been paid to it. Transport proposals have to be evaluated on an economic level since certain commodities cannot be bought. Every factor has to be considered equally important, and by using that data, policies can be formulated for sustainable development of transport.