Foursquare ITP configured the TBEST software package for the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) to support in-house ridership modeling, Title VI analysis, and other strategic planning initiatives. TBEST is a powerful tool for forecasting ridership on transit network scenarios, but it can be difficult to adapt to systems outside of the state of Florida, where it was designed to be used. Ridership forecasting in general is a difficult process, requiring detailed understanding of how model parameters and calibration can be tuned to generate realistic ridership estimates.

As TBEST was configured, Foursquare ITP and the project team developed additional improvements to TBEST’s ridership model to address Fairfax County’s unique needs. These included COVID-19-related adjustments to near-term forecasts based on Replica travel data and a new model for ridership generated by park-and-rides.

Foursquare ITP’s long experience with the TBEST model, including configuring the software for new service areas, programming in service characteristics, and running and evaluating the ridership model, were critical to the success of this project. As a result of the project, FCDOT has an estimate for its Transit Service Plan’s Near-Term Plan and can re-use the fully configured TBEST installation for ridership modeling, service equity analyses, and other planning studies.

Solutions and Outcomes
  • A configured and calibrated TBEST software package with ridership estimates for near term plans.
  • The ability for the client to conduct ridership estimates for future plans using a proven tool.
  • The ability to estimate ridership at park-and-ride lots through a customization of the software.