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This section presents the latest news related to the professional activities of Modelistica. The page describes new projects, announcements, publications, relations with other teams and other material of general interest. This page changes frequently to add new notes and discard old ones.

Study for the BRT network of Mérida, Venezuela, completed (December 2006)

As reviewed in a previous note, Trolmérida, a public agency in charge of the development of a trolleybus system in Mérida, Venezuela, contracted  Modelistica in January 2006 for the study Development Strategy for the Integrated Mass Tranist Network of Mérida. Trolmérida is building a mass transit corridor from Ejido to the center of Mérida, with some 20 kilometers of bus lanes, operating with electric vehicles. This is the main public transport corridor of the city, but the idea is to complement this with a network of conventional buses and minibuses operating with integrated fares. The purpose of the study was to plan and design such integrated network, estimate future demand, and evaluate the effects on the transport system, on the urban structure and the financial conditions. Towards this end, Modelistica developed a complete socioeconomic and land use database based on a GIS system. The transport system was also included with all roads and transit lines. Next an integrated land use and transport model based on TRANUS was developed and used for projections for 5, 10 and 15 years into the future. Particular emphasis was given for the rather strict urban regulations imposed by the difficult (and attractive) topography of the area. For each time period an extension to the trolleybus line was assumed, first to the airport (Pie del LLano) and then to the center of Mérida and beyond. In each case an optimum configuration of the integrated network was included.

Results were positive and optimistic. For each time period an optimal combination of buses and minibuses was identified, operating with integrated tariffs among themselves and with the trolleybus. For the medium and long term other corridors were identified where the construction of exclusive busways are possible. If such network is implemented, results showed that benefits to users are very large, reducing the usage of private cars, and consequently reducing emissions. At the same time the results of the financial analysis showed that such a system is feasible, and without increasing current tariffs, the complete fleet can be renewed and operating costs will be amply covered. The trolleybus, however, will probably require a considerable subsidy because of the high operating cost of the electric vehicles.

Study of the Transport Sector of Venezuela completed (November 2006)

As described in a previous note, The Ministry of Planning and Development of Venezuela asked Modelistica to carry out a study called Physical Flows along the Norte Llanero Corridor. The scope of the study, however, was enlarged considerably to cover a short-term diagnosis of the whole transport sector of the country. Work included mechanical and manual traffic counts and origin-destination surveys in 20 stations strategically located to capture the most important flows with a minimum amount of resources. On this basis a set of origin-destination matrices were estimated at a national level for automobiles, buses, and light and heavy trucks. In parallel a GIS database was built to include all main roads of the country and a large list of projects at different degrees of execution. Next a TRANUS-based model was developed for passengers and freight. Projections were made for the short-term including all projects in the list. A number of scenarios were run with a number of projects that were not in the list, with project-by-project simulations. This enabled the economic evaluation of each project to establish a list of priorities based on cost/benefits ratios. The diagnostics also covered other aspects of the transportation system, mainly institutional and organizational aspects.

Traffic study for Lechería (Venezuela) begins (November  2006)

Lechería is part of the Barcelona-Lechería-Puerto La Cruz-Guanta Conurbation to the East of Venezuela. The Municipality of Lechería has contracted Modelistica to carry out a transport and traffic study of the area in order to develop an improvements plan. Lechería adds to its high-end touristic activities a growing middle to high-level population. This generates a chaotic situation with respect to traffic with growing congestion. Modelistica will make a number of mechanic traffic counts complemented with manual counts at intersections. It will then update a TRANUS-based model that Modelistica developed in 2002 for the area and use to make short to medium-term projections. Finally traffic simulations will be made to work out the details. A large number of short-term projects will be analyzed to reach a proposed set of investment proposals.

Sao Paulo and Campinas studies completed successfully (November 2006)

The studies of Sao Paulo nad Campinas en Brazil, referred to in a previous note, were completed very successfully. In both cases the purpose of the study was the formulation of a Transport Strategic Plan called PITU 2005. The study of Sao Paulo was carried out by the Fundaçao para Pesquisa Ambiental (Environmental Research Foundation) with the collaboration of SETEPLA. The study of Campinas was made by the firm SISTRAN. In both cases Modelistica participated as advisors. These studies, particularly the Sao Paulo one, represented a real challenge for the TRANUS modeling system, given the magnitude and complexity of the study area. In addition, a large number of scenarios were tested to provide proper support to the PITU. Currently a second stage of the study is being negotiated, with emphasis on urban renewal and housing plans. All of this has been possible thanks to capacity and dedication of the professional teams of SETEPLA and SISTRAN, to whom Modelistica congratulates most sincerely.

Study for the extension of the Caracas-Los Teques Metro begins (October 2006)

The Metro Los Teques Consortium brings together several companies, most notably the Brazilian giant Odebrecht. The Consortium has commissioned to Modelistica a demand study for the extension of the metro line from Caracas to the nearby city of Los Teques. For several years the Consortium has been building a first stage from the Las Adjuntas Metro Station in Caracas to El Tambor in Los Teques, some 17 kilometers without intermediate stations along a mountainous area. This first part is to become operational next November. In Los Teques and surrounding area, some 300 thousand people live and commute to and from Caracas, depending on a narrow and mountainous road with heavy congestion and vulnerable to land slides. Consequently the new metro line is expected to be highly appreciated and carry many people. It has already been decided that, once in operation, the line must be extended, first to the center of Los Teques with two stations and then on towards nearby residential areas in Carrizales and San Antonio. Modelistica will be making a home-based survey, collect information on population, jobs and land use, plus traffic counts. The team plans to use the same model developed for the study of the second Caracas-La Guaira Highway (see below). This makes sense because Los Teques and La Guaira are both satellite towns of Caracas. 

Demand study for the 2nd Caracas-La Guaira Highway begins (October 2006)

In a previous note it was described that the Consortium RGR-Somelca, in which Modelistica participates, won the competition to design a second highway between Caracas and the Port of La Guaira. Work on the project started exactly one year after the competition was awarded. During this period the most notable event that took place was the colapse of the main bridge of the existing highway. This has caused great hazard to users of the road, including access to the airport and port, forcing the use of a contingency road while a new bridge is being built. With this, the second highway concept is even more relevant and much emphasis has been given to the fact that it should follow a completely independent layout with respect to the existing road. In this project Modelistica wil develop a socioeconomic, land use and transport database of the whole Capital Region, including Caracas and several other satelite areas. Modelistica will also carry out a home-based survey and a number of traffic counts, which will help in the calibration of a TRANUS application to the area. The model will be used to make projections and to study the impact of the highway upon the surrounding urban areas. Analysis will be complemented by traffic simulations using Synchro.

National Transport Plan for Venezuela begins (September 2006)

A Consortium was set up by the firms INCOSTAS, INSURBECA, Modelistica, Calzadilla, Pardo, Sully and INECO. The PENT Consortium won the competition for the study called National Plan for Air, Maritime and Terrestrial Transport. The competition was called a few months ago by the Ministry of Infrastructure. Now the first two of four stages have been initiated. The first two stages concentrate on setting up a database and a diagnosis of the transport sector. The third and fourth stages involve projections with modeling to evaluate alternative investment proposals and conclude with a recommended plan. Recommendations should also include legal, institutional and organizational aspects.

In these first two stages that have been initiated, Modelistica will be doing mechanical and manual traffic counts together with origin-destination surveys in 40 stations across Venezuela. Then a georeferenced information system will be developed, including all trunk roads, railways, ports and airports. Next Modelistica will be estimating a set of origin-destination matrices for freight and passengers, and will calibrate a TRANUS application for the multi-modal transport system of the country. For the traffic counts Modelistica acquired its own equipment (Diamond pneumatic counters).

Patricia López obtains her Masters degree from Monterrey Tech (July 2006)

Our partner and fellow worker Patricia López finished successfully her Master of Science degree in Quality and Productivity in the Virtual University of the Monterrey Technological, Mexico, obtaining the highest qualifications. With this Patricia completes her education in quality management in companies, organizations and projects. Naturally she is applying such abilities in Modelistica, not only to obtain the certification of the company, but also to develop and perfect the quality control procedures in each one of the projects in which the company participates. CONGRATULATIONS!!




Study of the Transport Sector of Venezuela begins (March 2006)

The Ministry of Planning and Development (MPD) of Venezuela has commissioned Modelistica a study called Physical Flows in the Norte Llanero Corridor.  In spite of its name the scope of the study was enlarged considerably to cover the whole of the transport system of the country. Towards this end, Modelistica will develop a GIS-based information system with the trunk roads network and its main characteristics. It will then make traffic counts and origin-destination surveys in 20 stations strategically spread to capture the maximum amount of traffic with little resources. On this bases the team will estimate a set of origin-destination matrices for passengers and freight with national coverage. The matrices will be assigned to the multimodal network with the TRANUS model. Then the database will be extended to include all known short-term projects with the main characteristics and an indication of the degree of completeness. Six months have been given to the study.

The home-based mobility survey in Caracas was completed (February 2006)

In record time and with great success Modelistica completed the home-based mobility study of Caracas, Venezuela, under contract from the Alcaldía Metropolitana. The last week of November over 16 thousand homes were interviewed, asking for the characteristics of the house, the household and each member, as well as the trips that they made the day before of the interview. For this Modelistica organized an army of 1,300 interviewers and supervisors with a well rehearsed logistic plan. The result was that all interviews were made in just one week. During December the forms were transcribed using optical readers (see the photo) and were then processed with a program specially developed for extensive validation of the database. The program also builds the database organized in such a way to facilitate processing with common programs like Excel and Access for the production of a large number of tabular forms. At the beginning of February the client received a complete report, the polished database and a training course.

Mass Transit study for Mérida in Venezuela begins (January 2006)

Trolmérida, an office depending from the local State Government of Mérida, has contracted Modelistica to carry out a study called Development Strategy for the Integrated Mass Transit Network of Mérida. Trolmérida is currently building a mass transit corridor from Ejido to the center of Mérida, with possible extensions in the future. The corridor is to be operated by a fleet of trolleybuses on exclusibe lanes. It is the main public transport corridor of the urban area. The intention of Trolmerida is that, in order to optimize the trolleybus corridor, the rest of the public transport system of the city should operate as a BRT network with integrated fares, electronic tickets and other characteristics. he purpose of the study, that follows the home-based survey described in a previous note, is to design such BRT network, including the physical characteristics, operation, financial scheme, institutional structure and organizational scheme. For this Modelistica will build a complete database for the area, including socioeconomic data, land use, road network and bus routes. On this bases a TRANUS application will be developed to simulate the current situation and make projections into the future with a number of alternative ways of developing the integrated transit network.

Mérida is a beautiful town of 300 thousand inhabitants located in the heart of the Venezuelan Andean Region. It has many turistic attractions and also houses one of the main and oldest universities in the country.

Study for the Maracaibo (Venezuela) Metro completed (December 2005)

Modelistica timely and successfully completed the study Mass Transit Development Strategy for the Metropolitan Area of Maracaibo. The study began with a complete update of the database and of a previous application of the TRANUS model, including a home-based mobility survey, traffic surveys and a complete survey of land uses. Information on the road network and the transit network were also updated. Once the modeling system was calibrated, projections were developed for 5, 10 and 15 years into the future, considering a wide variety of scenarios. The base scenario included the imminent inauguration of the first part of Line 1 of the metro. Because the results of the simulation suggested that demand on this first part of the metro will be very low, Modelistica proposed a broad BRT network with integrated tariffs and exclusive busways. Optional designs for the BRT network were simulated and analyzed, ending with a recommended configuration. Then Modelistica developed the conceptual engineering design and developed the operational and financial design. The photo shows a group of participants of the training program on the GIS database and the TRANUS modeling system.

Home-based mobility survey in Caracas, Venezuela (November 2005)

Field work started for the home-based mobility survey in Caracas. This research has been commissioned to Modelistica by the Caracas Metropolitan Municipality (Alcaldía Mayor de Caracas). A total of 15 thousand households will be interviewed evenly spread across the entire urban area. A team of 1,300 surveyors and supervisors has been set up with the necessary logistic. The plan is to carry out all the interviews in just one week. The design of the form, the transcription of the data with optical readers, as well as the programs to verify the data, build the database and produce the set of tables of results, all follow the standards and procedures developed by Modelistica. The goal is to carry out the whole process in the record time of two months.

This important effort is being made by the Metropolitan Institute of Transportation(http://www.alcaldiamayor.gov.ve/portal1/dins_met_transp.asp) directed by Dr. Rosa Virginia Ocaña. It is the first in a series of studies to design what is known as redMayor, the future BRT network that will integrate the current metro system with a number of BRT corridors and feeder network.



RGR-Somelca won the competition to design the second express way between Caracas and La Guaira (October 2005)

The existing highway that connects Caracas with the close-by port of La Guaira was built 50 years ago. The main bridge has shown serious problems because of land slides in the surrounding hills. The highway carries a considerable amount of traffic of freight and passengers. It is the only access to the important port and the main international Maiquetia Airport. Also many people live in the cost and work in Caracas. During weekends a large number of people go to the cost to enjoy the beaches. For these reasons the Ministry of Infrastructure organized a competition to present conceptual designs for a second highway. The proposal presented by the Consortium RGR-Somelca was declared winner. This means that the group will have to develop the base studies, such as geological, seismic, hydrographic, and others, and then develop the complete detailed engineering design.

Modelistica is a member of the consortium, in charge of demand estimated, insertion in urban surroundings, traffic analysis and related topics. For this purpose an application of the TRANUS model will be developed for the complete Metropolitan Region of Caracas, an area of about 5 million inhabitants. A home-based survey will be made for this purpose, as well as a number of traffic counts and passenger interviews.   

Home-based mobility survey in Mérida, Venezuela (October 2005)

Trolmérida is the public agency in charge of developing a mass transit system for the Metropolitan Area of Mérida-Ejido. A first public transport corridor is being built with trolleybuses along exclusive lanes. The intention is to develop an integrated network to complement and feed the trolleybus line, and for this Modelistica has been assigned the work. As a first stage, a home-based survey was contracted. Field work has already been done, and the transcription and processing of the data is well underway. 2,200 homes were interviewed, and the standard forms for optical readers developed by Modelistica, as well as the corresponding software for the processing of the data and generation of reports, are being used.

Home-based mobility survey in Valencia, Venezuela (September 2005)

A first metro line is being built in Valencia, Venezuela, expected to enter operation in about a year. The entity in charge of the metro contracted Gecoplan, a Venezuelan consulting company, for the planning and design of a complementary network of integrated buses. In turn Gecoplan hired Modelistica for the transcription and processing of the home-based mobility survey, following the standard procedures developed by the firm.

Beginning of the Studies for the Urban Transport Master Plans of Sao Paulo and Campinas (August 2005)

The Foundation for Environmental Research - Fundaçao para Pesquisa Ambiental (FUPAM) (http://www.fupam.com.br) was contracted by the Secretary of Transport of the State of Sao Paulo to develop the Urban Master Plan of Sao Paulo - PITU 2025, with the collaboration of the local consultancy firm Setepla (http://www.setepla.com.br/abertura.html). It is a long-term strategic plan to determine the necessary and optimum investment program to develop the transport system. Towards this end FUPAM selected the TRANUS modeling system, and requested the support of Modelistica for training and advice. This month a first training course was carried out and the model is being developed. It is worth noting that, so far, this is the largest and most complex application of TRANUS, with 27 thousand links and over 3 thousand bus routes. Population is close to 20 million, one of the largest in the world with 70% transit ridership.  Sao Paulo is well known for its innovative network of integrated bus routes, exclusive bus lanes and electronic ticketing, apart from a powerful metro and railway network.

A similar study was launched for the city of Campinas, also in the State of Sao Paulo, with the consultancy firm Sistran (http://www.sistransp.com.br/). Campinas lies about an hour away and population is about 3 million. The firm also selected TRANUS as the modeling platform and is sharing training and assistance with Setepla. Model development is well underway.

Study for the Los Llanos Highway in Venezuela completed successfully in record time (July 2005)

The demand study for the Los Llanos Highway in Venezuela has been completed successfully, in accordance with the strict time of three months given by the client, FONTUR. The results of the study were key input to define the physical characteristics of the proposed highway, the optimal location if distributors, insertion in urban areas, effects on other roads, among other aspects. The TRANUS model was used for this and to estimate the economic returns of each stretch of the project, thus estimating the priorities for construction. It was also possible to identify with priorities other projects that complement the proposed highway. The model that was developed showed the potential of the TRANUS system to analyze regional networks. The included the whole the complete trunk road network of the country.

Results of the Demand Study were immediately included as part of the Terms of Reference for the detailed engineering designs. Also in record time, and thanks to the collaboration of Somelca, FONTUR was able to go through the bidding process and awarded the engineering contracts in six parts. The design of the designs, about 500 Km, are expected in six months.

New study for the Metro of Maracaibo (March 2005)

Maracaibo Metro signed a contract with Modelistica for a transport study.  Modelistica made several studies for Maracaibo, some for the metro and others for Fontur. In fact, Maracaibo was one of the first professional applications of the TRANUS model in the late 80's. Two years ago Modelistica and Grupo AM worked in a considerable update of the model.

The construction of the first metro line has began along Av. Sabaneta. The purpose of this study is to design an Integrated Public Transport Network based on buses, of which the metro line will form part. The study will also explore and evaluate several options for the development of the metro network. The model will also be updated again, using fresh information from the 2001 Census, a set of traffic mechanical and classified counts, and a home-based travel survey that will be carried out as part of the study. To process the home survey Modelistica will use its well proven technology based on optical readers.

A study for the Los Llanos Highway in Venezuela begins (March 2005)

A contract has just been signed between FONTUR and Modelistica to carry out the Demand Study for the Los Llanos Higway in Venezuela. The highway is intended to cover 500 Km from Tinaco to Crucero de Aragua, but additional 250 Km must be studied also connecting San Juan de Los Morros and El Tigre. The purpose of the study is to estimate de demand that this four-lane fast highway will attract, considering a projection period of 30 years. The results of the study will be used to define the physical characteristics of the highway divided by sections, and the priority with which each section should be built, based on economic and social return. Other professional teams have been contracted for the detailed engineering design, topographic studies, soil and environmental impact. The demand study must be carried out in the record time of three months. Modelistica already began doing traffic counts and an origin-destination survey.


Study for the Strategic Transport Plan of Recife, Brazil, begins (January 2005)

In January 2005 activities began for the preparation of the Strategic Transport Plan of Recife, the capital of the State of Pernambuco in the North-East of Brazil. This dynamic city of some three million inhabitants is not only a center for government, manufacturing, commerce and services, but is also a port and a well deserved turistic attraction. The city also has one of the most important universities of Brazil. The transport system is well developed, with a powerful road network, a metro line (a second line is under construction) and a well organized bus network with integrated routes and feeders. Some routes operate in a long and large exclusive busway.

After a considerable negotiating period, the contract to develop the Strategic Transport Plan was awarded to TTC, a well-established planning and engineering firm of Sao Paulo. The proposal presented by TTC included the use of TRANUS as modeling software, with the collaboration of Modelistica. Recife was one of the first cities in Latin America to develop a land use model in the early 80's. Consequently, it was only natural that the Terms of Reference asked for an integrated land use and transport model. This project is of particular interest to Modelistica, because it is the first application of TRANUS in Brazil.

In January 2005 Tomás de la Barra spent a week in Sao Paulo preparing the professional team of TTC in the use of TRANUS. He spent another week in Recife giving a formal course on the use of the modeling system. Currently TTC is developing the database for the application of the model.

More information about TTC: http://www.ttc.com.br