Regional Travel Demand Model

About the Regional Travel Demand Model

The Benton-Franklin Council of Governments develops a Regional Travel Demand Model to estimate average weekday and peak hour demand for the transportation system for the Tri-Cities Metropolitan Planning Area. The model is an essential analytical tool for both metropolitan and regional transportation planning. It is used to develop multiple travel-demand scenarios.

The updated model will be sensitive to regional land use, employment, population characteristics, transit and non-motorized travel. New Traffic Analysis Zones (TAZs) were delineated which will allow for much finer detail in modeling travel.

Traffic Analysis Zones (TAZs)
The updated model has 1,065 TAZs, up from the 242 that were in the 2010 model. TAZs were delineated using various legal boundaries and built/geographic barriers. This included water ways, railroad tracks, transportation network and census. On a few occasions, TAZs include more than one jurisdiction.

Base Year Population was derived using the Washington State Department of Office and Financial Management (OFM) Small Area Estimate Program (SAEP). OFM provided the following 2015 estimates for each TAZ:

  • Total Population
  • Household Population
  • Total Housing Units

Further information about the Small Area Estimate Program can be found in their User Guide.

BFCG utilized multiple data sources and verification for collecting base year employment information. The model uses the following employment categories:

  • Agriculture
  • Mining
  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Wholesale
  • Retail
  • Transportation & Warehousing
  • Service
  • Finance & Insurance, Real Estate
  • Education
  • Retail
  • Government
Data Documentation Draft for BFCG Regional Travel Demand Model

Please view the following documents for additional information or contact Erin Braich.



Request for Data

The Benton-Franklin Council of Governments collects a wide variety of data in support of our agency plans and programming. To obtain data, please contact Erin Braich at or (509) 943-9185.