The Foundation’s mission is to advance rigorous transportation and land use decision-making for the public good by advocating for and supporting improved travel analysis and facilitating its implementation.
Become the primary venue through which leading researchers and practitioners seek to develop and implement travel analysis methods and tools that are demonstrably more valuable, credible, transparent, tractable, reproducible, and usable in order to support decision-making that is inclusive and promotes equitable outcomes, shared prosperity, and sustainability.
The Foundation’s goals are to advance the field through flexible and efficient support, education, guidance, encouragement, and incubation as outlined below in support of the Mission:
Provide robust infrastructure, including financial, administrative, and legal support.
Educate researchers and practitioners on core competencies and next generation travel analysis skills and travel analysis stakeholders on best practices.
Incubate innovative and useful planning methods in preparation for deployment by regions, cities, and neighborhoods.
Guide research towards useful products and practitioners towards useful implementation.
Encourage the use of open data standards, rigorous development practices, interoperability, reproducible research methods, and evaluation of research.
Convene leading academics and practitioners to guide the Foundation’s efforts.
The Foundation is guided by the following principles:
Zephyr is governed by a Board of Directors elected by the membership and supported by the Founding Stakeholders and a team of Instigators.
The Board will search for an Executive Director in 2018 to oversee the day-to-day operation of the Foundation
Individuals, public agencies, corporations, and institutions can support Zephyr by:
2015 At the 2015 Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting, a scientist from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program gave an inspiring presentation to the TRB Standing Committee on Transportation Demand Forecasting (ADB40). The presentation motivated a lot of thinking about how the travel modeling community could more systematically improve our forecasting efforts.
2016 At the 2016 TRB Annual Meeting, a session entitled From Ad Hoc to Scientific: Moderated Discussion on Improving Travel Forecasting Methods (Session 547) engaged the travel modeling community in a discussion about explicitly improving the empirical basis for improving our methods.
Concurrently, other members of the community had been planning a Foundation to serve as a home for innovation, development, and sharing of urban planning software and methods. These two initiatives merged after the 2016 TRB Annual Meeting following the discussion generated from the session.
At the 2016 TRB Innovations in Travel Modeling Conference a session called Getting Down to the Business of Advancing the Practice of Travel Modeling (session 6C) discussed what the Mission and Vision of a hypothetical foundation focused on improving travel modeling practice could be. Following the session, a working group of TRB Standing Committee ADB40 members and friends put together a version 1.0 mission/vision/goals/principles statement for what we is now The Zephyr Foundation for Advancing Travel Analysis Methods. The working group – "the instigators" – worked to recruit Founding Stakeholders to further develop the organizational mission, vision, and structure and recruit and elect a Board of Directors.
2017 Zephyr held a large workshop at the the 2017 TRB Annual Meeting to explore what eight potential Zephyr projects or programs would look like and held a Shark-Tank competition at the 2017 TRB Planning Applications Conference in Raleigh, NC to select its first project. The Founding Stakeholders elected the first board, which had its first board meeting adopting the Articles of Incorporation and Corporate Bylaws and 2018 Agenda in Chicago in November 2017.
A Foundation offers us the needed flexibility, agility, stability [ of staffing and funding ], and ability to contribute funding from public and private sources on multiple levels.
This is a list of the projects and programs that comprise the 2018 Zephyr Agenda.
We estimate annual costs during our first five years to be approximately $400,000. Costs include legal assistance, insurance, accounting services, board member travel, and other administrative overhead, as well as salaries and office space for two (2) full-time staff equivalents.
During the start-up phase, consultants will staff the organization and will be directly overseen by board-appointed officers. Our revenue plan seeks annual contributions in the $5,000 to $25,000 range from a variety of governmental entities.
TRB Workshop: From Ad-Hoc to Scientific
TRB Innovations in Travel Modeling Conference session in Denver to discuss a possible Foundation
Convened meetings of Founding Stakeholders to discuss, develop, and approve:
TRB workshop: From Ad-Hoc to Organized to develop potential project roadmaps.
Elected initial Board of Directors
NSF Workshop: Advancing the Science of Transportation Demand Modeling.
Published Open Code Directory
Applied for funding for first project: General Network Feed Standard and Tools
First Board Meeting and Strategic Planning Session in Chicago
Tuesday Jan 9th 3:45pm: TRB Session reporting on NSF Workshop: Advancing the Science of Transportation Demand Modeling.