The Zephyr Foundation


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.

Now Hiring

Zephyr Program Officer

The Zephyr Board is excited to announce its search for a Program Officer.

Learn more + apply

What's On

Zephyr Board Election 2020

One of the most important aspects of being a member of the Zephyr Foundation is having a vote in the annual Zephyr Board election. Our board is elected every June according to our bylaws. This year's election will take place on June 24th.

To be eligible to vote you must be a member in good standing as of June 10, 2020. You can become a member or renew your membership at

Nominations for Board members are open!

Anyone can submit nominations for the Zephyr Board; nominations are also due by June 10th. Nominees will be asked if they accept the nomination and then will be given an opportunity to prepare statements in support of their nomination before the election.

Submit your nomination here.

Two open seats on the board are available.

Announcing the 2020 Zephie Award Winners

Congratulations to this year's Zephie Award winners! On January 14, 2020, five individuals were recognized for their contributions to our field of travel forecasting. Zephie Award winners are nominated by Zephyr Foundation members and the winners are chosen by standing committees for each award.

The Zephie Awards this year:

A big round of applause for all of our winners this year.

Zephyr at the 2020 TRB Annual Meeting

The annual Zephyr Reception was a big success, with five Zephies awarded along with an introduction to our 2020 Agenda. Thank you for attending! Or, if you weren't there, we look forward to seeing you next year.

Jan 14 8:00-10:00PM: Zephyr Reception (Busboys + Poets 450 K St NW)

Zephyr Project Committee Meetings at TRB: Monday January 13

Three project committees also held working meetings during TRB:

  • 10:15-12:00: Software Badging PMG Mtg. (Convention Center 159B)
  • 1:30-3:00: Fast-Trips PMG Mtg. (Marriott Marquis Salon 7 - M2)
  • 1:30-3:00: General Network Feed Specification PMG Mtg. (Convention Center 159B)

About the Zephyr Foundation


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:

Respectful, honest, technical-based interaction;
Collegial and collaborative;
Driven by useful innovation that leverages our unique position;
Acting in support of the public good, specifically inclusion, equitable outcomes, and shared prosperity;
User-friendly packaging and licensing;
Consistently high-quality work products;
Faithful implementation of standards;
Respectful of time and resources;
Diversity of opinions and backgrounds are proactively sought out and welcomed; and,
Lawfulness as mandatory.


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


A limited number of slots are available to become a Founding Leader or to join the Founder's Circle.

Individuals, public agencies, corporations, and institutions can support Zephyr by:

Membership, general donations and subscriptions support our core programs. Zephyr seeks specific grants to support larger projects.

Programs and Projects

This is a list of the projects and programs that comprise the Zephyr Agenda.

Program to recruit, educate and keep a travel analysis workforce.
Datasets of standardized input and observed data in order to facilitate the testing of and compare the performance of various algorithms, approaches, or parameters.
Develop a set of badges to award software tools that meet various criteria.
Develop a set of badges projects that meet criteria for openness and reproducibility.
A data standard for fixed-route ridership.
An open-source person-based dynamic transit assignment tool.
Create an online transportation data management tool for travel analysis which tiers from several successful one-off projects that only appeared at single agencies.
Setting up and maintaining a set of guidelines and resources to share amongst all projects and programs.

Finer Print

Why a Foundation?

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.

Business Plan [ in brief ]

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.


Spring 2020

May 27 Time 3:00-4:30 PM EDT/12:00-1:30 PM PDT: Learning Session: A system dynamics perspective for transportation planning under uncertainty (Recording + Slides Available)

June 5th Time 1:00-2:30 PM EDT/10:00 AM-11:30 PM PDT: Panel on Understanding and Estimating Uncertainty. (Recording + Slides Available)

June 17 Time 2:00-3:30 PM EDT/11:00 AM-12:30 PM PDT: Panel on industry data standards. (Recording + Slides Available)

Summer 2020

June 23 & 26 Time 1:00-2:30 PM ET/10:00-11:30 AM PT: Learning Session: Machine Learning 101. (Recording + Slides Available)

July (Date/Time TBD): Share-around: COVID Response Tools and Real Time Applied Research (Zoom Meeting – Registration Forthcoming)

July 22nd Time: 2:00-3:30 PM ET/11:00-12:30 PT: Panel on Race and Gender Lenses in Modeling and Data Collection. (Recording + Slides Available)

August (Date/Time TBD): Learning Session: Network Development Tools and Tricks. (Zoom Meeting – Registration Forthcoming)

Sept 14th 10:00-11:30AM PT / 1:00-2:30 PM ET): Learning Session: Introduction to ActivitySim. (Zoom Meeting – Registration Forthcoming)

Fall 2020

September (Date/Time TBD): Panel on the intersection of Survey and Passive Data. (Zoom Meeting – Registration Forthcoming)

September (Date/Time TBD): Learning Session: Workflow Tools + Tricks. (Zoom Meeting – Registration Forthcoming)

October (Date/Time TBD): Panel on Model Construction Techniques. (Zoom Meeting – Registration Forthcoming)

October (Date/Time TBD): Learning Session: Visualization Tools + Tricks. (Zoom Meeting – Registration Forthcoming)

Nov 5th Time: 12PM ET 9AM PT: Panel on Behavior Dynamics. (Zoom Meeting – Registration Forthcoming)

November (Date/Time TBD): Panel on Bridging Domains in Model Building Methods. (Zoom Meeting – Registration Forthcoming)