Zephyr's First Year

May 13, 2017

12:30 - 2:30 PM

Sheraton Raleigh, NC

This workshop followed up on the 2017 TRB Annual Meeting Workshop "From Ad-hoc to Organized – Writing the Roadmap for Improving Travel Analysis Methods" where attendees collaborated to draft roadmaps for progressing specific projects that would advance the travel analysis industry under the umbrella of the Zephyr Foundation for Advancing Travel Analysis Methods.

Event Photo


This is Zephyr Workshop


Presentation Elizabeth Sall and Clint Daniels gave a recap of what Zephyr is, who has been working on it, and what has been done to date. This presentation introduced the initial Zephyr Board, as elected by the Founding Stakeholders.

Hearing From You

Feedback Results David Ory led an interactive voting activity where participants voted up and down on hypothetical Zephyr features or projects. The categories for voting included:

  • Research projects proposed by participants in an NSF Workshop for reimagining travel modeling [ results from which will be posted soon ];
  • Membership requirements, costs, and benefits;
  • Sponsor costs and benefits;
  • Budget and staff size; and
  • First and second year priorities for each of Zephyr’s goal areas

Items with the strongest votes were:

  • Develop, borrow, and maintain a core set of data standards [ +24 ]
  • Maintain a roadmap of useful features to add to our travel analysis systems [ +14 ] - Create tutorials for useful open-source tools [ +14 ]
  • Substantial Support should come from local agencies [ +12 -1 ]
  • Baseline staff should be around 2.5 FTE [ +7 ]

Project Shark Tank

Billy Charlton hosted a Shark Tank where we had three people pitch projects or initiatives that they thought Zephyr should take on. A panel of board members and founding stakeholders [ Clint Daniels, Mario Scott, and Julie Dunbar ] convened to select a winner.

Congratulations to Lisa Zorn for pitching the winning topic and to Joe Castiglione and Kermit Wies who put forward important topics for Zephyr to consider.


Lighting Talk

Presentation Board Chair Clint Daniels gave a lightning talk summarizing what Zephyr is up to.

Saving the Best for Last

Presentation As part of the “Saving the Best for Last” plenary session, small groups discussed and wrote down feedback about the conference as well as suggestions for what they thought Zephyr should take on, summarized as:

  • Succeed; focus on a few things and do them well
  • Get Started, stop talking, pick projects
  • Tell more people who they are
  • Unite modelers; be a bigger voice than individual agencies and firms; include a variety of voices
  • Develop standards and best practices
  • Facilitate use of common data standards [ especially network standards ]
  • Encourage participation in projects from multiple institutions/agencies/firms
  • Develop practical tools and training; make mundane tasks go away, especially for smaller agencies