Impactful Research Award

The 2023 Impactful Research Award was presented on January 10, 2023

Award Description

The Impactful Research Award shall be given in recognition of a project that has a proven positive impact on the transportation and/or land use decision-making field that meets the majority of the following criteria.

  • Has been broadly adopted or implemented in practice
  • Improved the approach, skills, capability of transportation and land use decision-making process;
  • Whose methodology, formula, design, etc. are freely accessible to the public;
  • Promotes multilateral collaboration; and
  • Advances the travel analysis field for the public good.

Nominees are considered by a three-person award committee and forwarded to the Zephyr Board for approval. Awards are made at the TRB Annual Meeting.

2023 Awardee

Congratulations to the winner of the 2023 Impactful Research Award: STOPS - Simplified Trips-on-Project Software

STOPS’ innovation is its use of census and transit time table data rather than complex regional transportation demand models. This simplification minimizes calibration time and significantly reduces project evaluation time. STOPS’ impact is evident from its adoption by nearly 100 agencies, with most major transit operators having adopted STOPS as their forecasting platform and many regions developing a regional STOPS model, including the ARC, MetCouncil, Miami-Dade, and Research Triangle region.

STOPS demonstrates that there is value in a data-driven approach to travel demand forecasting. It highlights the importance of good data, which is not only important for transit forecasting, but also for highway forecasting. Not only has STOPS streamlined the process, allowing agencies to vet their projects or get approvals more quickly but, in many ways, it has also opened up this market to a wider range of analysts and agencies. Analytical tools that lead to good decision making while at the same time minimizing the cost of data collection and resources needed for development and analysis is a noteworthy contribution.

Congratulations to the 2023 Recipient of the Impactful Research Award: STOPS – FTA’s Simplified Trips-On-Project Software, for changing the way we conduct modeling and analysis for major transit projects and demonstrating the value of a data-driven approach to travel demand forecasting.

The 2023 Impactful Research Award Committee was:

  • Like Liu, Kittelson & Associates, Inc.
  • Sarah Sun, Federal Highway Administration
  • Jason Hawkins, University of Nebraska

Board Facilitator: Xinbo Mi

Presenter at the 2023 TRB Annual Meeting Reception: Jason Hawkins

Received the award on the behalf of the project team:

  • Matthew Welbes, Federal Transit Administration
  • Bill Woodford, RSG, Inc.
  • Jeff Roux, Federal Transit Administration

Award Recipients

  • 2020: Michel Bierlaire, for Biogeme
  • 2021: Kai Nagel, Kay Axhausen, and all of the MATSim development team
  • 2022: The award was not given this year