The Simplified Trips-on-Project Software (STOPS) is a series of programs designed to estimate transit project ridership using a streamlined set of procedures that bypass the time-consuming process of developing and applying a regional travel demand forecasting model. STOPS is quite similar in structure to regional models and includes many of the same computations of transit level-of-service and market share found in model sets maintained by PART.
What makes STOPS much simpler to use than regional models is the following: 1. 2. 3. Estimates of total origin-to-destination travel are derived from Census data rather than elaborate trip generation and destination choice procedures. This avoids the need to calibrate these tools to the degree of accuracy required to estimate transit ridership. Representations of transit levels-of-service are derived from timetable information, bypassing the need to develop detailed transit networks in the planning environment. Timetable information is already available at most agencies and is much more accurate than the representations of travel time and frequencies contained in typical planning networks. The model calibrates itself to represent current conditions. This means that the months, and sometimes years, that are spent developing and documenting effective forecasting tools can be avoided.
Although STOPS represents a significant simplification over existing procedures, it still requires careful development of input information that describes existing transit ridership, existing transit schedules and future transit service scenarios.