Ridership Forecasting with STOPS for Transit Project Planning

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The goals of this course are to introduce transit-planning professionals to the Federal Transit Administration’s Simplified Trips-on-Project Software (STOPS) package, learn the fundamentals of its components and local implementation, and recognize the information that can be drawn from its ridership forecasts to inform decisions on transit plans, projects, and services.

Topics include:

  • Hands-on pre-course application of STOPS to prepare and examine project-level ridership forecasts
  • An overview of the design of STOPS to simplify transit ridership forecasting for local agencies through calibration against nationwide ridership experience and reliance on readily available data inputs
  • Presentation of the individual component models in STOPS and their functions
  • Detailed discussion of the assembly of required, and optional, input datasets
  • Step-by-step illustrations of refined calibration of STOPS to local conditions in individual metro areas
  • Two workshops based on STOPS-based ridership forecasts for current transit projects to highlight the information available in the forecasts to understand transportation problems, the performance of alternative improvements, and the likely ridership response to those improvements

Note that, while STOPS provides all travel-forecasting information required of project sponsors seeking funding from FTA’s Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program, the course does not deal with the CIG program itself.  Inquiries about the program and its general requirements should be directed to an FTA regional office.


This course is intended for transit-planning professionals who have a basic understanding of travel forecasting methods and who are using, or considering, STOPS as a platform for ridership forecasting in support of transit system planning and/or the development of individual transit project, including bus rapid transit, streetcar, light rail, and commuter rail.  Implementation and applications of the STOPS package require basic familiarity with such travel forecasting concepts as transit path-building, zone-to-zone travel impedances, trip tables, mode choice models, and model calibration.  The course deals with these concepts in terms of their implementation within STOPS but cannot provide an introduction to their basics.

3 days

CEUs:  1.7


Andrea Dixon