Modeling and Travel Forecasting

The Transportation Authority is home to SF-CHAMP, the official travel forecasting tool for San Francisco. SF-CHAMP is a state-of-the-art, activity-based model that predicts future travel patterns for the city. This tool is used for many Transportation Authority planning studies and projects.  

The SF-CHAMP model is one of several analysis tools the Transportation Authority uses.  You can find out more about other tools on their respective webpages including:

  • The citywide Dynamic Traffic Assignment model (DTA), which gives planners a more fine-grained view of transportation system performance as well as a better understanding of the how-and-why of traffic routing itself around San Francisco. DTA is an intermediate-scale simulation of both autos and transit vehicles
  • Cycletracks, our iPhone and Android apps for recording and mapping real-time bicycle trip routes.

The Model Service Bureau webpage has information about using Transportation Authority models or data in studies or research.

This page contains information about:

Fury, the SF-CHAMP Mascot


The San Francisco Chained Activity Modeling Process (known as SF-CHAMP) is a regional travel demand model that is used to assess the impacts of land use, socioeconomic, and transportation system changes on the performance of the local transportation system. SF-CHAMP was developed to reflect San Francisco’s unique transportation system and socioeconomic and land use characteristics. It uses San Francisco residents’ observed travel patterns, detailed representations of San Francisco’s transportation system, population and employment characteristics, transit line boardings, roadway volumes, and the number of vehicles available to San Francisco households to produce measures relevant to transportation and land use planning. Using future year transportation, land use, and socioeconomic inputs, the model forecasts future travel demand.

The SF-CHAMP Model incorporates a state of the art approach to forecasting travel demand. This activity-based model is more sensitive than traditional four-step models to a broader array of conditions that influence travelers’ choices. One of the fundamental differences between the San Francisco Model and traditional models is that it is tour-based not trip-based. A tour is a chain of trips made by an individual that begins and ends at home without any intermediate stops at home, whereas a trip is a single movement from an origin to a destination. As such, the model structure is more complex than the traditional four-step modeling approach.

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SF-CHAMP has also been profiled in "Modeling Time-of-Day Choice in Context of Tour- and Activity-Based Models" from the National Cooperative Highway Research Program's Synthesis 406: Advanced Practices in Travel Forecasting. (PDF)

Transportation Research Board (TRB) Conference Presentations


We benefit from a wealth of basic and applied research in a wide range of fields such as travel behavior, decision science, behavioral economics, econometrics, computer science, traffic engineering, and network modeling. To the extent that we have an overlap of interests and available time, we would like to help any research projects along by sharing our perspectives and expertise as bleeding-edge practitioners, sharing models and data, and being a test-bed for applied research.

If you have something in mind that you think we would be interested in, please let us know: email To see previous examples, feel free to browse our publications listed above.


We post modeling and Technology, Data, and Analysis internship opportunities to the Transportation Authority's jobs webpage.  Internships generally coincide with school semesters and summer breaks.