The regional model scoping approach has been tailored to meet National Transport Authority (NTA) needs, data requirements and availability, typical uses and case studies, in addition to highlighting its applicability in the Irish regional city context.


There were seven main steps involved in the regional model scoping process:

Step 1: Workshops held with the NTA modelling and Integrated Planning teams.

Step 2: Expert group discussions between Consultants.

Step 3: A review of the NTA’s transport modelling needs (RMS Scope 1).

Step 4: A review of the current Greater Dublin Area Model as a potential starting point for the various regional models (RMS Scope 2).

Step 5: A review of Best Practice for developing regional transport models (RMS Scope 3).

Step 6: A review of available data and any remaining data gaps which need to be addressed within the model scoping process (RMS Scope 4).

Step 7: The production of the Regional Modelling Scoping Report.


Regional Modelling System (RMS) Scoping Report 1: NTA Needs

The purpose of Scoping Report 1 was to review the NTA roles and responsibilities (including policy development, scheme appraisal, integrated transport planning) and the consequent transport modelling requirements in each of the following regional city areas:

  • The Greater Dublin Area (GDA)
  • The Cork Region
  • The Limerick Area
  • The Galway Area
  • The South-East Area (including Waterford and Wexford)

This step considered the following:

  • The NTA’s remit;
  • The recent application of other existing regional models;
  • The main model functionality and features implied by the NTA’s remit; and
  • A set of ‘NTA Needs-related’ recommendations.


RMS Scoping Report 2: GDA Model

RMS Scope 2 describes the current GDA Model and assesses the model’s strengths and weaknesses relative to the list of key features and components that were recommended in RMS Scope 1 to meet NTA’s needs.

RMS Scope goes on to make suggestions as to how any identified weaknesses should be addressed.

In summary, RMS Scope 2 includes the following:

  • An overview of the current GDA Model;
  • An assessment of the current GDA Model in terms of its strengths and weaknesses relative to the recommendations in RMS Scope 1; and
  • A list of recommended enhancements required to address the key weaknesses identified in the current GDA Model.


RMS Scoping Report 3: Best Practice

RMS Scope 3 reviews best practice modelling approaches to developing a typical regional model that would have similar functionality to the regional models that will be required by the NTA, and which were recommended in Scoping Reports 1 & 2.

The purpose of the review of best practice was to provide further guidance on the recommended specification for the NTA’s regional modelling system.

The review was informed by the following sources:

  • Experience acquired and lessons learnt from regional model development;
  • Transport modelling guidance from the UK, EU, US and other regions; and
  • Relevant models in Ireland, UK, US, Australia and elsewhere.
  • The models and guidance that were reviewed together cover the required range of regional model functionality and complexity.


RMS Scoping Report 4: Data Availability

RMS Scope 4 reviews the data needed to support the development of a regional modelling system. It is intended to support decision-making regarding the scope and functionality of the regional modelling system and to inform future data-gathering initiatives.

Data collated to date is reviewed and remaining data gaps are identified. Recommendations are made regarding how these gaps might be filled. In cases where data gaps cannot be filled impacts on the possible new regional model are identified. Medium to long-term data collection and data management issues are also considered.

RMS Scope 4 considered the following:

  • Overview of the data requirements of transport modelling, focusing on those which are relevant to the regional model;
  • Review of available existing data collated during the scoping phase;
  • Assessment of the remaining data gaps and the impact these are likely to have on decisions regarding the scope of the regional model;
  • Initial consideration of medium and longer-term data collection and data management issues, including consideration of the data needed to model future-year scenarios and to keep the base year models up to date; and
  • A summary of the main data-related issues and recommendations.


RMS Scoping Report 5: Non-Technical Summary

RMS Scope Report 5 is a non-technical summary of the regional model which describes:

  • The overall scoping process
  • The regional modelling recommendations
  • The regional modelling dimensions
  • The key components
  • An overview of the Regional Modelling system structure 
  • The implementation of the regional modelling system