General Description

General Description of the TRANUS system

Tranus simulates the location of activities in space, land use, the real estate market and the transportation system. It may be applied to urban or regional scales. It is specially designed for the simulation of the probable effects of projects and policies of different kinds in cities and regions, and to evaluate the effects from economic, financial and environmental points of view.

The most outstanding characteristic of the TRANUS system is the way in which all components of the urban or regional system are closely integrated, such as the location of activities, land use and the transport system. These elements are related to each other in an explicit way, according to a theory that was developed for this purpose. In this way the movements of people or freight are explained as the results of the economic and spatial interaction between activities, the transport system and the real estate market. In turn, the accessibility that results from the transport system influences the location and interaction between activities, also affecting land rent.  Economic evaluation is also part of the integrated modeling and theoretical formulation, providing the necessary tools for the analysis of policies and projects.

With this system it is possible to evaluate the effects of transport projects and policies on the location of activities and land use. It is also possible to assess the effects of urban regulations or housing projects on the transport system. Even if it is in integrated land use and transport projects and policies where the TRANUS system yields it maximum value, the system may be used also as a stand-alone transport model, especially to evaluate the short-term effects of transport projects.

The integrated nature of the model also makes possible the estimation of origin-destination matrices for several traveler types, modes and trip purposes. It is well-known that the use of households surveys to estimate such matrices is a vary costly procedure, and even with a relatively large sample size, it is virtually impossible to guarantee reliable results. With TRANUS it is possible to use a small sample to calibrate the integrated model of land use and transport, resulting in a set of reliable trip matrices at a reasonable cost and time.

In terms of the scale of applications, the TRANUS system may be applied to:

The modeling system is able to represent the movements of both passengers and freight, and public and private modes, all in a single and common network with different vehicle types competing for road space. In the case of urban applications it is common to give more importance to the movements of passengers, including freight exogenously to represent its contribution to congestion. In the case of regional or national applications usually both passengers and freight are represented endogenously and with similar importance. In such applications it is also common to make full use of the input-output structure of the activities and land use model to make an explicit representation of the spatial economics involved, also evaluating the combined effects with the multimodal regional network.

The range of projects and policies that the model is able to represent is particularly wide. Land use policies may be combined with transport projects of different types and evaluated in combination. The following list is indicative of the range of policies that have actually been represented in many applications:

Tranus has been applied in a large number of studies to cities and regions of very different socioeconomic and cultural contexts, such as Latin America, USA, Europe and Asia. It is also used as a tool for postgraduate teaching in many universities around the world. This has been possible thanks to TRANUS flexibility and ease-of-use. Google tranus or tranus images and you will see a large number of references to studies and thesis in many countries.

In addition to powerful and flexible land use and transport models, TRANUS provides an exceptional graphical user interface linked to an intelligent database with explicit representation of scenarios. The interface is intuitive and provides all necessary tools for editing networks. It is fully integrated with QGIS. Several ways of interchanging with GIS databases such as Google Earth or Open Street Map are provided, as well as with spreadsheets, word processors and others. Networks may be imported from other models or databases. Both QGIS and TRANUS are completely free and open-source. To install TRANUS all you need is a recent version of QGIS and then look for and instal qtranus from the list of experimental plugins. The complete documentation of the TRANUS system is available from the Documentation section (English) of this site.