A screenshot of a map with traffic volumes


SF-CHAMP is San Francisco’s travel forecasting tool. This tool is used for many Transportation Authority planning studies and projects to predict future travel patterns for the city. SF-CHAMP is one of several analysis tools the Transportation Authority uses. 

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.


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.


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


Executive Summary of original model design & development, 2002 (PDF)
Model development documentation, 2002 (ZIP)


If you have something in mind that you think we would be interested in, please let us know: data@sfcta.org.