TransAnalysis specializes in computer simulations for engineering, planning and management. Using SIMUL8 they have developed animated simulations of staffed transportation inspection operations, and transportation facilities.
In order to successfully choose a site, then plan, design, and operate these inspection stations, the concerned agencies needed to:
A border inspection facility has characteristics of two distinct programming problems. It consists of a traffic analysis problem, since it has roadways and controlled intersections; but it also has assembly line characteristics, such as service times, staffing requirements, and inspection points.
Using SIMUL8's capabilities that allow powerful modification of its pre-programmed features through visual logic and visual basic, TransAnalysis' senior simulation programmer was able to accurately simulate traffic merging, weaving, yielding, and traffic lights, together with staffing schedules and inspection time distributions.
TransAnalysis developed 22 simulations covering different site alternatives for the future inspection stations. These simulations required extensive input data that included traffic volumes, hourly distributions, turning movements at nearby intersections, service times and staffing requirements at each component, regulation compliance, signal cycles, and others.
The simulations were instrumental in developing and planning border inspection facilities at eight international Ports of Entry on the U.S.-Mexico border. The simulation results helped the concerned agencies design the facility size and its traffic flows; develop current and future staffing schedules; and select sites based on traffic impacts.
The simulations' animations and results were used in several public presentations to stakeholders at private, local, state and federal levels. They helped demonstrate that these inspection stations can be successfully operated within a reasonable staffing budget, without impeding international commerce or blocking local traffic, while providing adequate accommodations for trucking companies to correct most out-of-service conditions on-site.
"It is thanks to TransAnalysis' work that we can be confident that this facility will not cause additional traffic congestion."