Virginia Transportation Modeling Program

Northern Virginia Travel Model

Model Facts

Last Update: June 2007

VDOT Northern Virginia District


Base year:

Forecast year:

Interim year:
2010, 2020

2000 population:
6.3 million

6,800 square miles

• District of Columbia
• Maryland (Anne Arundel, Calvert, Carroll, Charles, Frederick, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George's and St. Mary's counties; cities of Bowie, College Park, Frederick, Gaithersburg, Greenbelt, Rockville, and Takoma Park)
• Virginia (Arlington, Clarke, Fairfax, Fauquier, King George, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania (p*), and Stafford counties; cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax, Fredericksburg, Manassas, and Manassas Park)
• West Virginia (Jefferson County)

Air quality status:
Moderate non-attainment

Internal TAZs:

20,000 directional (one-way), excluding centroid connectors/10,000


Trip purposes:
• Home-based work
• Home-based shop
• Home-based other
• Non-home based
• Other trip purposes are taken from the NCRTPB model

Time period modeled:

Passenger vehicle, heavy Truck

*partial jurisdiction



Regional characteristics

Northern Virginia (NOVA) is part of the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board model. The NOVA model was developed to address the four-step process, but is now being considered for an update to address trip assignment only at the 5,000-subzone level.

Like the NCRTPB model, the NOVA model covers the entire Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and extends to the outer suburbs. However, the NCRTPB zones in the Virginia jurisdictions have been subdivided, resulting in approximately 5,000 subzones.

The model overlaps the Fredericksburg model to the south and is bisected by the Potomac River.

Travel characteristics

Northern Virginia is unique in many areas of transportation. The major generator of traffic is the federal government, which has agency offices and military organizations throughout the area.

Many companies have their home offices here, and there are a large number of regional shopping malls.

The area also has historical significance and professional sports, which make it a huge tourist attraction.

There are three major airports serving the region: Dulles International, Baltimore-Washington International, and Ronald Reagan Washington National. These airports are accessible by numerous transportation modes, including taxi, Metrobus and Metrorail, with connections to several Amtrak stations.

The area has numerous interstate highways, including a major north/south route (Interstate 95) and the Capital Beltway. A number of features are designed to reduce traffic, including HOV lanes, park-and-ride lots, buses, commuter rails, a subway, and bicycle paths.





Page last modified: March 27, 2023