Problem Statement

The Marine Corps Marathon Office (MCMO) places a high priority on having every runnerís experience, both at the race and at packet pickup be a pleasant one. Because the new location has insufficient parking space, MCMO will provide shuttle buses between National Harbor and three Metro stations (i.e., Eisenhower, Van Dorn and Branch Avenue Metro stations). Runners may also take advantage of the new Metrobus service that provides service from Alexandria to National Harbor. Those who decline use of shuttle buses or Metrobus are free to arrive by other means of transportation such as; personal vehicles, taxi, Uber/Lyft or the water taxi fromAlexandria.

The participantsí choice of transportation mode will affect the transit time for all participants. Based on data collected on runner behavior during packet pickup, the MCMO assumes that participants will arrive for packet pick up at roughly the same time/day as they did in previous years, while using a variety of means to get to the Gaylord Convention Center at the National Harbor. However, there is great uncertainty in how the participants will react to the change in transportation options for reaching the new location. There is great concern that difficulty in reaching the Gaylord may decrease the time runners spend at the Expo or decrease their wiliness to participate in the race in future years.

Since it is expected that the Gaylord Center will host packet pickup for the next ten years, the MCM organizers want to understand how to best handle transportation, and need to better understand traffic patterns on the roads that lead to the National Harbor, availability of parking, and participantsí transportation preferences. The problem statement specifies a need for a model to determine the impact of shuttle buses on the overall experience and the model needs to be able to predict the impact on travel time as the number or timing of the shuttle service changes.

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