Improving Our Understanding of How Highway Congestion and Pricing Affect Travel Demand

<p class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><font size="3">American motorists experience more hours of congested conditions every year, but planning models rely on relatively thin behavioral information to take congestion into account. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Highway operations and road pricing strategies are being employed to address congestion, but the planning process is not well quipped to describe the effective capacity available when roads are congested or to describe the relief obtained by improvement strategies. </font><font size="3">Variable tolls are being considered to encourage motorists to shift travel time out of congested periods, to use less congested roads, or to change mode.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">  V</span>ariable tolls have been introduced on a few High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes, and tolls are being considered on approximately 20 additional highways around the country. Planners are being asked by decision makers to predict what congestion relief will be obtained by adding pricing to a roadway, how much revenue will be generated, and what side effects will be experienced. These are very difficult questions to answer with confidence given our current state of knowledge on motorist behavior when faced with congestion or tolls. </font><font size="3">The Federal Highway Administration, state DOTs, and Metropolitan Planning Organizations have funded extensive stated preference and revealed reference surveys of priced roadways. Diversion studies, attitude studies, and equity studies have also been done. Revenue forecasts for tolled facilities are being made regularly as part of planning studies. The essence of the problem facing such studies and forecasts is the poorly explained heterogeneity of behavior. </font><font size="3">The intent of this project is to use appropriate data to examine commonalities and differences in behavioral response to congestion, travel time reliability, and price, and develop reliable descriptions of behavior. In short, we would like to replace (or at least significantly reduce) calibration constants or limited model structures in current models with explanatory variables sensitive to congestion, travel time reliability, and price.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">Â</span></font></p>


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project C04

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Strategic Highway Research Program 2

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Project Managers:

    Andrle, Stephen

  • Performing Organizations:

    PB Americas, Incorporated

  • Principal Investigators:

    Donnelly, Robert

  • Start Date: 20070921
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20101221
  • Source Data: RiP Project 16700

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01460047
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project C04
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 1:17PM