Focus Area
Transportation Systems Management & Operations
Submitting On Behalf Of
TRB Committee on Freeway Operations
Critical - High Priority
$250,000 - 499,000
1 - 2 years
Type of Research
Full Research Project
Date Posted
Jul 15, 2021
Not Funded

Research Description

Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSMO) strategies and approaches are playing an increasingly larger role in meeting transportation agencies’ strategic goals of improved mobility, reliability, and safety. Many evaluations of the effectiveness of TSMO deployments have been performed over the last few decades, but the vast majority of evaluations have focused on the system performance outcomes, namely the impacts on performance metrics such as travel speed, travel time, delay reduction, and crash rates. However, the impacts of TSMO strategies on traveler behavior, such as mode choice, departure time, route choice, and other traveler decisions are not well known. In addition, the impact of traveler behavior (due to TSMO deployments) on transportation network performance is not well established. By better understanding how deployed TSMO strategies affect both the tactical and strategic behavior of travelers, then more effective combinations of TSMO strategies can be designed to help agencies meet their strategic goals.

Additional Supporting Information

The purpose of this project is to evaluate the impacts of TSMO deployment on traveler behavior and corresponding network performance using data from active TSMO deployments. Specifically, traveler behavior within this context refers to the decisions travelers make before and during each trip based on the choice sets available to them. There are five (5) stages in a trip chain in which travelers make choices. These include destination choice, time of day choice, mode choice, route choice, and lane/facility choice. When comprehensively applied, TSMO strategies can influence many stages of the trip chain and, thus influence both the supply and demand sides of transportation management. Different TSMO strategies can influence different parts of the trip chain, so the focus is more on the influence of TSMO in making short-term, real-time changes to traveler behavior based on prevailing conditions than it is on long-term, habitual and static changes to traveler behavior. Understanding how deployed TSMO strategies affect the decisions travelers make in terms of destination choice, time of day choice, mode choice, route choice, and lane/facility choice is the primary objective. Additionally, network performance changes as a result of the choices travelers make due to TSMO strategies is of interest. Some of the key traveler behavior research questions of this research could include: • How do TSMO strategies affect tactical traveler behavior such as lane/facility use, route diversions, etc.? • How do TSMO strategies affect strategic traveler behavior such time of departure, destination choices, mode choice, etc.? • How does the combination of TSMO strategies within (e.g., combination of variable speed limit and queue warning strategies) and across different (e.g., combination of dynamically priced parking and dynamic transit fare reduction strategies) TSMO approaches affect traveler behavior such as mode choice, destination choice, etc.? • How does TSMO-induced traveler choices (e.g., time of departure) affect network performance (i.e., mobility, reliability, safety, and the environment)?

Submitted By
Jim Katsafanas
Michael Baker International


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