Collections > Master's Papers > Department of City and Regional Planning > A Method for Evaluating Traveler Information Systems

Incidents account for nearly 50% of traffic congestion in urban areas. The cost of incident-induced congestion is borne by motorists in terms of delays and higher vehicular costs. They also impose costs on commercial carriers and associated businesses. Mitigating the effect of incidents clearly benefits motorists and commercial users. This study provides a method for evaluating the impacts of dynamic traffic information disseminated through a variety of sources in reducing incident-induced congestion. The method can be used by State Departments of Transportation to decide expansion priorities for traveler information systems, taking into consideration their impacts on commercial and non-commercial users. Using a behavioral model, we simulate the movement of trucks and vehicles in a simple transportation network. The results show the benefits of providing real-time information to travelers in incident-induced congestion situations, and capture the different effects of traveler information according to different user/vehicle behaviors, including commercial carriers.