Evaluating Alternative Operations Strategies to Improve Travel Time Reliability (Transportation Research Board, 2013)

This report sets out requirements for travel time reliability within a performance-based planning process.The objective of the project was to identify and evaluate strategies and tactics intended to satisfy the travel time reliability requirements of users of the roadway network—those engaged in freight and person transportation in urban and rural areas. This report presents a set of options related to technological changes, operational solutions, and organizational actions that have the potential to improve travel time reliability both now and in the future (by the year 2030).
The report concludes that travel time reliability will improve through the collection and use of more and better information, together with agency integration and adoption of shared goals. The application of that information can be used to balance and manage demand and transportation system (multimodal) capacity more effectively. That means using information to actively expand capacity in those places where its value exceeds the cost of that expansion. At the same time, information can be provided to travelers so that they can make informed choices about the best travel option, given their own values of time and reliability. That same information can be used to determine where best to spend limited resources on capacity expansion and to judge performance of the operational actions and infrastructure improvements that are selected and implemented. Results of those performance reviews would then be fed back into the management decisions that determine which actions to take under specific roadway conditions. That is, agencies would actively use the information that runs the management systems to continually assess the performance of those systems and then work to improve performance. The most-effective improvements to travel time reliability on our transportation network will occur by 2030 when market forces and accessible information allow travelers to plan trips more reliably.
Download the full report.