FHWA and the Center for Innovative Finance Support have developed a number of spreadsheet-driven modeling and sketch planning tools that may be used by transportation professionals and policy makers to estimate the effects of road pricing strategies on revenue generation, travel behavior, economic activity, and the environment. Descriptions of these tools are provided below, together with onward links to user guides and the interactive spreadsheets.
POET-ML allows HOV system operators to complete a current HOV system condition assessment, quantify the impacts of HOV policy changes on operational performance and financial feasibility, and ultimately prioritize the most appropriate policy changes, or combination of HOV policy changes, to best align the system with their policy goals and objectives. Even if only a limited amount of input data is available, users can obtain sketch-level planning estimates.
STEAM, the Surface Transportation Efficiency Analysis Model, is a benefit-cost analysis tool developed by FHWA in the 1990s to compare the economic worth of alternatives through the evaluation of trade-offs between the mobility and safety benefits of transportation infrastructure projects and the cost of building, maintaining and operating these projects. STEAM uses travel demand modeling output to compute the net value of mobility and safety benefits attributable to regionally important transportation projects.
The current version of this model, STEAM 2.02, reports mobility and safety benefits by user-defined districts and a new accessibility measure. The district-level reporting feature allows users to compare the impacts of transportation investments to resident trip-makers across aggregations of zones, which may represent neighborhoods, policy areas or political jurisdictions. The accessibility feature produces estimates of employment opportunities within a user-defined travel-time threshold of a district across a base and improvement scenario. Both an index and the percentage change are provided. The district reporting and accessibility features are useful new tools for gauging the social impacts of transportation investments.
TRUCE 3.0 builds on the foundation of the TRUCE model developed at the U.S. Department of Transportation. As indicated by the model's full name (Tool for Rush-Hour User Charge Evaluation), users can apply TRUCE to quantify the impacts of congestion pricing on urban highways. In its current form, the model considers scenarios for congestion pricing on the network of limited-access highways, or "freeways". The source for the key inputs of traffic data is the Urban Mobility Report series produced by the Texas Transportation Institute.
This enhanced model is under review, and FHWA is seeking comments on this version. Please provide your comments to Darren Timothy at 202-366-4051 or Darren.Timothy@dot.gov.
TRUCE-ST builds on the foundation of the TRUCE 3.0 model. As indicated by the model's full name (Tool for Rush-Hour User Charge Evaluation - Statewide), users can apply TRUCE-ST to quantify the impacts of congestion pricing on urban highways statewide. For insights into the model's evolution, users of TRUCE-ST may review the User's Guide in conjunction with that for TRUCE 3.0 and the report Development of TRUCE-ST from TRUCE 3.0.
The TRUCE-ST model is under review, and FHWA is seeking comments on this version. Please provide your comments to Darren Timothy at 202-366-4051 or Darren.Timothy@dot.gov.