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Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-12-054    Date:  December 2012
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-12-054
Date: December 2012


Methodologies to Measure and Quantify Transportation Management Center Benefits: Final Synthesis Report

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The Federal Highway Administration, in support of the Transportation Operation Center Pooled Fund Study, initiated this study to identify and quantify Transportation Management Center (TMC) benefits. In a time of shrinking budgets, government officials must select from a multitude of projects competing for the limited available resources. Many benefits of TMC have been intuitively understood by managers but now need to be quantified in order to justify the initial cost as well as the ongoing annual operations and maintenance costs. This report provides a means to identify and quantify TMC benefits. It presents direction, guidance, methodologies, and procedures to agencies associated with monitoring, evaluating, and reporting on the values and benefits of TMC operations. This report is directed toward professionals working in State transportation departments and other agencies that are responsible for the construction and operation of TMCs.

Joseph I. Peters
Director, Office of Operations
Research and Development


This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers’ names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.


Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.

Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.


2. Government Accession No.

3. Recipient's Catalog No.

4. Title and Subtitle

Methodologies to Measure and Quantify Transportation Management Center Benefits: Final Synthesis Report

5. Report Date

December 2012

6. Performing Organization Code

7. Author

Robert Gordon

8. Performing Organization Report No.

9. Performing Organization Name and Address

Dunn Engineering Associates

66 Main Street

Westhampton Beach, NY 11978-2632

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

11. Contract or Grant No.


12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Office of Operations Research and Development

Federal Highway Administration

6300 Georgetown Pike

McLean, VA 22101-2296

13. Type of Report and Period Covered
Synthesis Report

14. Sponsoring Agency Code


15. Supplementary Notes

The Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (COTR) was Randall VanGorder, HRDO-20.

16. Abstract

This project provides a useable means to identify and quantify Transportation Management Center (TMC) benefits. It presents direction, guidance, methodologies, and procedures to agencies associated with monitoring, evaluating, and reporting on the values and benefits of TMC operations.

The measures and methodologies developed focus on outcomes, although a number of output measures that emphasize key operations are also included. This report highlights measures used for benefit-cost analysis, including those that may be employed for freeway TMCs, traffic signal system TMCs, and corridor TMCs. This document describes the algorithms and processes used to compute many of the measures. In the case of system measures, measures required for benefit-cost analysis, such as system-wide vehicle delay, require measurements of both volume and speed or travel time for each travel link. Other measures, such as motorist travel time and travel time reliability, require measured speed or travel time.

17. Key Words

Transportation management center, Methodologies, Guidance, Monitoring, Evaluation, Operations, Benefit-cost analysis, Performance measures, Algorithms, Travel time reliability

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions. This document is available to the

Public through the National Technical Information Service; Springfield, VA 22161

19. Security Classif. (of this report)


20. Security Classif. (of this page)


21. No of Pages


22. Price


Form DOT F1700.7 (8-72) Reproduction of completed page authorized











8. Benefit-Cost Analysis

Appendix A. Example of Progression to Performance Measures

Appendix B. Pollutant Emissions

Appendix C. GDOT Motorist Survey



List of figures

Figure 1. Illustration. TxDOT balanced scorecard approach

Figure 2. Illustration. Example of data aggregation structure

Figure 3. Illustration. Example of link, domain, and detector station relationships

Figure 4. Illustration. Example of link, domain, and probe site relationships

Figure 5. Illustration. Data accumulation methodology

Figure 6. Equation. Domain system travel time

Figure 7. Equation. Domain system delay

Figure 8. Equation. Link system travel time

Figure 9. Equation. Link system travel time for 15-min periods

Figure 10. Equation. Link system delay

Figure 11. Equation. Link system delay for 15-min periods

Figure 12. Equation. Domain vehicle travel time

Figure 13. Equation. Domain vehicle delay

Figure 14. Equation. Link vehicle travel time

Figure 15. Equation. Link vehicle travel time for each 15-min period

Figure 16. Equation. Link vehicle delay

Figure 17. Equation. Link vehicle delay for each 15-min period

Figure 18. Equation. Travel time as sensed by probe PR

Figure 19. Equation. Probe-sensing region speed for region PR

Figure 20. Equation. Freeway system travel time

Figure 21. Equation. Freeway system delay

Figure 22. Equation. Private vehicle occupant system delay

Figure 23. Equation. Commercial vehicle occupant system delay

Figure 24. Equation. Goods inventory delay

Figure 25. Equation. Route travel time

Figure 26. Flowchart. Route travel times

Figure 27. Equation. Freeway route delay

Figure 28. Equation. Standard deviation of travel time measurements

Figure 29. Equation. Buffer time

Figure 30. Equation. Planning time

Figure 31. Graph. Relationship of travel time reliability indices

Figure 32. Equation. Peek hour throughput

Figure 33. Graph. Link throughput

Figure 34. Graph. Control delay

Figure 35. Equation. The relationship between travel time and control delay

Figure 36. Equation. Intersection delay

Figure 37. Equation. System delay

Figure 38. Equation. Surface street route delay

Figure 39. Equation. Surface street route travel time

Figure 40. Graph. Five leading contributing circumstances in all collisions

Figure 41. Graph. Five leading contributing circumstances in fatal collisions

Figure 42. Equation. Fuel consumption

Figure 43. Equation. Fuel consumption due to control delay

Figure 44. Equation. Density

Figure 45. Equation. 5-min weighted average link density

Figure 46. Equation. Peak hour weighted average link density

Figure 47. Graph. Example of Lorenz curve for a metered freeway entrance ramp

Figure 48. Equation. Gini coefficient

Figure 49. Equation. Total system delay

Figure 50. Equation. Rewriting total system delay

Figure 51. Equation. Relationship between change in delay and reduced incident clearance time

Figure 52. Illustration. Washington service patrol assist form

Figure 53. Illustration. WSDOT service patrol survey

Figure 54. Graph. Public rating on WSDOT service patrol program

Figure 55. Equation. Estimated speed

Figure 56. Graph. Comparison of INRIX® data with Bluetooth® data and measured travel time

Figure 57. Flowchart. The SMART-SIGNAL system architecture

Figure 58. Graph. Annual average incident clearance time

Figure 59. Graph. Estimated annual motorist cost savings attributed to Houston TranStar operation

Figure 60. Graph. Houston TranStar benefit-cost ratio

Figure 61. Equation. Value of design and construction cost

Figure 62. Equation. Capital recovery factor

Figure 63. Equation. Uniform annual equivalent investment cost

Figure 64. Equation. Annualized life-cycle cost

Figure 65. Equation. Cost adjusted to 2010 levels

Figure 66. Equation. Monetary performance

Figure 67. Equation. Monetary benefit

Figure 68. Equation. Benefit-cost ratio

Figure 69. Graph. Monetary benefits and costs for project alternatives

Figure 70. Illustration. Performance measures

Figure 71. Equation. Emissions

Figure 72. Equation. Arterial pollutant emission

Figure 73. Illustration. Interstate traffic flow scores

Figure 74. Illustration. Distribution of interstate traffic flow scores

Figure 75. Illustration. Non-interstate traffic flow scores

Figure 76. Illustration. Distribution of non-interstate traffic flow scores

Figure 77. Illustration. Motorist priority rankings

Figure 78. Illustration. Performance versus importance plot

List of tables

Table 1. TMC functions

Table 2. Characteristics of representative ITS performance evaluation systems

Table 3. Comparison of performance measures criteria

Table 4. Measures used by FDOT

Table 5. Example of percentage of ITS monetary benefits for benefits classes

Table 6. Measures of effectiveness

Table 7. Relationship of TMC functions to measures of effectiveness

Table 8. Data periods

Table 9. Data uses and characteristics

Table 10. Sample size requirements

Table 11. 2009 average collision rates by functional class in Washington-Northwest region (State routes only)

Table 12. 2009 leading collision type for all collisions in Washington (State routes only)

Table 13. Crash rates for selected links in Rochester, NY, during the accident period from March 1, 2000, to February 28, 2002

Table 14. Crash classification by link in Rochester, NY, during accident period from March 1, 2000, to February 28, 2002

Table 15. Average intersection accident rates for State highways by intersection type based on accident data from January 1, 2007, to December 31, 2008

Table 16. WSDOT crash data for contributing circumstances

Table 17. Safety work zone performance measures

Table 18. Fuel consumption rates in gallons per VMT

Table 19. Freeway LOS characteristics

Table 20. LOS criteria for freeway facilities

Table 21. LOS for signalized intersections.

Table 22. Basic data generation for representative performance monitoring systems

Table 23. Error rate of different surveillance technologies in field tests

Table 24. I-95 corridor coalition probe detection test results

Table 25. Evaluation approaches

Table 26. Freeway service patrol performance statistics

Table 27. Example of Naperville, IL, travel time/delay summary

Table 28. Naperville, IL, vehicle emmisions summary-percent reduction

Table 29. Naperville, IL, vehicle emmisions summary-annual emission reduction

Table 30. Performance component for benefit-cost analysis

Table 31. Representative values for coefficients

Table 32. Development of goals

Table 33. Development of initiatives

Table 34. Pollutant index identification

Table 35. Emission rates for 2011

Table 36. Emission rates for 2016

Table 37. Idling emission rates

List of abbreviations

AADT Average annual daily traffic
ACC/MEV Accidents per million vehicles entering an intersection
ADCS Automated data collection station
ADMS Archived data management system
ADOT Arizona Department of Transportation
AVL Automatic vehicle locator
CAD Computer-aided dispatch
Caltrans California Department of Transportation
DMS Dynamic message sign
EVSP Emergency vehicle signal preemption
FDOT Florida Department of Transportation
FHWA Federal Highway Administration
FMS Freeway management system
FYTD Fiscal year to date
GDOT Georgia Department of Transportation
GPS Global Positioning System
HAR Highway advisory radio
HCRS Highway Condition and Reporting System
HOV High occupancy vehicle
ITS Intelligent transportation system
LOS Level of service
MAG Maricopa Association of Governments
MOVES Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator
NOX Oxides of nitrogen
NYSDOT New York State Department of Transportation
PeMS Performance Measurement System
PDO Property damage only
PMT Person miles traveled
RTMS Remote traffic microwave sensor
SO2 Sulfur dioxide
SPI Safety performance index
STEWARD Statewide Traffic Engineering Warehouse for Regional Traffic Data
TMC Transportation Management Center
TRIPS Travel-Time Reporting and Integrated Performance System
TxDOT Texas Department of Transportation
VMT Vehicle miles traveled
VOC Volatile organic compound
WSDOT Washington State Department of Transportation


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