Benefits and Costs of Full Operations and ITS Deployment : A 2025 Forecast for Tucson

People who live in urban areas nationwide report that traffic congestion is one of their greatest quality-of-life concerns. When the demand for travel in a region exceeds the available capacity of the transportation system, residents suffer from excessive travel times, increased crash risks, diminished air quality, and other negative impacts. State and local transportation agencies have found it difficult to increase the transportation system supply rapidly enough to keep pace with the growing demand. Traditional approaches such as adding highway lanes, building new roads, or providing new transit lines are often too costly to be considered as reasonable solutions, particularly in the more densely populated areas of major cities. Transportation agencies are further challenged by the time required to design and construct these traditional infrastructure improvements. In response to this dilemma, transportation agencies have increasingly turned to improved operational strategies and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) in order to squeeze more operational efficiency out of the existing transportation system. Examples of these operations and ITS strategies include synchronizing the timing of traffic signals to smooth traffic flow, providing incident response vehicles such as freeway service patrols to quickly clear traffic incidents and breakdowns, automatically tracking and dispatching transit buses to improve their on-time performance, and providing meaningful traveler information to the public to allow travelers to better plan their trips. The goal of full deployment and complete integration of ITS, however, has yet to be realized in any metropolitan area. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) initiated this study to explore the benefits and costs of fully deploying operational strategies and integrating ITS in metropolitan areas. The U.S. Department of Transportation and FHWA selected Tucson, Cincinnati, and Seattle for case studies representing small, medium, and large metropolitan areas, respectively. Beyond the difference in size of the three metropolitan areas, some additional variations in the analysis approach affected the relative benefits estimated in each case study area. Benefits were estimated in the Tucson example based on forecasts of traffic in the year 2025, while the benefits for Cincinnati and Seattle were based on 2003 traffic conditions. This report presents the findings for the Tucson, Arizona scenario.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: n.p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01000124
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-JPO-04-032, EDL #13978
  • Files: NTL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: May 5 2005 11:31AM