Effect of Congestion on Fuel Cost and Travel Time Cost on Multi-Lane Highways in India

The vehicles normally move at their free speeds when it is least impeded due to traffic flow under lean traffic (free flow) conditions. As traffic flow increases, the vehicles cannot sustain their free speeds due to interactions from other vehicles in the traffic stream. In addition to that the vehicles that are operating in the congested traffic conditions will consume more fuel than those operating in steady state traffic conditions for the same average speed. This leads to increase in travel time and fuel consumption of the vehicles and thereby adding to total road user cost (RUC). On the contrary, fuel consumption is also high at very high speeds under free flow traffic flow conditions leading to increase RUC. Considering these scenarios, the travel time and fuel cost of the vehicle due to the congestion and free flow conditions (uncongested) has to be necessarily modelled in order to estimate realistic assessment of RUC on Indian highways. In the present study, the congestion cost relationships have been developed between Congestion Factor, a ratio of cost under congestion and steady state conditions and Volume-Capacity Ratio by considering various vehicle types plying on varying widths of multi-lane highways (four, six and eight lane divided carriageways) through the collection of exhaustive time related and fuel related data. Time related data was collected through questionnaire survey method whereas fuel consumption data was collected using advanced sophisticated fuel flow measuring equipment (V-Box). The developed equations have been successfully applied to demonstrate their applicability in terms of estimating realistic effect of congestion on time and fuel cost by considering a section on NH-2 in Delhi. The analysis shows that the congestion effect is more significant on fuel cost for heavy commercial vehicles whereas it is more prominent on time cost for passenger vehicles. However, the congestion effect on combined fuel and time cost is more significant on multi-axle trucks followed by cars, two wheelers and buses.


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  • Accession Number: 01598228
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 19 2016 8:44PM