COMPASS, the Freeway Traffic Management System on Highway 401, began operation on January 30, 1991. Since then, the system has been continuously monitored, enhanced and expanded. This study examines the effectiveness of COMPASS in meeting its objectives, compares the benefits and costs of the system, and provides a framework for the ongoing assessment of system performance. Briefly, the findings are as follows: On average, COMPASS reduces the average duration of incidents, from occurrence to clearance, from 86 minutes to 30 minutes, thereby reducing the average delay per incident by 537 vehicle-hours and saving over 300,000 hours of vehicle delay each year. Approximately 200 accidents per year are prevented by displaying incident messages on Changeable Message Signs (CMSs) when incidents occur. The implementation of congestion management has resulted in improving the quality of peak period traffic flow. In addition to increasing the average speed between 7% and 19%, the severity of congestion has been reduced. A large majority of drivers (80%) find CMS messages helpful and easy to read and understand. Reductions in both accidents and travel time were the personal benefits most frequently identified by drivers. The survey concluded that the CMS system is an effective moderator of driver behavior. COMPASS generates real resource savings which amount to over $10 million per year. The investment on the initial portion of COMPASS yields significantly high returns to the overall economy. The rate of return on the investment is 18%; the pay-back period is 3.5 years. Finally, as a result of their work with COMPASS, both manufacturers and consultants in the province of Ontario are already key players in the international market. The export of goods and services amounted to $20 million in 1993, and will likely exceed $60 million in 1994.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Ontario Ministry of Transportation

    Traffic Management and Engineering Office, 1201 Wilson Avenue
    Downsview, Ontario  Canada  M3M 1J8
  • Publication Date: 1994-1


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 48 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00727365
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 29 1996 12:00AM