An Economic Evaluation Of Ramp Metering Benefits

This paper reports on an economic evaluation of the benefits of ramp metering. The author notes that economic analysis of transportation infrastructure has a long history, but the economics of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) is not yet well established, thus ITS or operational strategies are often overlooked. However, the benefit-cost ratios for these strategies are usually competitive; for example, freeway service patrols typically have ratios in the range of 5:1 to 30:1. The author first provides a high-level overview of ramp metering in Wisconsin and gives a brief summary of the previously-conducted Milwaukee ramp meter evaluation, focusing on the effect metering has on operations and safety. No critique of that engineering-based assessment is offered; rather it is used as an example to which economic valuation can be applied. The second section outlines economic values for benefits including travel time savings, operating costs, and crash reductions. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) currently provides no standard values for this type of economic analysis, so these are explored here, with the intent of broader application. Coupled with estimates of the costs associated with ramp metering, economic summary measures such as net present value and a benefit cost ratio are calculated. Despite far from optimal conditions for the ramp meters along this corridor, the net present value is at least $600 thousand, with a benefit cost ratio of two or better. In the final section, the author recommends the next steps for further evaluating the economic costs and benefits of ITS and ramp meters in Wisconsin and elsewhere.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: CD-ROM
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 12p
  • Monograph Title: ITS Connections: Saving Time. Saving Lives

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01142032
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 5 2009 7:05AM