Private-Sector Provision of Congestion Data

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General Information
Study Number: TPF-5(020)
Lead Organization: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
Contract Start Date: Jun 29, 2005
Solicitation Number: 10
Partners: CO, MO, NJ, PADOT, TX
Contractor(s): University of Virginia,Transportation Research Board
Status: Closed
Est. Completion Date:
Contract/Other Number: NCHRP 70-01
Last Updated: Jul 27, 2012
Contract End Date: Feb 26, 2007
Financial Summary
Contract Amount: $250,000.00
Total Commitments Received: $320,000.00
100% SP&R Approval: Approved
Contact Information
Lead Study Contact(s): Lisa Tarson
ltarson@pa.gov
Phone: 717- 705-2202
Organization Year Commitments Technical Contact Name Funding Contact Name Contact Number Email Address
Colorado Department of Transportation 2003 $25,000.00 Bruce Coltharp Aziz Khan aziz.khan@state.co.us
Missouri Department of Transportation 2005 $20,000.00 Karmen Stockman 573-526-5585 karmen.stockman@modot.mo.gov
New Jersey Department of Transportation 2002 $25,000.00 Nicholas Vitillo
New Jersey Department of Transportation 2003 $25,000.00 Nicholas Vitillo
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation 2001 $25,000.00 William Laubach Bonnie Fields 717-214-8686 bfields@state.pa.us
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation 2002 $25,000.00 William Laubach Bonnie Fields 717-214-8686 bfields@state.pa.us
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation 2003 $25,000.00 William Laubach Bonnie Fields 717-214-8686 bfields@state.pa.us
Texas Department of Transportation 2001 $0.00 Frank Bailey 512- 416-4730 rtimain@txdot.gov
Texas Department of Transportation 2002 $50,000.00 Frank Bailey 512- 416-4730 rtimain@txdot.gov
Texas Department of Transportation 2003 $50,000.00 Frank Bailey 512- 416-4730 rtimain@txdot.gov
Texas Department of Transportation 2004 $50,000.00 Frank Bailey 512- 416-4730 rtimain@txdot.gov

Study Description

A significant barrier to effective congestion management is the cost of monitoring congestion for an entire transportation network including limited-access and conventional highways in urban, suburban, and rural areas. Spot measurements of speeds and volumes can be integrated into a web of information, but the deployment, maintenance, and operation of numerous sensors make this system expensive, often limiting its use to major routes in urban areas. A promising new approach is to obtain congestion data from a private-sector vendor. The most common technique is for the vendor to anonymously track cell phones in moving vehicles and derive useful information such as travel times, speeds, and delays across the system. This approach can provide real-time information regarding the location and severity of congestion throughout the day. The data can also show the effects of system improvements and whether congestion is improving or degrading over time. There are many concerns (e.g., legal, privacy, public perception, technological, economic, obsolescence, procurement, budgeting) with this approach but the possibility of a cost-effective, comprehensive congestion-measurement system deserves close examination.

Objectives

The objective of this project was to assess the feasibility of transportation agencies using congestion data provided by private-sector vendors, particularly data obtained by tracking cellular phones.

Scope of Work

TASKS Task 1. Develop a state-of-the-practice report that is suitable for web publication. This report should describe domestic and international transportation agency efforts to use congestion data provided by private-sector vendors. Each effort should be fully described including the project scope and schedule, details of the relationship between the transportation agency and the private-sector data provider, institutional issues arising during the effort and how they were resolved, and information on the data being provided and how the transportation agency intends to use it. Task 2. Conduct an independent evaluation of the FHWA demonstration projects in Virginia and Missouri. If other significant efforts are identified in Task 1, the oversight panel may choose to add them to this task. Key items of interest are the accuracy of the congestion data provided, the benchmarks and techniques used to determine that accuracy, the accuracy required by the transportation agency's application, the reliability and timeliness of the data, the effectiveness of the relationship between the transportation agency and the private-sector data provider, and the satisfaction of the transportation agency and the data provider with the project. Task 3. Prepare a final report that clearly describes the lessons learned by transportation agencies obtaining congestion data from a private-sector provider and the benefits of that approach. To the extent practical, the report should identify the data that could be provided for urban and rural freeways and arterials, the approximate cost, how a transportation agency could use those data, and how the data could be integrated with data from other sources. The report should help a practitioner decide whether such an initiative would be worthwhile and how to plan for developing a relationship with a private-sector data provider including specific implementation steps. The report must include a full discussion of the various legal and privacy concerns.

Comments

The project is complete.

Subjects: Highway Operations, Capacity, and Traffic Control

Documents Attached
Title File/Link Type Privacy Download
Final Report NCHRP70-01FinalReport.pdf Final Report Public
State of the Practice 11-21-05 state_of_the_practice_report_11-21-05.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Work Plan work_plan.pdf Work Plan Public
State of the Practice state_of_the_report.pdf Report Public

No document attached.

Private-Sector Provision of Congestion Data

General Information
Study Number: TPF-5(020)
Lead Organization: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
Contract Start Date: Jun 29, 2005
Solicitation Number: 10
Partners: CO, MO, NJ, PADOT, TX
Contractor(s): University of Virginia,Transportation Research Board
Status: Closed
Est. Completion Date:
Contract/Other Number: NCHRP 70-01
Last Updated: Jul 27, 2012
Contract End Date: Feb 26, 2007
Financial Summary
Contract Amount: $250,000.00
Total Commitments Received: $320,000.00
100% SP&R Approval:
Contact Information
Lead Study Contact(s): Lisa Tarson
ltarson@pa.gov
Phone: 717- 705-2202
Commitments by Organizations
Organization Year Commitments Technical Contact Name Funding Contact Name Contact Number Email Address
Colorado Department of Transportation 2003 $25,000.00 Bruce Coltharp Aziz Khan aziz.khan@state.co.us
Missouri Department of Transportation 2005 $20,000.00 Karmen Stockman 573-526-5585 karmen.stockman@modot.mo.gov
New Jersey Department of Transportation 2002 $25,000.00 Nicholas Vitillo
New Jersey Department of Transportation 2003 $25,000.00 Nicholas Vitillo
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation 2001 $25,000.00 William Laubach Bonnie Fields 717-214-8686 bfields@state.pa.us
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation 2002 $25,000.00 William Laubach Bonnie Fields 717-214-8686 bfields@state.pa.us
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation 2003 $25,000.00 William Laubach Bonnie Fields 717-214-8686 bfields@state.pa.us
Texas Department of Transportation 2001 $0.00 Frank Bailey 512- 416-4730 rtimain@txdot.gov
Texas Department of Transportation 2002 $50,000.00 Frank Bailey 512- 416-4730 rtimain@txdot.gov
Texas Department of Transportation 2003 $50,000.00 Frank Bailey 512- 416-4730 rtimain@txdot.gov
Texas Department of Transportation 2004 $50,000.00 Frank Bailey 512- 416-4730 rtimain@txdot.gov

Study Description

Study Description

A significant barrier to effective congestion management is the cost of monitoring congestion for an entire transportation network including limited-access and conventional highways in urban, suburban, and rural areas. Spot measurements of speeds and volumes can be integrated into a web of information, but the deployment, maintenance, and operation of numerous sensors make this system expensive, often limiting its use to major routes in urban areas. A promising new approach is to obtain congestion data from a private-sector vendor. The most common technique is for the vendor to anonymously track cell phones in moving vehicles and derive useful information such as travel times, speeds, and delays across the system. This approach can provide real-time information regarding the location and severity of congestion throughout the day. The data can also show the effects of system improvements and whether congestion is improving or degrading over time. There are many concerns (e.g., legal, privacy, public perception, technological, economic, obsolescence, procurement, budgeting) with this approach but the possibility of a cost-effective, comprehensive congestion-measurement system deserves close examination.

Objectives

The objective of this project was to assess the feasibility of transportation agencies using congestion data provided by private-sector vendors, particularly data obtained by tracking cellular phones.

Scope of Work

TASKS Task 1. Develop a state-of-the-practice report that is suitable for web publication. This report should describe domestic and international transportation agency efforts to use congestion data provided by private-sector vendors. Each effort should be fully described including the project scope and schedule, details of the relationship between the transportation agency and the private-sector data provider, institutional issues arising during the effort and how they were resolved, and information on the data being provided and how the transportation agency intends to use it. Task 2. Conduct an independent evaluation of the FHWA demonstration projects in Virginia and Missouri. If other significant efforts are identified in Task 1, the oversight panel may choose to add them to this task. Key items of interest are the accuracy of the congestion data provided, the benchmarks and techniques used to determine that accuracy, the accuracy required by the transportation agency's application, the reliability and timeliness of the data, the effectiveness of the relationship between the transportation agency and the private-sector data provider, and the satisfaction of the transportation agency and the data provider with the project. Task 3. Prepare a final report that clearly describes the lessons learned by transportation agencies obtaining congestion data from a private-sector provider and the benefits of that approach. To the extent practical, the report should identify the data that could be provided for urban and rural freeways and arterials, the approximate cost, how a transportation agency could use those data, and how the data could be integrated with data from other sources. The report should help a practitioner decide whether such an initiative would be worthwhile and how to plan for developing a relationship with a private-sector data provider including specific implementation steps. The report must include a full discussion of the various legal and privacy concerns.

Comments

The project is complete.

Subjects: Highway Operations, Capacity, and Traffic Control

Title File/Link Type Private
Final Report NCHRP70-01FinalReport.pdf Final Report Public
State of the Practice 11-21-05 state_of_the_practice_report_11-21-05.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
State of the Practice state_of_the_report.pdf Report Public
Work Plan work_plan.pdf Work Plan Public
No document attached.

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