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600451-00013-1 Report Abstract

Investigation of Improvements to Truck Volume Assignments and Public Transportation Benefits Methodologies in TTI’s Urban Mobility Report

William L. Eisele, David L. Schrank, Dong Hun (Don) Kang, Steven E. Polzin and Xuehao Chu, Texas A&M University, August 2013, 65 pp.

The Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s (TTI’s) often-cited Urban Mobility Report (UMR) provides transportation decision-makers with urban-area congestion statistics and trends. Data and their availability have continued to evolve rapidly over the years that this report has been produced, and TTI researchers have updated the UMR methodology as new data sources and information become available.

The objectives of this project were to (a) investigate the UMR methodology assumptions related to the daily volume distributions for trucks and possible methodology improvements, and (b) investigate the UMR methodology related to the benefits of transit ridership and transit delay reduction calculations and possible methodology improvements.

To satisfy the first objective, TTI researchers collected vehicle classification data from Georgia, Texas, Washington, and Colorado. While there were only 36 sites used to investigate potentially new truck distribution graphs, the results indicate that trucks have a different time-of-day distribution than a distribution created from all vehicles together. Because the sample size of these findings is relatively low, researchers hope to investigate these findings on larger samples prior to making methodological changes in the UMR.

To satisfy the second objective, TTI researchers collaborated with public transit experts at the University of South Florida, Center for Urban Transportation Research. Chapter 4 provides several proposed methodological improvements to the transit benefits methodology for the 2013 UMR, including (a) explicitly accounting for the miles traveled by roadway-based transit vehicles operating in mixed traffic conditions, and (b) more accurately accounting for the potential shift to private passenger vehicles in a post-transit environment by transit riders for the passenger miles they have actually traveled by transit. Researchers plan to incorporate these proposed changes into the 2013 UMR. Chapter 4 also documents future improvement opportunities for the short term and long term.

Keywords: Public Transportation, Transit Benefits, Truck Volumes, Urban Mobility Report, Volume Distributions

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