Travel time reliability is frequently cited as an important metric for the trucking community and other users of truck freight services. Travel time reliability for all vehicles is commonly measured and reported as a percentile or average (mean) travel time, but currently there is no consensus on how to value travel time reliability for just trucks, thus it has not yet been incorporated into the benefit estimation. Travel time reliability needs to be incorporated into the truck freight benefit estimation in order to fully capture truck freight benefits associated with mobility projects and provide quantitative data for project prioritization. The methodologies that would be developed could be applied to any region of interest and the need for quantitative data for prioritization of freight projects is a national level issue. Research by Washington State DOT has been completed to develop a methodology to quantify the truck freight benefits associated with mobility projects by taking into account changes in truck travel time, operating cost, and emissions in order to calculate economic impacts such as changes in gross state and regional product and long-term employment. The results of this research may be applicable to other states (with some data and modeling requirements). However, the research was unable to incorporate truck freight travel time reliability into the benefit estimation due to a lack of resources. While the importance of reliability is well established for passenger and freight travel, the value of reliability for truck freight system users is not. A methodology to estimate the value of travel time reliability for truck freight applications should be developed and demonstrated. The methodology should be applicable across a range of truck freight system users and sensitive to commodity types.
The objective of this research is to develop and demonstrate a methodology to estimate the value of travel time reliability to truck freight system users in order to assist in the evaluation of proposed highway infrastructure and operations investments.
Accomplishment of the project objective will require at least the following tasks.
(1). Review the state-of-the-practice of evaluating truck freight travel time reliability, including its application in transportation planning.(2). Develop a methodology to estimate the value of truck freight travel time reliability for truck freight system users (e.g., for-hire and private motor carriers, shippers, receivers, 3PLs). (3). Identify data, sources of data, and collection methods necessary to apply the methodology. (4). Develop a demonstration plan for the proposed methodology that is applicable to the evaluation of proposed highway infrastructure and operations investments. (5). Within 4 months of the contract execution, prepare an interim report that provides the results of Tasks 1 through 4. (6). Demonstrate and evaluate the methodology, including the collection and use of sample data as identified in Task 3. (7). Propose approaches for states and local transportation agencies to use the methodology in their planning processes. (8). Prepare a research plan for a follow-on project to conduct a large-scale data gathering effort that will enable the valuation of travel time reliability for truck freight system users (e.g., for-hire and private motor carriers, shippers, receivers, 3PLs) representing multiple industry sectors.(9). Prepare a final report that documents (1) the complete research effort and (2) the methodology to estimate the value of travel time reliability to truck freight system users in order to assist in the evaluation of proposed highway infrastructure and operations investments.