Determining the Value of Real Time Congestion Information for Commercial Vehicle Operators


Frederick Beier

January 1999

Report no. MnDOT 1999-12

In this project, researchers sent mail surveys to commercial vehicle operators (CVOs)--for-hire carriers and private fleet operations--in the Twin Cities to determine their use of congestion information and their ability to attach specific values to congestion costs. The project also assessed the ability of CVOs to avoid congestion. The report presents survey findings. Despite the fact that a vast majority of respondents indicated congestion information would be useful, CVOs do not rely currently on available congestion information to any significant extent. The reasons may include lack of awareness and/or an inability of CVOs to effectively use the form and content of the information. For-hire carriers also are not well-equipped to estimate congestion costs with any degree of confidence. This results from apparently inadequate costing systems and/or technology to capture costs at the vehicle level. Further, respondents said that they had very little flexibility to adjust schedules to avoid congestion. Also, shippers without private fleets feel significantly less strongly about congestion as a problem than their counterparts with such fleets. Thus carriers may be constrained in their ability to use congestion information. The report also contains a demographic profile of CVOs operating in the Twin Cities and recommendations for further research.

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