, Former U of M Researcher, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
Highway performance improvements, due to ITS or other improvements, typically reduce vehicle movement times and improve the reliability of those times. Those changes benefit highway freight shippers directly through a reduction in their non-transport logistics costs and indirectly through a reduction in the operating costs of highway freight carriers. At present there is no straightforward way to estimate the value of these benefits. The primary objective of this research is to create a methodology that can produce such estimates. A related aspect of this research is to determine the variable costs of operating cars and trucks so that benefit-cost analyses of highway improvements can include changes in these costs. The particular objective is to develop tools for understanding the different ways in which changes to highway lengths and designs affect the costs of vehicle operation for users of the highway. Costs of operating both cars and trucks will be examined.