Travel Time Route Reliability

Project: Research project

Project Details


The goal of this research is to develop models that provide travel time reliability estimates for a given route as a function of the probability of breakdown at each segment of the route. The final product will be models to estimate the probability that the travel time between O and D will be between X and Y seconds, as a function of the demands (assumed to be given) within the route. The objectives of the project are to:

a) Develop probability of breakdown distributions for various freeway segment types (such as merge junctions, diverge junctions, etc.)

b) Obtain travel time distributions for each segment as a function of the probability of breakdown at that segment.

c) Obtain travel time reliability models for the route, as a function of the probability of breakdown at each of its segments, considering the temporal and spatial interactions between segments. These interactions will be modeled using stochastic processes techniques. Route choice modeling is outside the scope of this project; demand is an input to the models developed.

d) Enhance the educational experience of students in the two engineering departments represented in the research team: civil engineering and industrial engineering. This will be accomplished by developing joint case studies and projects based on the research.

This project will provide tools for improving the congestion management and highway performance monitoring functions of transportation agencies. It will result in better understanding the process of congestion occurrence on a route, and the findings will assist transportation practitioners in reducing the probability of breakdown (and congestion) and in improving traffic operations. The research and educational activities of the project will provide opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration of both faculty and students in the areas of operations research, reliability and transportation. The project will also provide opportunities for interdisciplinary research and involvement with practitioners from the Philadelphia Traffic Management Center (TMC), which will provide data for this project. Increased interactions between the Philadelphia TMC staff and the Penn State faculty and students will benefit both organizations as they exchange knowledge in the state-of-the-practice and state-of-the-art.

The methodology developed in this project can ultimately be used in the planning and design of work-zones, operations during special events (such as concerts, athletic events, etc.), and in developing emergency evacuation plans.

Effective start/end date9/15/034/30/05


  • National Science Foundation: $150,000.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.