METRANS UTC

Application of a Regional Multi-Modal Transportation System Performance Monitoring Framework

Project Number

15-08

Project Summary

The purpose of this research is to examine the characteristics and explanatory factors associated with intra-metropolitan variation in highway and arterial system performance. Better understanding of performance variation will support more effective transportation system management. Analyzing both highway and arterial performance contributes to the goal of integrated system management.

Project Status

Complete

Project Brief

Year

2015

Topic Area

Integrated Freight and Passenger Systems

P.I. Name & Address

Professor; Margaret and John Ferraro Chair in Effective Local Government; Senior Associate Dean for Research and Technology; Director, METRANS , Sol Price School of Public Policy
University of Southern California
650 Childs Way
Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall (RGL) 216
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0626
United States
giuliano@price.usc.edu

Funding Source

U.S. Department of Transporatation

Total Project Cost

$100,000

Agency ID or Contract Number

Grant No: DTRT13-G-UTC57

Start and End Dates

8/15/2015 - 8/14/2016

Brief Description of
Research Project

The purpose of this research is to examine the characteristics and explanatory factors associated with intra-metropolitan variation in highway and arterial system performance. Better understanding of performance variation will support more effective transportation system management. Analyzing both highway and arterial performance contributes to the goal of integrated system management.
 
Integration of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) across modes and agencies provides new opportunities for urban transportation planning, operations and management. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) sponsored RIITS (Regional Integration of Intelligent Transportation Systems) network is a unique initiative that supports real-time information exchange between highway, arterial, transit and emergency service agencies across the Los Angeles region. The network facilitates real-time system management and traveler information services.
 
We have designed and implemented a scalable, queryable comprehensive historical archive (ADMS, or Archived Data Management System) of real-time data (starting from October 2011) from the RIITS system, and demonstrated the benefits of the archive for integrated corridor monitoring and management, [sub]regional system performance monitoring and analysis, and impact assessment of new investments and policies. The project was a collaboration of computer science and urban planning at USC, funded by LA Metro. As part of the project, we developed a flexible method for monitoring regional system performance across different time periods and locations, and across the highway and arterial systems. We also tested baseline performance measures using one month (November 2012) of data.
 
This research applies the regional monitoring framework for examining characteristics and determinants of intra-metropolitan variation in highway and arterial system performance across highly granular units of space and time. We use Los Angeles County as the study region, 2013 as the test year, and traffic speed, flow and buffer index (a measure of unpredictability of traffic conditions) as test performance measures. We investigate whether significant performance variation exists across functionally comparable roadway sections, across various times of day/days of week/time periods of the year. We also perform a series of statistical tests to analyze and identify location and network factors that determine systematic or idiosyncratic variations. Finally, we consider how our results could be used to improve system performance across modes, locations, and times. We expect that our research will lead to recommendation of practical cost-effective strategies that system managers can adopt to improve traffic conditions in Los Angeles and beyond.