Office of Operations
21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Incorporating Travel-Time Reliability into the Congestion Management Process (CMP): A Primer


U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Ave.,
SE Washington, D.C. 20590

In Reply Refer To: HOTM-1

AUG 11, 2014

Dear Colleague,

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Operations and the Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty are pleased to present this publication titled "Incorporating Travel-Time Reliability into the Congestion Management Process (CMP): A Primer". Support for this effort came from the second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2), managed by the Transportation Research Board (TRB). Realizing the growing need to address reliability in transportation planning, and the importance of the CMP in the metropolitan transportation planning process, the Technical Coordinating Committee of SHRP 2 recommended that work be done on incorporating reliability into the CMP, utilizing the SHRP 2 Reliability products.

Reliability is an important element of congestion that historically has not been considered as part of the CMP. Across the U.S., congestion due to non-recurring disruptions such as traffic incidents, weather, work zones, and special events accounts for an average of 55 percent of total delay. Because many of these events are not predictable, they affect the reliability of the system and have a significant impact on congestion. The primary objective of this primer is to provide direction and potential opportunities for incorporating reliability, specifically travel-time reliability, into the CMP and identify the most-current tools available to assist with this effort, including the SHRP 2 Reliability products. It is intended for use by State and metropolitan planning organization (MPO) planners who are involved in the development of the CMP as well as by operations managers and analysts who are also engaged in the development of the CMP. This primer explains the value of incorporating travel-time reliability into the CMP; how to get started, in a checklist format; and some examples, or models, of good practice for incorporating reliability into the CMP.

Our Offices will be supporting this primer through workshops and related technical assistance activities. If you have any comments on this material or need additional copies, please contact Jim Hunt at, 717-221-4422; Wayne Berman at 202-366-4069, and/or Egan Smith at 202-366-6072.

Sincerely yours,

Jeffrey A. Lindley
Associate Administrator
Office of Operations, FHWA

Gloria M. Shepherd
Associate Administrator
Office of Planning, Environment and Realty, FHWA


Office of Operations