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Effectiveness of Disseminating Traveler Information on Travel Time Reliability: Implement Plan and Survey Results Report

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United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration

U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Office of Operations
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590


December 2016


This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers' names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration provides high quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.

Table of Contents

List of Appendices

List of Figures

List of Tables


API Application Programming Interface
ATIS Advanced Traveler Information Systems
AWAM Anonymous Wireless Address Matching
DCHC MPO Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization
DF Degrees of Freedom
FHWA Federal Highway Administration
FAQs Frequently Asked Questions
GPS Global Positioning System
GTM Government Task Manager
IVR Interactive Voice Response
ODOT Ohio Department of Transportation
OSU Ohio State University
RTP Research Triangle Park
SHRP2 Strategic Highway Research Program 2
SWOT Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats
TxDOT Texas Department of Transportation
TMC Traffic Message Channel
TTR Travel Time Reliability
TTRI Travel Time Reliability Index
VoIP Voice Over IP

Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.
2. Government Accession No. 3. Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle

Effectiveness of Disseminating Traveler Information on Travel Time Reliability
Implement Plan and Survey Results Report

5. Report Date

December 2016

6. Performing Organization Code:
7. Author(s)

Beverly Kuhn, Robert Krile, Chloe Ritter, Laura Higgins, Alan Pate

8. Performing Organization Report No.
9. Performing Organization Name and Address

Battelle, 505 King Avenue, Columbus, OH 43201
Texas A&M Transportation Institute, 3135 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843
Resource Systems Group, 55 Railroad Row, White River Junction, VT 05001

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)
11. Contract or Grant No.


12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
Office of Operations
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

Final Report 10/14-12/16

14. Sponsoring Agency Code
15. Supplementary Notes

Jimmy Chu, FHWA, Office of Transportation Management, Government Task Manager (GTM))

16. Abstract

Travel time variability is that characteristic of the transportation system that means a traveler's trip will vary from what is normally expected and will potentially take longer than planned. By helping travelers make travel choices that take into account travel time variability, agencies have the potential to reduce roadway congestion.

Travel Time Reliability (TTR) information includes static data about traffic speeds or trip times that capture historic variations from day to day and enable individuals to understand the level of variability in traffic. A key component to addressing the reliability issue related to urban mobility is conveying this TTR information to system users so that they can make informed decisions about their travel. The challenge for transportation professionals lies in selecting the best means of conveying that information so that it is usable and effective to the traveler and other stakeholders.

The Strategic Highway Research Program 2 (SHRP2) Reliability Project L14 established a preliminary set of suggested terminology and guidelines for conveying TTR information to road users so that they may make optimal travel choices from their point of view, such as whether to take a trip or not, departure time, mode choice, and/or route choice. Specifically, a Lexicon of phrases was developed for each of eight TTR terms, which contained detailed guidelines for TTR information that would most likely be understood and used by travelers. To help agencies and other transportation-related entities better deploy and use the recommended Lexicon terminology, a field study was conducted to test the phrases to demonstrate the technical and institutional feasibility of their use and determine the potential costs and benefits of using these products of L14.

Overall, the field study found that the particular Lexicon phrases tested performed equally well. Only one survey question resulted in statistically significant differences between the Lexicon phrases. The biggest finding of the field study was that dissemination of TTR information via the 511 information channel was less preferred than via the Web or App access channels. In a few instances, the App access demonstrated superior responses over both the Web and 511 access.

17. Key Words

Travel time reliability, traveler information, arrival time, average travel time, buffer time, departure time, recommended departure time, recommended route

18. Distribution Statement

No Restrictions

19. Security Classification (of this report)


20. Security Classification (of this page)


21. No of Pages


22. Price

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) Reproduction of completed page authorized

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