Office of Operations Real Time Traveler Information Program
Photo collage: dynamic message sign with congestion message, in-vehicle navigation device, transportation operations center control room, roadside sign for 511 traveler information, traffic information via the internet, and a freeway at night.
21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Travel Time Messages on Dynamic Message Signs

Dynamic Message Signs (DMS) are one of the tools used by Transportation Management Centers (TMC) to inform motorists of any incidents that occurs on the highways. To this date, 76 TMCs in the United States have displayed travel time messages on their DMS during non-incident periods. Because motorists enjoy seeing travel times on these signs, TMCs are starting to display this information more frequently, and many more Centers are planning to implement this program.

Posting travel time messages on DMS not only provides useful information to the motorists it also assists them in planning their routes. This planning can cause a small number of drivers to divert away from the congested highway. Thus, posting travel time messages provides critical additional capacity and assists in the management of congestion.

FHWA encourages all TMCs to post travel time messages on DMS during non-incident periods. Information on Guidance, Action Memorandums and Best Practices on the topic of "Travel Time Messages on Dynamic Message Signs" are available at this site.

For more information, please contact John Harding at