Travel time measurement in closed toll highways
Travel time for a road trip is a drivers' most appreciated traffic information. Measuring travel times on a real time basis is also a perfect indicator of the level of service in a road link, and therefore is a useful measurement for traffic managers in order to improve traffic operations on the network. In conclusion, accurate travel time measurement is one of the key factors in traffic management systems. This paper presents a new approach for measuring travel times on closed toll highways using the existing surveillance infrastructure. In a closed toll system, where toll plazas are located on the on/off-ramps and each vehicle is charged a particular fee depending on its origin and destination, the data used for toll collection can also be valuable for measuring mainline travel times on the highway. The proposed method allows estimating mainline travel times on single sections of highway (defined as a section between two neighboring ramps) using itineraries covering different origin-destinations. The method provides trip time estimations without investing in any kind of infrastructure or technology. This overcomes some of the limitations of other methods, like the information delay and the excess in the travel time estimation due to the accumulation of exit times (i.e. the time required to travel along the exit link plus the time required to pay the fee at the toll gate). The results obtained in a pilot test on the AP-7 toll highway, near Barcelona in Spain, show that the developed methodology is sound.
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Volume (Year): 44 (2010)
Issue (Month): 10 (December)
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