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Balancing Efficiency and Equity of Ramp Meters


  • Lei Zhang
  • David Levinson

    () (Nexus (Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems) Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota)


A new freeway ramp control objective - minimizing total weighted travel time is presented in this study. This new objective function is capable of balancing efficiency and equity of ramp meters, while the previous metering objective - minimizing total absolute travel time is purely efficiency-oriented and hence produces a most efficient but least equitable solution. When certain assumptions hold, this metering objective is shown to be equal to minimizing non-linearly weighted ramp delay. A simulation method to achieve the new metering objective is developed and demonstrated using the example of BEEX, a new ramp control strategy also developed in this study, in a microscopic traffic simulator.

Suggested Citation

  • Lei Zhang & David Levinson, 2005. "Balancing Efficiency and Equity of Ramp Meters," Working Papers 200508, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:nex:wpaper:balancingrampmeters

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Andre de Palma & Fay Dunkerley & Stef Proost, 2010. "Trip Chaining: Who Wins Who Loses?," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(1), pages 223-258, March.
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    7. Bhat, Chandra R. & Guo, Jessica, 2004. "A mixed spatially correlated logit model: formulation and application to residential choice modeling," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 147-168, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zheng, Nan & Waraich, Rashid A. & Axhausen, Kay W. & Geroliminis, Nikolas, 2012. "A dynamic cordon pricing scheme combining the Macroscopic Fundamental Diagram and an agent-based traffic model," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1291-1303.
    2. Levinson, David & Zhang, Lei, 2006. "Ramp meters on trial: Evidence from the Twin Cities metering holiday," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 40(10), pages 810-828, December.
    3. Zhang, Lei & Levinson, David, 2004. "Optimal freeway ramp control without origin-destination information," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 869-887, December.
    4. Lei Zhang & Feng xie & David Levinson, 2007. "Illusion of Motion: Variation of Subjective Value of Travel Time on Freeways and Ramp Meters," Working Papers 200903, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    5. Nebiyou Tilahun & David Levinson, 2013. "Selfishness and altruism in the distribution of travel time and income," Transportation, Springer, vol. 40(5), pages 1043-1061, September.
    6. Xinkai Wu & David Levinson & Henry Liu, 2008. "Perception of Waiting Time at Signalized Intersections," Working Papers 200909, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    7. Zhang, H.M. & Shen, Wei, 2010. "Access control policies without inside queues: Their properties and public policy implications," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 44(8-9), pages 1132-1147, September.

    More about this item


    Ramp Metering; Efficiency; Equity; BEEX; Value of travel time;

    JEL classification:

    • R40 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - General
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty


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