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Estimation of Demand Response to Ramp Metering


  • Lei Zhang
  • David Levinson

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


Ramp meters in the Twin Cities were turned off for 8 weeks in the Fall of 2000. Previous research has assumed demand to be fixed when analyzing ITS technologies, however analysis of this ramp metering shut down experiment, using traffic count data from freeway loop detectors, suggests otherwise: for discretionary trips (non-work trips), the presence of ramp meters encourages people to defer short non-work trips, which then take place during unmetered times. Similarly, the absence of ramp meters discourages long peak-period non-work trips, which are deferred to off-peak times. The effects of ramp metering on non-discretionary demand (work trips) are also reflected by the spreading of the peaks. The method of using freeway traffic count data to estimate demand shifts developed in this paper can also be applied to other freeway demand analyses.

Suggested Citation

  • Lei Zhang & David Levinson, 2002. "Estimation of Demand Response to Ramp Metering," Working Papers 200207, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:nex:wpaper:rampmeterdemand

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    File Function: First version, 2007
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Crane, Randall, 1998. "Travel By Design?," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt3pc4v6jj, University of California Transportation Center.
    2. Giuliano, Genevieve, 1995. "The Weakening Transportation-Land Use Connection," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt1dn8t3w7, University of California Transportation Center.
    3. Levine, Jonathan, 1999. "Access to Choice," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt18s623vq, University of California Transportation Center.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zhang, Lei & Levinson, David, 2010. "Ramp metering and freeway bottleneck capacity," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 218-235, May.

    More about this item


    equilibrium; ramp metering; traffic flow; travel time.;

    JEL classification:

    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • 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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