Traffic Congestion

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Traffic Congestion Study Publications

Funded by the Exploratory Advanced Research Program at the Federal Highway Administration, researchers at DBEL have collected behavioral data from an Augmented Randomized Control Trial (ARCT) investigating private drivers’ reactions to traffic congestion and road tolls.

In the study, drivers equipped with GPS trackers in their cars are presented with various route choice options in a number of scenarios, all of them with salient consequences to the drivers. These consequences include not only the actual travel times but also money payments. Some of these consequences are natural, such as the degree of traffic congestion. Other consequences are controlled by us, such as the road tolls used. We randomly allocate the drivers to treatment conditions over consequences, while controlling for confounding influences on their choices. By observing their route choices under these controlled conditions we reveal their preferences. Apart from collecting driving data using GPS trackers, we also observe the drivers in a laboratory setting where we provide them with additional choice tasks, some of which are using driving simulators. The data from these tasks augment the GPS observations and allow us to investigate many individual characteristics that relate to route choices. These characteristics include preferences over risk and ambiguity, as well as their subjective beliefs about congestion conditions.

For more information about our research, please visit the Fact Sheet supplied by the FHWA and view our instructional video used for part of the experiment below. You can also visit our congestion pricing publications page to find links to working papers and supporting materials. This project got media exposure at Fox News in Central Florida.

Instructional Video: