Incident Management tool implemented in San Francisco Bay area reduced incident durations by approximately 15 percent, with an annual delay savings of 210,000 hours.

Bay Area Incident Response System (BAIRS) helps modernize several outdated paper-pencil, labor intensive incident logging and tracking procedures.

Date Posted

Evaluation of the Bay Area Incident Response System (BAIRS)

Summary Information

The Bay Area Incident Response System (BAIRS) is a computerized incident management tool that was implemented in June 2003 by Caltrans District 4 in San Francisco to improve incident management capabilities. BAIRS uses a real-time web-based set of databases integrated into Geographic Information System (GIS) software to identify the location of an incident and the location and availability of Caltrans maintenance supervisors, workers, and equipment. These real-time updates on information allows dispatchers to quickly mobilize the personnel and resources closest to an incident to reduce costly transit times and begin clearing incidents faster.


Data on incidents and their characteristics were collected "before" and "after" the implementation of BAIRS.
  • Pre-BAIRS data was obtained from Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol databases.
  • With-BAIRS data came from field data collected from 152 days from January through June 2004 (including both weekday and weekends) that was analyzed from the BAIRS incident database. A statistical approach was then used to correlate delays with the logged incidents.
Incident duration and response time distributions were then compared to reveal the response and clearance time savings attributable to BAIRS.

  • Overall, BAIRS reduced incident durations by about 15 percent (mostly resulting from reduced response times).
  • The annual delay savings benefit from BAIRS is estimated at 210,000 vehicle-hours.
  • At $10.00 per vehicle hour, this comes out to a annual savings of $2.1 million for Bay Area motorists.
  • Benefit-cost ratio is in the order of 5:1.
  • Other benefits that are not reflected in the estimated benefit-cost ratio include reduced fuel consumption and mobile emissions, and improved safety and access for emergency response vehicles.
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