A simulation study in the Washington, DC area found that 40 percent of travelers who use pre-trip traveler information would save $60.00 or more per year as a result of fewer early and late arrivals.
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District of Columbia
United States

An Assessment of the Potential of ATIS to Reduce Travel Disutility in the Washington DC Region

Summary Information

This study used the HOWLATE (Heuristic On-Line Web-Linked Arrival Time Estimator) methodology to quantify the benefits of a prospective personalized pre-trip notification service in the Washington DC region. Based on 15 months (March 2000 through May 2001) of archived real-time travel time data collected from SmarTraveler.com, the study recreated 12 months of representative roadway travel outcomes on a model transportation network of 150 links and 55 nodes. The travel objective was to arrive on-time; therefore, to measure the difference between drivers using the pre-trip notification service and drivers not using it, yoked (paired) driving trials were recreated. For each simulated driving trial, one driver used the departure time and route recommended by the service, while the other driver did not. The ATIS non-user represented a commuter who maintained the same departure time and route choice day-after-day, while the ATIS user represented a commuter who used the pre-trip notification service to arrive on time. Based on the travel times and on-time arrival outcomes for 25.9 million paired driving trials, the travel time and on-time reliability of ATIS users and ATIS non-users were compared.

The simulation results were dependent on the estimated accuracy of archived real-time travel time data used to establish the baseline for ATIS non-user travel, and the ATIS non-user tolerance for late arrivals.


A dollar valued disutility framework was used to determine the cost value of delay, early arrivals, and late arrivals. By applying this utility function to all trips, it was found that approximately 40 percent of all ATIS users achieved an individual net positive benefit of approximately $60.00 or more per year.

An Assessment of the Potential of ATIS to Reduce Travel Disutility in the Washington DC Region

An Assessment of the Potential of ATIS to Reduce Travel Disutility in the Washington DC Region
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Shah, Vaishali; Karl Wunderlich; Alan Toppen; and James Larkin
Paper presented at the 82nd Annual Transportation Research Board Meeting. Washington, District of Columbia

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