DMS, before-and-after study, Dynamic Message Signs, Pre and Post-Deployment Survey, Satisfaction Modeling, Diversion Modeling, Binary Logit Model


The purpose of this thesis was to evaluate the impact of dynamic message signs (DMS) on the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority (OOCEA) toll road network using a Pre and Post-Deployment DMS Survey (henceforth referred to as "pre and post-deployment survey") analysis. DMS are electronic traffic signs used on roadways to give travelers information about travel times, traffic congestion, accidents, disabled vehicles, AMBER alerts, and special events. The particular DMS referred to in this study are large rectangular signs installed over the travel lanes and these are not the portable trailer mount signs. The OOCEA have been working over the past two years to add several fixed DMS on their toll road network. At the time of the pre-deployment survey, only one DMS was installed on the OOCEA toll road network. At the time of the post-deployment survey, a total of 30 DMS were up and running on the OOCEA toll road network. Since most of the travelers on the OOCEA toll roads are from Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties, this study was limited to these counties. This thesis documents the results and comparisons between the pre and post-deployment survey analysis. The instrument used to analyze the travelers' perception of DMS was a survey that utilized computer aided telephone interviews. The pre-deployment survey was conducted during early November of 2006, and the post-deployment survey was conducted during the month of May, 2008. Questions pertaining to the acknowledgement of DMS on the OOCEA toll roads, satisfaction with travel information provided on the network, formatting of the messages, satisfaction with different types of messages, diversion questions (Revealed and Stated preferences), and classification/socioeconomic questions (such as age, education, most traveled toll road, county of residence, and length of residency) were asked to the respondents. The results of both the pre and post-deployment surveys are discussed in this thesis, but it should be noted that the more telling results are those of the post-deployment survey. The results of the post-deployment survey show the complete picture of the impact of DMS on travelers' experience on the OOCEA toll road network. The pre-deployment results are included to show an increase or decrease in certain aspects of travel experience with relation to DMS. The results of the pre-deployment analysis showed that 54.4% of the OOCEA travelers recalled seeing DMS on the network, while a total of 63.93% of the OOCEA travelers recalled seeing DMS during the post-deployment analysis. This showed an increase of almost 10% between the two surveys demonstrating the people are becoming more aware of DMS on the OOCEA toll road network. The respondents commonly agreed that the DMS were helpful for providing information about hazardous conditions, and that the DMS are easy to read. Also, upon further research it was found that between the pre and post-deployment surveys the travelers' satisfaction with special event information provided on DMS and travel time accuracy on DMS increased significantly. With respect to formatting of the DMS, the following methods were preferred by the majority of respondents in both the pre and post-deployment surveys: ● Steady Message as a default DMS message format ● Flashing Message for abnormal traffic information (94% of respondents would like to be notified of abnormal traffic information) ● State road number to show which roadway (for Colonial - SR 50, Semoran - SR 436 and Alafaya - SR 434) ● "I-Drive" is a good abbreviation for International Drive ● If the distance to the international airport is shown on a DMS it thought to be the distance to the airport exit The results from the binary logit model for "satisfaction with travel information provided on OOCEA toll road network" displayed the significant variables that explained the likelihood of the traveler being satisfied. This satisfaction model was based on respondents who showed a prior knowledge of DMS on OOCEA toll roads. With the use of a pooled model (satisfaction model with a total of 1775 responses - 816 from pre-deployment and 959 from post-deployment), it was shown that there was no statistical change between the pre and post-deployment satisfaction based on variables thought to be theoretically relevant. The results from the comparison between the pre and post-deployment satisfaction models showed that many of the coefficients of the variables showed a significant change. Although some of the variables were statistically insignificant in one of the two survey model results: Either the pre or post-deployment model, it was still shown that every variable was significant in at least one of the two models. The coefficient for the variable corresponding to DMS accuracy showed a significantly lower value in the post-deployment model. The coefficient for the variable "DMS was helpful for providing special event information" showed a significantly higher value in the post-deployment model. The final post-deployment diversion model was based on a total of 732 responses who answered that they had experienced congestion in the past 6 months. Based on this final post-deployment diversion model, travelers who had stated that their most frequently traveled toll road was either SR 408 or SR 417 were more likely to divert. Also, travelers who stated that they would divert in the case of abnormal travel times displayed on DMS or stated that a DMS influenced their response to congestion showed a higher likelihood of diversion. These two variables were added between the pre and post-deployment surveys. It is also beneficial to note that travelers who stated they would divert in a fictitious congestion situation of at least 30 minutes of delay were more likely to divert. This shows that they do not contradict themselves in their responses to Revealed Preference and Stated Preference diversion situations. Based on a comparison between pre and post-deployment models containing similar variables, commuters were more likely to stay on the toll road everything else being equal to the base case. Also, it was shown that in the post-deployment model the respondents traveling on SR 408 and SR 417 were more likely to divert, but in the pre-deployment model only the respondents traveling on SR 408 were more likely to divert. This is an expected result since during the pre-deployment survey only one DMS was located on SR 408, and during the post-deployment survey there were DMS located on all toll roads. Also, an interesting result to be noted is that in the post-deployment survey, commuters who paid tolls with E-pass were more likely to stay on the toll road than commuters who paid tolls with cash. The implications for implementation of these results are discussed in this thesis. DMS should be formatted as a flashing message for abnormal traffic situations and the state road number should be used to identify a roadway. DMS messages should pertain to information on roadway hazards when necessary because it was found that travelers find it important to be informed on events that are related to their personal safety. The travel time accuracy on DMS was shown to be significant for traveler information satisfaction because if the travelers observe inaccurate travel times on DMS, they may not trust the validity of future messages. Finally, it is important to meet the travelers' preferences and concerns for DMS.


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Graduation Date



Al-Deek, Haitham


Master of Science in Civil Engineering (M.S.C.E.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Degree Program

Civil Engineering








Release Date

September 2008

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)