New Model For Evaluation Of Traffic Operations At Electronic Toll Collection Plazas


Traffic simulation models are used to enhance planning, design, operation, and management of transportation facilities. A discrete-event stochastic object-oriented microscopic simulation model is presented that was specially developed to evaluate the operational performance of toll plazas. Traffic behavior is represented using a set of mathematical and logic algorithms that control the conflicts among vehicles within the toll plaza area. Modified versions of car-following and lane-changing algorithms and a new toll-lane selection algorithm are integrated into this new model to simulate traffic operation at toll plazas. The model output includes measures of effectiveness (MOEs) that can be used to evaluate the performance of existing and future individual toll lanes and the entire toll plaza system. Real-world data collected at the busiest toll plaza in the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority system were used to validate the developed model. Statistical tests indicate that there is no significant difference at the 95 percent confidence level between MOEs obtained from the model and those collected in the real world. Sensitivity analysis of market penetration of the electronic toll collection (ETC) system indicates that an increase in ETC subscription rate improves the efficiency of toll plaza operation. The benefits of ETC depend on the specific plaza configuration. One of the most interesting results of this study is that for all plaza configurations simulated with manual payment lanes operating over capacity, total plaza delay can be reduced by half if only 10 percent of the users switch from manual payment lanes to ETC lanes.

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Transportation Research Record



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0034433178 (Scopus)

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