Economic development impacts of transportation system management and operations strategies

Ruiman Yang, Purdue University


The increasing trend of nonrecurring traffic congestion caused by crashes, disabled vehicles, work zones, adverse weather events, and planned special events has been a concern for transportation planners and traffic engineers. National research indicates that almost half of the congestion can be classified as nonrecurring congestion. Given the funding constraints, seeking effective strategies from system management and operations perspective seems to be a promising solution compared to implementing traditional capacity expansion projects. Transportation System Management and Operations (TSM&O) strategies have been widely adopted by state agencies (for example, the Indiana Department of Transportation) and deployed at different scales. Past research has demonstrated the financial viability of TSM&O strategies, but there has not been a study to date on their contribution to a region’s economy. According to the U.S. government legislation, such as the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA – 21) and more recent transportation bills, state agencies have to consider the economic impacts led by a transportation investment in project planning and prioritization. In order to fulfill legislative requirements, meet the increasing need of implementing TSM&O strategies, and appropriately convert the monetary benefits of implementing TSM&O into the corresponding contribution to the economy, this thesis proposes a practical step by step methodology that can be used by transportation practitioners and researchers for evaluating the economic impacts of TSM&O strategies. The end product of this thesis is a quantifiable and user-friendly tool that can be used at the project sketch planning stage to assess the economic development impacts of different TSM&O strategies by a series of well-known indicators of economic development impacts.




Yang, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Civil engineering

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