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Research

Travel Importance and Strategic Investment in Vermont's Transportation Assets

Principal Investigators: James Sullivan, David Novak
Funding Agency: USDOT

Project Summary

Studies of the stated preferences of travelers indicate that different travelers value trips differently and suggest that non-discretionary trips should be treated differently from discretionary trips. The current Network Robustness Index calculation treats all trips as equally valuable and equally important. While treating all trips as equally important can be considered a socially-equitable approach and it is the approach which is most common in practice, we argue that the inclusion of trip-importance with respect to the reason for a trip is needed to move toward a more efficient modeling approach which provides information that is useful for strategic re-investment and strategic disinvestment. In this project, we propose to include consideration of the reason for travel, and the monetary value of different trip purposes, into the NRI methodology. Including trip values in the modeling approach will allow decision-makers to examine the impacts of travel-time delays to both discretionary and non-discretionary passenger trips on the entire network. In addition, consideration will be given to how delays to freight may affect the network. The types of decisions that are affected include prioritization of maintenance and improvement projects, influencing of route-choices and emergency-routes, and the need for development of communications infrastructure.