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ITS Benefits and Cost

ITS Benefits and Cost Consideration
The number of ITS projects and schemes, large and small, deployed around the
world is increasing rapidly. Many of these schemes have been carefully evaluated,
resulting in an extensive and growing literature on the benefits and costs of various
intelligent transport systems.
ITS Benefits and Cost Consideration
ITS Cost-Benefit Analysis
 Govt. Agencies and Businesses Use the Benefit-Cost Ratio to evaluate and
Compare Capital Investment Projects

 ITS Community Has Been Criticized for Poor PR Regarding Benefits

 ITS Project Evaluation is an Emerging Area of Research

 Increasingly Being Evaluated

 No Clear Consensus
Road Users and other Travellers
• Car users, truck drivers and delivery vehicles can all gain from ITS, for
example, through greater safety, more certainty in their journeys, shorter
journey times, more direct routes and easier access to parking.
• Pedestrians and other vulnerable road users can experience greater safety
and a balancing of traffic priorities in their favour.
• Public transit users can have shorter journey times and rely on better
information. By reducing the vulnerability of the transport infrastructure
to extreme events everyone benefits.
• Thus ITS can help in preventing incidents and delivering a faster recovery
when things go wrong (severe weather and flooding, security alerts,
serious accidents and incidents, etc.)
 Road Users and other Travellers (Contd..)
• By better integration of services, ITS can bring benefits in improved
response and efficiency for law enforcement, emergency services and
other agencies in their work to serve the needs of the travelling public. For
example, accurate location details for emergency calls can reduce the time
taken to respond to incidents, which in turn cuts down the length of
disruption on the network.
 Transport Professionals (Contd..)
• The second main group who can benefit from ITS are transport professionals.
Whether they are planners or transport network and system operators and
managers, ITS can enable them to do a better job.
• An investment in ITS can help them to deliver safer and more reliable
journeys, reducing the detrimental effect on the environment, giving priority
to freight transport, commuter traffic, transit or pedestrians, whatever is the
key market segment – even the key market segment at a given time of day.
Alternatively, if the task is to manage a city road network, then ITS can help
maintain a balance between the many conflicting priorities.
• These might include the competing needs of residents, commercial retailing,
tourism and the environment, not forgetting the need to give safe and
convenient access for people who do not have a car available.
Local Residents and Enterprises
• A third important group who experience ITS are the residents and
enterprises located where ITS are deployed. Cars, trucks, buses and trains
all have impacts on the people living, working, walking or playing and
socialising near where the transport operates. ITS can deliver access
control schemes, parking management, commercial vehicles’ routes and
road user charges, all with substantial impacts.
• Streets may be quieter and safer, and in residential areas children may be
able to play more safely. There may be reduced noise and emissions due
to smoother traffic flows.
• Local enterprises can benefit from ITS providing more reliable deliveries
and more reliable journey times for goods being dispatched. Local shops
can benefit from ITS helping provide a better environment for visitors and
shoppers. In a wider context, the business community benefits from ITS
providing cheaper, safer, better managed deliveries of goods.
Specific ITS Benefits
• The benefits of ITS are varied and not always directly calculable. Real time
information systems on public transport, for example, are often
introduced at the same time as priority measures which make the service
faster and more reliable, and often with new or refurbished vehicles.
• It can be difficult to separate the causes of the perception of improved
service and the increase in sponsorship/ backing/funding,
• In the opposite case, real time information on public transport may have
no effect on sponsorship/ backing/funding if non-users are not made
aware of the improvement, it will not influence their choices.
Specific ITS Benefits
• Safety Benefits: Two common measures for safety
improvement are percentage reduction in collisions
and percentage reduction in rescue response time
• Efficiency Benefits: Reduction in travel time and
• Productivity and Cost Reduction Benefits: Lane
management: a reversible flow lane and a shared
lane for deliveries and traffic, enforced Variable
Speed Limit and reduction in lane switching, CVO
Specific ITS Benefits (Contd..)
• Environmental Benefits: ITS can be used in air quality
monitoring and in communicating air quality results
to residents. The GIS maps are also used as a
communications tool, informing people of air quality
and promoting the need to improve air quality.
• Benefits to People with Mobility Difficulties: ITS can
have significant benefits for people with mobility
difficulties, for example, by improving access to
public transport and making driving easier and safer.
• Benefits to Local Communities: Among the more
obvious community benefits from ITS are the
benefits to urban communities from traffic
management and demand management.
Specific ITS Benefits (Contd..)
Specific ITS Benefits (Contd..)
Specific ITS Benefits (Contd..)
Specific ITS Benefits (Contd..)
Benefits: Local Communities
At its simplest, electronic parking signs which help guide drivers to an
empty space can ease queues, thereby reducing emissions and other
environmental impacts of circulating traffic; in Southampton, UK, for
example searching and queuing times for parking spaces were halved,
reducing fuel consumption and emissions.

The UTC system introduced in Paris, France, included reducing the waiting
time for pedestrians crossing at signals and extending crossing time, and
adjusting signal times to suit cyclists. It has made the area safer for
pedestrians and cyclists, and at the same time reduced the time which
vehicles spend in traffic by 15%.

In Trondheim, Norway, the toll ring and traffic management measures

reduced vehicle traffic in the city centre, and the change in mix of traffic on
some routes reduced accidents by 60-70%
Specific ITS Benefits (Contd..)
Benefits: Local Communities
Figure 1 shows key aspects of the toll ring surrounding the central part of
the city that came into operation in October 1991. 60% of the total
population of 140 000 lived outside the ring. Eleven new automatic toll
stations were built, of which only one had additional manual operation. In
addition, one existing motorway toll station to the east (Ranheim)
completed the ring. About 80% of the cars used an electronic tag (a passive
in-vehicle transponder) during the morning peak. The fee system included
time differentiated tolls.
Specific ITS Benefits (Contd..)
Benefits: Local Communities
Benefits to Road Network Operations

• Benefits of application of ITS to Network Operations

• Benefits from Traffic Control
• Benefits from Traveller Information
• Benefits of Inter-modal and Intra-modal Integration
• Synergy Benefits
Benefits to Road Network Operations

• Benefits of application of ITS to Network Operations (Contd..)

From the perspective of road owners and operators, many ITS products and
services improve efficiency by optimising the use of existing facilities and
rights-of-way. With these improvements, requirements for mobility and
commerce can be met and the need to construct new or expanded facilities
can be reduced. ITS maintain or expand the level of service whilst increasing
throughput (measured in terms of the number of people, or number of
vehicles, or amount of goods moved per unit time). ITS can also support
management of infrastructure at times of extreme events (e.g. flooding,
extreme storms), by providing high-performance real-time information to
operators and users.
Benefits to Road Network Operations

• Benefits of application of ITS to Network Operations (Contd..)

Benefits to Road Network Operations

• Benefits of application of ITS to Network Operations (Contd..)

Traveller information (ATIS) is a secondary preventative measure. Timely warning

of unsafe road conditions and congestion reduces the occurrence of crashes.
Incidents such as crashes and vehicles breakdowns as well as impassable/ unsafe
road conditions are estimated to cause up to 60% of annual roadway congestion in
some congested networks. The traffic congestion that results from these incidents
can lead to additional crashes and cause delayed response to emergency situations.
Benefits to Road Network Operations

• Benefits from traffic control

Traffic control is a major role for the network operator. Advanced systems make
use of up-to-date communication and real-time software technologies to enhance
safety and improve traffic flow. Solutions include ramp metering, speed control,
tidal flow systems, adaptive signal control, collective and individual route guidance
and freight access control.

Ramp metering is a popular form of traffic control in the United States where it has
proven to be very effective.
Benefits to Road Network Operations

• Benefits from traffic control (Contd..)

Speed control systems are more popular in Europe than in the US or Japan and the
major benefit relates to improved safety. Displayed speeds (generally mandatory)
are aimed at reducing the range of individual speeds in non-congested situations
and protecting the end of queues when congestion appears.

The benefits of speed control systems include: smoother flowing of traffic, yielding
slightly increased capacity, thus resulting in a postponed disruption time, and
reduced number of accidents, especially rear-end accidents. These benefits are
obtained through an effective reduction of observed speeds but also through an
increase in driver attention.
Benefits to Road Network Operations

• Benefits from traffic control (Contd..)

Benefits to Road Network Operations

• Benefits from traffic control (Contd..)

In some systems (for example, on M25 motorway around London), the

variable speed limit display is coupled with an automated enforcement
system (involving video cameras recording licence plate numbers), which
issues citations to motorists exceeding the posted speed limit by a
predetermined threshold.

• A decrease of accidents of 24% (Motorway Control and Signalling System in

the Netherlands) to 28% M25 in U.K.) and 35% (Aichelberg in Germany).
• An increase of average travel times (M25);
• an increase of capacity of 2% (MCSS) to 5% (A4 motorway near Strasbourg,
using advised speeds).
Benefits to Road Network Operations

• Benefits from traffic control (Contd..)

Benefits to Road Network Operations
• Benefits from traffic control (Contd..)

The transportation elements of New York City’s plan will provide mobility and environment
benefits for residents. The Midtown in Motion traffic management system uses real-time
traffic flow information gathered from a variety of sources, including microwave sensors,
traffic cameras, and EZPass transponders. This information is transmitted wirelessly to the
NYCDOT’s TMC (traffic management center), where staff is alerted to congestion issues
and alters signal timing to mitigate congestion. This system has resulted in a 10%
improvement in travel times, with additional environmental benefits from reduced idling.
Due to this initial success, Midtown in Motion has expanded in size and has recently been
introduced to the Flushing area of Queens. In addition, the City’s use of the Transit Signal
Priority (TSP) system has improved the efficiency and reliability of bus transit services. A
bus equipped with TSP can “hold” a green signal as it approaches an intersection, or
accelerate the cycle if the signal is currently red. Equipped buses utilize GPS and location-
based traffic software to communicate with the TMC using the City’s NYCWin secure
wireless network. This technology has resulted in a 20% reduction in bus transit delays
along routes in Manhattan, Staten Island, and the Bronx. These and other Smart City
efforts have been facilitated by the City’s DataBridge data sharing platform, which
incorporates data from 50 source systems across approximately 20 City and other
Benefits from traffic control (Contd..)
Benefits from traffic control (Contd..)
Benefits to Road Network Operations

• Benefits from traveller information

Traveller information services are complementary to the traffic control functions of
network operations. They aim to provide high quality, real-time, detailed information
on transportation system operational conditions, including weather, so that individual
travellers can make informed decisions regarding whether to make a trip, when to
make it, what mode to take, and what route to take.

Traveller information can be provided in a number of ways with the Internet a popular
method of conveying pre-trip traveller information. Commercial broadcast media,
including radio, cable television, commercial television, and teletext services are also
popular methods of dissemination. Changeable Message Signs (CMS) are also being
used to disseminate en-route traveller information.
Benefits to Road Network Operations

• Benefits from traveller information (Contd..)

En route information provided through in-vehicle navigation systems is increasingly
available. The VICS system in Japan, enables drivers to select the shortest, most
convenient routes available and ensures that traffic is distributed smoothly, further
improving road safety and the flow of traffic.
Benefits to Road Network Operations

• Benefits from traveller information (Contd..)

Benefits to Road Network Operations

• Benefits from traveller information (Contd..)

Benefits to Road Network Operations

• Benefits from traveller information (Contd..)

Benefits to Road Network Operations

• Benefits from traveller information (Contd..)

Benefits to Road Network Operations

• Benefits from traveller information (Contd..)
Benefits to Road Network Operations

• Benefits from Inter-modal and Intra-modal Integration

ITS can deliver benefits by improving the integration of private transport

with other modes. Intermodal integration means switching between
different forms of transport. It applies to switching between car, cycle,
walk, bus, rail, coach, tram etc. or from land transport to air or sea.

All car drivers switch modes, since they are pedestrians when they set
out to their car and in getting to their destination after parking. Intra-
modal integration is when people switch from one vehicle to another
but on the same mode, changing from bus to bus or parking the car to
join a car-share.
Benefits to Road Network Operations

• Benefits from Inter-modal and Intra-modal Integration (contd..)

Most travel is by road, so if integration is to take effect, highways and

transport planners and managers will have to be pro-active. Highway
planners need a clear vision of the role that roads can play in bringing
about integration, making travel safer, more efficient and less
burdensome on the environment.

An example is the Sydney Transport Strategy. The strategy was roads

based but included HOV lanes, significant bus and coach improvements,
plus information enhancements and ticketing innovations on ferries and
Benefits to Road Network Operations

• Benefits from Inter-modal and Intra-modal Integration (contd..)

Some of the most significant ITS impacts on inter- and intra-modal transfer
have been from information systems. Real time information systems on
buses, trains and metro routes and networks can be equivalent to “a three-
minute time saving per trip.” which brought about a significant improvement
in highways performance.

Corlink is implemented in the English County of Cornwall. It guarantees rail

to bus transfer. Corlink is a demand responsive service for very rural areas,
which takes the passenger to a main bus route to connect into the rail
system. The Corlink driver is given real time information on the operation of
the main bus service and the rail service. If the main bus route is running
late, the Corlink bus will change its route and take the passenger to the
railway station, to guarantee the connection.

Benefits to Road Network Operations

• Benefits from Inter-modal and Intra-modal Integration (contd..)

New York City’s transportation initiatives have resulted in a 10% reduction in travel
times and a 20% reduction in transit bus delays along selected routes.
Benefits to Road Network Operations

• Synergy Benefits

One of the long-term real advantages of ITS is that one system can support another. Once
truck, buses and vans are equipped with Automatic Vehicle Location it becomes possible
to use them as mobile sources of data about journey times, congestion and real-time
localised weather conditions.

Once traffic monitoring is in place for the road network real-time data can be fed to the
logistical support systems used by vehicle fleet managers, to assist scheduling and service
reliability. Archived data from ITS can be used to support the work of transport planners.
ITS will enhance the impacts of other investments, making new road space deliver more
throughput, or increasing the take-up of public transport investment. ITS can also
moderate the adverse effects of other decisions – they can reduce the environmental
impacts of increased traffic and they can provide ‘windows’ (opportunities) for freight and
other essential traffic in areas largely given over to pedestrian movement.
Benefits to Road Network Operations

• Synergy Benefits

In Turin, the various agencies pool information: travel time information from public
transport vehicles augments the UTC detector data, traffic data is provided to the
environment agency for the model which produces pollution forecasts, and in turn
these forecasts are used to inform traffic management strategies on days when air
quality is expected to be low.

There are large scale applications such as the common dictionary for radio data
systems in Europe.

Common digital road and street information systems and maps (such as the
DIGIROAD system in Finland) also support information services. National applications
can help with the implementation of an integrated information system through
“Electronic Government”, such as that in Malaysia.
Benefits to Road Network Operations

• Synergy Benefits

ITS can also create synergies with non-transport services. One example is the
application in Arizona for the motorway ambulance service. Traffic ambulances carry
a camera which beams back pictures to medical staff in the hospital, so that the
ambulance crew can be given appropriate instructions about patient care and
treatment can start before the ambulance reaches the hospital. Another example is
the use of dynamic message signs to help find kidnapped children; the AMBER Alert
system has proven effective in California and is being adopted by other states in the
Benefits to Road Network Operations
• Synergy Benefits
Benefits to Road Network Operations
• Useful Websites
ITS Costs
ITS Costs
ITS Evaluation
• Evaluation is important for determining future investments and for
checking the cost-effectiveness of existing systems. Evaluation is never
simply a matter of “justifying” investment. ITS must be a response to a
need, not something we want in order to keep up with trends.

• It follows that all evaluation must start by a definition of the problem or

opportunity. The full range of measures, not only ITS, should be considered
for whatever problems or opportunity the investment in ITS is seeking to
meet. ITS will be one of the possible responses, alone or in combination
with other measures and policies.
ITS Evaluation…

• The same fundamental systems can serve different policy goals and deliver
different ITS products and services. It is therefore essential to design the system
to deliver what is needed.

• A properly structured approach to the assessment of the problems to be solved

and to the evaluation of the options will ensure that the right ITS are used in
the best way.

• A critical factors analysis will help determine which business objectives or policy
goals are served by ITS and how delivery can be measured. A variety of
techniques exist for measuring impacts and the effort put into evaluation will
depend on the scale, location and objectives of the ITS scheme. A full-scale
evaluation, on a scientific basis, is appropriate for innovative ITS where there is
not already a body of published data on the costs and benefits of the chosen
ITS Evaluation…
In some cases, ITS investment can result in benefits in one area and losses in another.
For example electronic payment systems can reduce vehicle delays at payment points
dramatically, but in a case in Florida, driver uncertainty about congestion at E-PASS
toll plazas contributed to a 48% increase in accidents.

Public consultation should help determine what is needed and what will be
acceptable. It can also help change attitudes. Professional techniques of demand
analysis and forecasting or back-casting will determine what is happening now; who
is excluded from what is happening now; and what impact each investment or
decision is likely to have now and in the foreseeable future.

Clearly it is important to ensure that evaluation is comprehensive enough to identify

all major impacts, and that the approach selected makes it possible to balance out
the different types of impact and come to an overall assessment of the investment.
ITS Evaluation Efforts
ITS Evaluation Efforts…
ITS Evaluation Efforts…
Stakeholders Interests…
Stakeholders Interests…
Stakeholders Interests…
ITS Evaluation Cycle
•The evaluation process is cyclical: positive results can be built on, and less
positive results can be analysed to ascertain what went wrong and what can
be done to remedy the situation in hand and to improve the results of similar
applications in the future.
•There are two phases in the cycle where evaluation work is required.

•The first is the prospective analysis prior to deployment, in order to scope the
investment in ITS, select the required systems and specify the user
•The second is after deployment, to assess whether the system as installed
and operated is delivering the expected performance and matches user
requirements, which themselves may change over time. Evaluation in the
post-deployment phase can be used to improve and fine tune the ITS
operations and provide feedback for subsequent rounds of ITS deployment.
•A carefully constructed evaluation plan is therefore an essential part of any
programme for developing ITS.
ITS Evaluation Cycle

‘user needs’ are not necessarily about the driver of a vehicle. It might be the needs
of the highways management agency to deliver better safety or throughput; the
needs of the environment; the needs of the wider integrated transport network;
the needs of the communities affected by other people’s travel, and so on.
ITS Evaluation Cycle
Pre-implementation Analysis: Making an Informed Choice

•In order to answer ‘What are the benefits?’ the potential impacts of the
proposed ITS will have to be set against the costs of procurement system build,
maintenance and operations.

•There are always choices to be made, so it is important to consider the relative

merits and costs of the different options.

•This requires a systematic approach and careful judgment, including political

ITS Evaluation Cycle
Pre-implementation Analysis: Making an Informed Choice (Contd..)
ITS Evaluation Cycle
Pre-implementation Analysis: Making an Informed Choice (Contd..)

The full range of impacts of each ITS solution should be written down and
compared with other solutions, both ITS based and conventional. Impacts for
which there is no monetary value should not be ignored.

The adverse consequences of the investment should be listed, as well as the

extent to which each investment option will address the objectives.
ITS Evaluation Cycle
Post-implementation Analysis: Monitoring and Improving Performance

After an ITS solution has been implemented, monitoring and evaluation are used to
learn lessons and improve performance in the future. Does the solution meet its

Are the outcomes as intended? Monitoring the impacts can identify the range of
benefits achieved, and these can be quantified with data from the internal monitoring.
Careful monitoring of costs can enable the operation and maintenance costs for the
specific service to be identified and separated from wider organizational costs
ITS Evaluation Cycle
Post-implementation Analysis: Monitoring and Improving Performance

Just as in the case of pre-implementation analysis, a systematic approach is needed to

ensure that the different types of impacts (both benefits and losses) are identified and
in this case, measured.
The principles listed earlier for making an informed choice apply, with modifications, to
post-implementation analysis also:

• Establish a base scenario for comparison of results (often the ‘before’ situation or an
extrapolation to current situation.)
• Select evaluation measures relevant to the transport policy objectives.
• Experimental design principles should be considered, such as the comparison of
performance between experimental group (experiencing the ITS) and the control
group (similar in all possible respects but not experiencing the ITS).
• Ensure that the experimental design will identify unintentional side effects in case
they occur.
ITS Evaluation Cycle
Post-implementation Analysis: Monitoring and Improving Performance

• If practical, multiple approaches should be used to confirm test conclusions.

• If practical, multiple test sites should be used to compare test results.
• Both positive and negative results should be reported as useful data and
lessons learned.
• Ensure that the evaluation takes place over a long enough time period for
the full impacts of the scheme to be identified.
• Report both the positive and the negative results.

The results of post-implementation analysis should be fed into the evaluation

cycle, improving operations and monitoring and also influencing ITS strategies
for the future. Databases and other methods are now being used to assemble
results of post-implementation analysis in a systematic way so that others can
learn from experiences
Role of Public Consultation

In many ways ITS are “halo” products and services: they are new, they are
interesting, and they promise a great deal to the user.

This makes them subject to inflated expectations and inappropriate responses.

Some communities have greeted so-called “smart” traffic control systems with
great suspicion because of worries about the consequences of traffic being re-
routed onto unsuitable roads.

Transport professionals increasingly need to be aware of the value of public

consultation as part of the evaluation process, and what lies behind a
successful consultation with users and stakeholders. This is particularly true of
Role of Public Consultation…

• Consultation has several very different uses. The primary use is to ascertain
what is needed – is there a market? The secondary use, which is critical in
many areas of public policy, is for influencing thought and changing behavior.

• For example, road user charging (value pricing) and demand management are
likely to be delivered through ITS. If people are to accept this, real dialogue is
needed about the trade-offs between increasing travel, reducing congestion
and the demands for safe neighborhoods and clean air.

• Public information and media campaigns can be critical to the successful

implementation of ITS – in Trondheim, considerable investment in media and
promotion were seen as key both to public acceptance of the electronic tolling
scheme and the take-up rate of the electronic tags, which in turn helped to
minimize operating costs.
Role of Public Consultation…
• There are many techniques available for consultation. In research for the UK
Highways Agency, Social Research Associates drew out distinct areas of
community and market consultation and influence. These were:
• Telling – leaflets, newsletters, videos, media, awareness campaigns,
• Asking – driver education, attitude surveys, community workshops/
roundtables, combining with existing consultations, Citizens’ Panels,
discussion groups etc.
• Discussing – travelling exhibitions, “Passing the Public Involvement Parcel”,
public meetings, visual approaches, websites, travel diaries, journey merging
studies, capacity building, small area consultation, stakeholder involvement.
• Deciding – audits and observations, referenda, “Planning for Real”, temporary
infrastructure, Citizens’ Juries, performance indicators, targets and
community indicators, visioning exercises, outreach to socially excluded
groups, value management.
Cost data for ITS installation and operations are often difficult to assess.
Estimates for ITS costs must be made in the local context to support local
project decisions. ITS cost data are available at various levels of aggregation.

The costs to be considered in planning are:

• capital costs,
• unit costs,
• whole system costs,
• and lifetime costs.

• The unit cost of equipment and installation may vary from country to country and the
cost figures for each ITS product and service should be used with caution.
• The unit cost is broken down into capital and operations and maintenance (O&M)
components. Accurate operating and maintenance costs are notoriously difficult to
obtain because they have to be disentangled from the general running costs of an
• Some products, particularly electronic products, have widely varying prices across the
world. Economies of scale can mean that significant discounts can be obtained in
large scale procurement projects and through group purchasing.
• Installation costs will vary between regions, depending both on the terrain and the
availability of skills to work on and manage the project.
• Software development, testing and installation can be major and difficult to predict.

• Similarly the task of developing databases and data dictionaries for ITS is very labour

• A pre-existing data dictionary and database will save on development costs, but only
if data quality is adequate for the purpose, meaning that data are accurate, up-to-
date and coded in sufficient detail. Repairing a database that is populated with
obsolete, inaccurate and unreliable data can be more expensive than starting afresh.

Refer section 4.5 of ITS Handbook