Highway Transportation

Economies that rely heavily on motor freight and passenger vehicles can be threatened by environmental, energy, and logistical concerns such as bottlenecks, aging infrastructure, and vulnerability to disruptions. RAND research on highway transportation recommends best practices to improve capacity, modernize infrastructure while recognizing resource limitations, and establish sustainable priorities for funding long-term improvements that address energy and environmental concerns.

  • Commercial truck driving down the highway at night


    Evaluating the Impact of Whole-Body Vibration (WBV) on Fatigue and the Implications for Driver Safety

    Summarizes findings from a review of the literature on whole-body vibration (WBV) and fatigue, in addition to looking at study designs and methodology for providing more rigorous investigations of the impact of WBV on fatigue and driver safety.

    Oct 22, 2015

  • Los Angeles freeway


    Pay as You Go

    Using vehicle miles traveled as a means of distributing the cost of maintaining America's roads and bridges may not be the only answer. But it represents the kind of innovative thinking that is necessary when this sector of the American transportation infrastructure is desperately in need of a fix.

    Jul 22, 2015

  • Vehicles driving toward Mt. Hood in Oregon


    How to Improve Oregon's Mileage-Fee Experiment

    Oregon is rolling out the nation's first large-scale pilot to examine switching to a mileage fee instead of the gas tax. The trial is a welcome next step toward understanding how mileage fees can be deployed.

    Jul 7, 2015

  • Report

    The Impact of Adopting Time-of-Day Tolling: Case Study of 183A in Austin, Texas

    This study evaluates the traffic and revenue impacts of moving from a fixed toll rate on the 183A Turnpike in Texas to a toll structure that varies by time of day.

    Jun 18, 2015

  • Central Texas Roadway System map


    Examining Feasibility of Time-of-Day Tolls to Reduce Congestion

    To reduce traffic along a heavily congested Texas toll road, researchers are using stated preference surveys and discrete choice models to understand how motorists will respond to alternative time-of-day pricing policies.

    Jul 14, 2014

  • congressional-podcast-teaser-highres


    A New Way to Pay for Transportation: Exploring a Shift from Fuel Taxes to Mileage-Based User Fees

    In this June 2014 Congressional Briefing, Liisa Ecola discusses growing shortfalls in federal and state funding for surface transportation programs, and the potential of mileage fees (rather than fuel taxes) to reduce those shortfalls while also reducing traffic congestion, harmful emissions, and excessive road wear.

    Jun 26, 2014

  • A teenage girl, as seen behind the wheel of a car.


    Take Charge with Teens' Auto Safety

    Driving is a risk that virtually all of us take on a daily basis, says Jeffrey Wasserman. But we can do much to mitigate risks and protect our children, our community, and ourselves.

    Apr 21, 2014

  • Hudson Line derailment recovery operations in New York


    Deadly Aftermath of 'Microsleep'

    Though “microsleep,” commonly referred to as “highway hypnosis,” may enter the public discourse most often when it's cited as the possible cause of a disaster like the Metro-North train wreck, it is responsible for fatal accidents on American highways every day.

    Dec 12, 2013

  • congressional-podcast-teaser-highres


    The Future of Mobility: Transportation 2030

    In this December 2013 Congressional Briefing, Johanna Zmud and Peter Phleps illustrate two distinct scenarios for the future of mobility 17 years from now and how choices that policymakers make today will affect the future of mobility in America.

    Dec 3, 2013

  • toll booth with ezpass


    Mileage-Fee Design Strategies to Reduce System Cost and Increase Public Acceptance

    As traditional transportation revenue sources primarily based on gas tax continue to dwindle or stay even at best, the notion of transitioning to a vehicle-miles-traveled fee or mileage-based user fee has come under substantial consideration. Some design strategies can reduce system costs and increase public acceptance of mileage-based fees.

    Nov 14, 2013

  • Report

    Manchester Motorway Box: Post-Survey Research of Induced Traffic Effects: Model Estimation

    This report describes the development of discrete choice models to support analysis of the induced traffic effects resulting from the completion of the M60 Manchester Motorway Box in the UK.

    Jul 22, 2013

  • Traffic Jam Stopped Cars Pennsylvania Turnpike Exit 358 Bristol Levittown


    Paying for Infrastructure, a Taxing Issue

    If the “user pays” idea is worth saving, the United States needs a different calculation, writes Liisa Ecola. Some states are looking at mileage fees. With mileage fees, you pay based on the number of miles you drive, rather than the number of gallons of gas used.

    May 16, 2013

  • Aerial photo of highway


    Consider Taxing Miles Traveled

    Mileage-fee rates could be structured to reduce congestion, harmful emissions and excessive road wear, and the enabling technology could support a range of value-added services offering greater convenience and safety for motorists, writes Keith Crane.

    Apr 19, 2013

  • Aerial photo of highway

    Journal Article

    Modelling Long-Distance Travel in Great Britain

    Trips longer than 50 mi account for less than one-fortieth of all trips but nearly one-third of all distance traveled within Great Britain. Because of the small proportion of all travel that they form, long-distance trips may not be adequately represented in national databases and models.

    Jan 1, 2013

  • Cars go through Washington State toll booths

    Journal Article

    Emerging Strategies in Mileage-Based User Fees to Reduce Costs and Increase Acceptance

    This paper presents a review of promising mileage-fee design and implementation strategies intended to reduce system costs and foster greater public acceptance.

    Jan 1, 2013

  • Traffic Jam Stopped Cars Pennsylvania Turnpike Exit 358 Bristol Levittown


    Advantages of Mileage-Based User Fees for Transportation Funding

    An illustrated guide provides state and local decisionmakers with a high-level synopsis of mileage fee issues: policy motivations, technical options, key challenges, and emerging strategies to address those challenges.

    Dec 28, 2012

  • Commentary

    Lessons of 1st Carmageddon in L.A. — by the Numbers

    Rather than threatening that the closure will be a mess, messages appealing to citizens' public spirit that Los Angeles can pull together again to make the closure go smoothly are more likely to resonate because they are consistent with past experience, write Martin Wachs and Brian D. Taylor.

    Aug 3, 2012

  • View of a person driving from the back seat of a car


    Getting Over the Privacy Hurdle to Mileage-Based Road Fees

    There is no need for privacy concerns to halt all discussion of new technologies to help address America's mounting transportation funding crisis, writes Liisa Ecola.

    Jun 6, 2012

  • Commentary

    No Data? Big Problem.

    Good data can inform decision makers about what really works—how best to relieve congestion and improve supply-chain connectivity to make freight transportation—and hence the U.S. economy—more competitive, write Mortimer Downey, Joseph Schofer, and Johanna Zmud.

    Mar 20, 2012

  • Report

    RAND Review: Vol. 35, No. 3, Winter 2011-2012

    Stories discuss world demographic trends, Afghan peace prospects, U.S. health care spending, California prisoner reentry, Latin American inequalities, global health, veterans' mental health, highway investments, teacher bonuses, and charter schools.

    Jan 13, 2012