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.

  • Blog

    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

  • Multimedia

    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

  • Report

    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

  • Blog

    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

  • Blog

    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

  • 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

  • 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 they account for a substantial proportion of total distance traveled, particularly on motorways and rail, these trips are important for transport policy and have a substantial impact on congestion. RAND Europe developed a model to ensure proper treatment of the specific properties of long-distance travel; such treatment is essential for appraising the impact of transport policy aimed at this market, such as high-speed rail, highway construction and management policies, and policies directed toward domestic air travel.

    Jan 1, 2013

  • Tool

    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

  • Blog

    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

  • Blog

    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

  • Blog

    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

  • Journal Article

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

    In the 1990s, the usual assumption for an appraisal of road schemes in the UK was that total volumes of traffic were not affected by the capacity provided by the schemes. This assumption was questioned by the influential SACTRA committee in 1994.

    Jan 1, 2012

  • Blog

    A System Under Strain

    Our transportation future will be multi-layered and complex—bounded by transportation infrastructure that is under-funded on the one hand and ever-expanding congestion and capacity constraints on the other, writes Johanna Zmud.

    Sep 30, 2011

  • Report

    How Does Investment in Highway Infrastructure Affect the Economy?

    To inform debate on a new transportation bill being considered, an analysis of literature on the effects of highway infrastructure spending on the economy offers principles for reforming federal policy and programs, as well as ideas for future research.

    May 17, 2011

  • Blog

    Among Potential Deficit Remedies, Don't Rule Out Raising Gas Tax

    A proposed 15-cents-a-gallon gas tax is worth a second look. Among various painful options put forward in the Deficit Reduction Commission's draft report, this tax hike may be well justified, writes Martin Wachs.

    Dec 25, 2010

  • Blog

    The Future of Transportation Finance: A New Generation of User Fees

    The principle of paying for roads and transit by charging those who use the system has served our nation well, but in its current form it will soon outlive its usefulness. Americans are driving more but paying less fuel tax, creating a crisis in transportation financing, writes Martin Wachs.

    May 14, 2010

  • Report

    Do New Roads Increase Traffic?

    It has long been known that new roads have a more complex impact on behaviour than drivers merely changing routes. Travellers may reschedule trips, make additional trips, switch from public transport to car, visit new destinations or even move home. To understand and measure the 'induced traffic' effects resulting from the completion of the Manchester Motorway Box, the Department for Transport commissioned RAND Europe to develop a robust predictive choice model whose results were broadly in line with measured changes.

    Mar 11, 2010

  • Multimedia

    Surface Transportation Finance: The End of User Financing or a New Beginning?

    In this March 8, 2010, Congressional Briefing, Martin Wachs and Paul Sorensen discuss alternative funding streams for highway and public transportation improvements that Congress can consider as it focuses on the pending reauthorization of the federal transportation bill.

    Mar 8, 2010