Freeway Service Patrol returns high benefit

A research study found that a Virginia DOT Freeway Service Patrol (FSP) provides a 4.7 to 1 benefit-cost ratio.

The Hampton Roads FSP, which consists of 48 vehicles and operates 24/7 on 80 miles of interstate highway, responded to 40,700 incidents during the 12-month period evaluated.

The patrols aim to reduce congestion, improve safety and customer service. Other benefits include reduced secondary incidents, increasing safety and saving additional delays.

The patrols clear obstructions from roadways, move disabled vehicles, help stranded motorists and assist emergency services responders with traffic control at crash scenes.

The research used the Freeway Service Patrol Evaluation model developed by the University of California, Berkeley is a macroscopic route-based deterministic queuing model and measures savings in road user delay (both passenger and commercial vehicles), fuel consumption and emissions.

The research identified other associated benefits that were not quantified, including freeing up police for law enforcement, and reducing incident durations.

This follows the recent study of Northern Virginia FSP, which estimated a 17 percent reduction in overall incident duration and a 6.2:1 benefit-cost ratio.

A copy of the Virginia Transportation Research Council report [PDF, 240kb, 26p] can be downloaded from

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