A survey of State and local transportation agencies found that AVL applications for highway maintenance can have benefit-to-cost ratios ranging from 2.6:1 to 24:1 or higher.
To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of AVL for highway maintenance, costs data, and qualitative and perceived benefits data were collected from State and local transportation agencies in the United States and Canada. Initially, all 50 State DOTs, Canadian provinces, and 6 municipal public works departments were contacted to evaluate their experience with AVL for highway maintenance. Researchers found that 15 agencies were actively using AVL to track highway maintenance vehicles, and eight of them were State DOTs. Questionnaires and follow-up emails and telephone calls were provided to these agencies to further explore the technologies being used, benefits and costs experienced, and obstacles encountered.
The benefit-cost analysis included four components:
- Determination of life-cycle costs
- Methodological approach to cost/benefit analysis
- Quantification of risks
- Assignment of dollar values to intangible benefits
Expected benefits were drawn from the experiences of those who implemented AVL to support maintenance activities. Researchers compared the benefits reported, such as improved fleet management, reduced paperwork, and reduced snow-related crashes, with the system costs (capital and O&M) to establish a range of benefit-to-cost ratios.
- The assessment indicated that the application of AVL in highway maintenance has a benefit-to-cost ratio ranging from 2.6:1 using conservative assumptions, to 24:1 (or higher) using moderate assumptions.
- Overall, the literature, the results of the survey, and the analysis conducted suggest that AVL can provide a significant benefit to highway maintenance operations.
Benefit-Cost Assessment of Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) in Highway Maintenance
Author: Meyer, Eric, and I. Ahmed
Published By: Paper presented at the 83rd Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board
Source Date: January 2004
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Benefit of the Month for February, 2009 !
Typical Deployment Locations
Metropolitan Areas, Rural Areas, Statewide
road weather vehicle tracking, winter maintenance vehicle