• facts and figures
  • presentations
  • snapshots

Guide for Identifying, Classifying, Evaluating, and Mitigating Truck Freight Bottlenecks

The Transportation Research Board’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Research Report 854: Guide for Identifying, Classifying, Evaluating, and Mitigating Truck Freight Bottlenecks provides transportation agencies state-of-the-practice information on truck freight bottlenecks using truck probe data rather than traditional travel demand models. The report embraces a broad definition of truck freight bottlenecks as any condition that acts as an impediment to efficient truck travel, whether the bottleneck is caused by infrastructure shortcomings, regulations, weather, or special events. The comprehensive classification of truck freight bottleneck types described in this report provides a standard approach for state departments of transportation, metropolitan planning organizations, and other practitioners to define truck freight bottlenecks and quantify their impacts.


A Comprehensive Plan Could Facilitate Implementation of a National Performance Management Approach

GAO was asked to review DOT’s implementation of TPM. This report focuses on FHWA, which administers the largest grant program of the three DOT agencies involved, and (1) examines the progress made in developing rules to establish a national performance-based approach and (2) evaluates how FHWA is guiding the transition to TPM, among other objectives. GAO reviewed proposed and final rules and information on rulemaking activities and interviewed FHWA officials, national transportation organizations, and a non-generalizable sample of 10 state departments of transportation, among others. States were selected based on factors such as geographic distribution, population,and urban and rural characteristics.


Improving Motor Carrier Safety Measurement

WASHINGTON – While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Safety Measurement System (SMS) used to identify commercial motor vehicle carriers at high risk for future crashes is conceptually sound, several features of its implementation need improvement, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Over the next two years, FMCSA should develop a more statistically principled approach for the task, based on an item response theory (IRT) model -- an approach that has been applied successfully in informing policy decisions in other areas such as hospital rankings. If the model is then demonstrated to perform well in identifying motor carriers that need interventions, FMCSA should use it to replace SMS.