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Measuring Improvements in the Movement of Highway and Intermodal Freight

REPORT: The Use of Intermodal Performance Measures by State Departments of Transportation

SPONSORS: U.S. Department of Transportation

AUTHORS: Czerniak; R., S. Gaiser; and D. Gerard; Department of Geography, New Mexico State University

PARTICIPANTS: N/A

DATE: June 1996

SUMMARY:

The report identifies intermodal performance measures by State departments of transportation. The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) mandated that all States implement a performance-based planning process aided by an Intermodal Management System (IMS). States were mandated to develop work plans and inventories of intermodal facilities, to establish performance measures, and to collect data. Although these requirements were subsequently dropped, many states continued with the development and implementation of such systems.

This study identifies intermodal performance measures for freight and passenger movement, categorized by their relationship to a set of goals. The authors found 15 States that had developed performance measures of this type for their intermodal management systems. The report discusses the role of performance measures in the transportation planning process.

PERFORMANCE MEASURES PRESENTED:

Intermodal freight performance measures are classified by six goals as shown below.  

Goal 1: Accessibility of intermodal facilities

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Level of service

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Conditions of a transportation route

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Bridge restrictions (e.g., weight restrictions)

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Queuing of vehicles

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Turning radius into facility

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Deficiencies of the facility (e.g., number of structures lacking 21' vertical clearance)

Goal 2. Availability of intermodal facilities

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Volume-to-capacity ratios

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Railroad track capacity

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Storage capacity

Goal 3: Cost and Economic Efficiency

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Cost per ton-mile by mode

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Revenue ton-miles

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Expenditures (e.g., for freight rail, to retire deficiencies)

Goal 4: Safe Intermodal Choices

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Number of accidents

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Cost of accidents

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Number of fatalities

Goal 5: Connectivity between modes or intermodal connectivity ease of connection

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Number of intermodal facilities

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Delay of trucks at facilities

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Travel times

Goal 6: Time

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