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Measuring Improvements in the Movement of Highway and Intermodal Freight

REPORT: Freight Performance Measures: A Yardstick for Minnesota’s Transportation System, Preliminary Draft, subject to review and approval.

SPONSORS: Minnesota Department of Transportation

AUTHORS: Mark Berndt and Mark Larson, Minnesota Department of Transportation

PARTICIPANTS: Minnesota Freight Advisory Committee (MFAC)  MFAC is made of shippers and carriers that advise MINNDOT on freight issues.  To a large extent, the report reflects MFAC recommendations.

DATE: August 25, 1999

SUMMARY:

This is an effort with the explicit goal of developing freight performance measures for a transportation system and largely for the highway system.  It is not the result of a concentrated study, rather the result of a one-day meeting at which MFAC members devoted themselves to discussing and proposing performance measures.

PERFORMANCE MEASURES PRESENTED:

The report presents a number of indicators, classified, in part, according to availability of data.

Performance measures with data available:

1.

Freeway travel time, by route and time of day

2.

Average speed on freeways, by route and time of day

3.

Congestion ranking of freeways, by route

4.

Relative congestion levels of major metropolitan areas

5.

Benefits to heavy trucks from major improvement projects

6.

Dollar cost of crashes (apparently heavy-truck crashes, but not obvious) and crash cost comparisons by mode.

7.

Number of “design impediments” to freight traffic (e.g., grade crossings, truck-restricted roads, deficient bridges)

Performance measures that require data to be developed:

1.

City-to-city travel time for major highway routes

2.

Point-to-point transit time for shippers

3.

Transit time to major regional, national, and global markets

4.

Number of “design impediments” to access to terminals (truck, rail, air, and water)

5.

Crash rate per ton-mile by mode

Other indicators:

1.

Minnesota’s transportation investment and spending as a percent of gross state product (GSP).

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