Freeway Users' Perceptions of Quality of Service: Comparison of Three Groups Conference Paper uri icon

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abstract

  • Focus group sessions were held with rural freeway commuters who use Highway 403 from Brantford to Hamilton, Canada, to identify the characteristics of their trip that helped determine their view of the quality of service for the trip. The results from that analysis were then compared with two other types of freeway users who had previously been studied: urban freeway commuters who use Queen Elizabeth Way from Toronto to Hamilton and tractor-trailer drivers. The findings suggest that despite some commonality among the three groups, each group valued a trip characteristic that they did not experience or at least could not be sure of. That characteristic differs across the three groups. Urban commuters were concerned about travel time, rural commuters about maneuverability, and truck drivers about steady traffic flow and physical road conditions. Despite these differences, an argument can be made that density, the service measure for freeways, is a reasonable proxy for most of these concerns. The results also suggest that it is harder to defend by using the same breakpoints on density for different types of freeways or even for different types of drivers. Although operational issues were the primary concern, it may also be appropriate to consider a second rating that addresses the quality of the facility as well as the existing level-of-service method that addresses the quality of operations on it.

publication date

  • January 2004