Validating and calibrating the highway capacity manual arterial travel time reliability methodology

Ernest Tufuor, Laurence Rilett, Sean Murphy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


The 6th edition of the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM6) introduced a methodology for estimating and forecasting arterial travel time (TT) distributions (TTD) and their associated travel time reliability (TTR) metrics. Recently, it was shown that the HCM6 severely underestimated both the TTD and the TTR metrics for a test network in Lincoln, NE, U.S. Subsequently, it was shown that the underestimation issue could be eliminated through a proposed calibration methodology. Because this validation and calibration work was done on a single, relatively short section of arterial roadway there is an open research question on whether this finding applies to longer and more congested arterial roadways. The goal of this paper is to validate and calibrate the HCM6 TTR methodology on five arterial roadway testbeds that are longer and more congested than the original testbed. Empirical data from the National Performance Management Research Data Set (NPMRDS) which is managed by INRIX was used to represent the ground truth. Similar to the original study, it was found that the HCM6 TTR methodology severely underestimated the TTDs, and their respective TTR metrics, on all five testbeds. This is problematic, because the HCM6 methodology indicates that the corridors had more reliable TT than the empirical data would suggest. It was also shown that the calibration methodology eliminated this underestimation. It is recommended that users of the HCM6 TTR methodology validate and, if necessary, calibrate the model using local empirical travel data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTransportation Research Record
PublisherSAGE Publications Ltd
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NameTransportation Research Record
ISSN (Print)0361-1981
ISSN (Electronic)2169-4052

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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