Smartphone-Based Incentive Framework for Dynamic Network-Level Traffic Congestion Management
Srinivas Peeta, Georgia Institute of Technology
Lili Du, University of Florida
Mitigating congestion during peak travel periods is an ongoing challenge across the U.S. Further, in many urban areas, travel is becoming increasingly multimodal. In addition to the use of personal vehicles, many variants of mass transit have been used in the past, as have non-motorized forms of transportation such as biking and walking. The emerging future, catalyzed by innovations in several technologies and their convergence, is leading to the emergence of mobility-as-a-service (MaaS), mostly driven by the private sector. Ride-sharing, ride-hailing and microtravel modes are manifestations of this new future. Such a future seeks new paradigms for congestion mitigation that leverage the presence of both public and private sector entities in the transportation ecosystem, especially those that can allow these entities to seamlessly cooperate and collaborate to enhance system performance. This study proposes a new generation of real-time incentives that enable cooperation and coordination among public and private sector organizations in mitigating peak-period travel congestion, while enabling each organization to meet its individual goal(s) and ensuring consistency with traveler behaviors. Such a market-based ecosystem, while critical to the success of the emerging MaaS future in meeting ever-increasing demand for travel, does not currently have the underlying models and an understanding of traveler behaviors when all of these multimodal options are considered simultaneously. This study proposes an incentive-based market framework as one potential mechanism to mitigate congestion by leveraging the ubiquity of smartphones in the U.S. while enabling travelers to make informed choices. The expected final product of the study over time is the set of modules that would form the components of a smartphone-based app that provides travelers access to the multimodal public and private sector travel options seamlessly.