Tools for Simulation of Service Patrol Operations
This effort developed a tool to assess the performances of Freeway Service Patrols (FSP) under different operation parameters, the impacts of performance on transportation network measures, and for the selection of operation parameters. The tool was developed to assist FDOT District 4 with determining the optimal number of beats and vehicles within each beat for different shifts, determining the area of responsibility for each beat, and determining the operation time of each beat shift. The tool produces measures of effectiveness that support decision-making in regards to the above parameters. The tool was developed using a general purpose simulation modeling environment (ARENA). The advantage of developing a tool using a general purpose simulation models as is done in this study, rather than using existing microscopic traffic simulation tools, is the efficiency in terms of run-time and calibration of the developed tool. It is possible to model the operations of a whole year (or much longer periods) with the developed tool for a large network, which is impossible to do with existing traffic simulation tools. The output from the simulation is fed into a spreadsheet that allows the assessment of the changes in incident durations on transportation network performance in terms of delays, fuel consumption, emissions, safety, and dollar values. The applications of the tool indicate that it can be used to assess FSP operation parameters, and the system-wide and economic impacts of changing these parameters.