Publication Detail

Evaluation of the TransCal Field Operational Test: An Advanced Traveler Information System in California and Nevada


Research Report

Suggested Citation:
Jovanis, Paul P., Aram G. Stein, Kenneth S. Kurani, Vikram Thairani, Thomas S. Turrentine (1998) Evaluation of the TransCal Field Operational Test: An Advanced Traveler Information System in California and Nevada. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-98-13

This report is organized into nine chapters. Chapter 1 is an introduction to the TransCal project and evaluation. This chapter describes the TransCal partnership, the system, evaluation purpose, goals, and methodology. Also provided is a description of TransCal's target markets as seen from the perspective of project partners. While the limited availability of end-user devices and truncated operational period prevented a comprehensive evaluation of these target groups, this discussion provides a good backdrop for discussing participant recruitment strategies and the extent to which the final end-user samples represent the market interests of the TransCal partnership.

Chapter 2 contains the evaluation of the TransCal Traveler Information Center (TIC), which is at the core of the Interregional Traveler Information System (IRTIS). This is an appropriate introduction to the major findings of the study because the performance of the TIC was so closely tied to the performance and acceptance of end-user devices. This chapter provides a good understanding of how the TIC was configured, how it was staffed and operated, and the extent to which it was reliable, maintainable and inter-operable with other IRTIS systems. Included in this chapter is an analysis of the information dissemination channels; namely, the landline data service (LDS) and data broadcast service (DBS). These were the data pipelines through which information was passed to three of the four end-user interfaces.

Chapter 3 describes the people who participated in the end-user evaluation. While the user profiles for the traveler advisory telephone service (TATS) represent only a sample of the population of users, the user profiles for the Personal digital assistant (PDA) and in-vehicle navigation device (IVD) users represent all who had access to these two technologies during the operational period. User profiles including gender, age, income, occupation, previous experience and perceptions of other travel information sources, proficiency in use of technologies similar to the TransCal end-user interfaces, and travel characteristics are presented.

Chapter 4 contains the user acceptance evaluation of the IRTIS end-user devices. These devices were the traveler advisory telephone service (TATS), personal digital assistants (PDAs), and in-vehicle devices (IVDs). This chapter summarizes the results of telephone interviews and written surveys. User acceptance was assessed for each end-user device deployed during the operational period.

Chapter 5 contains the system performance evaluation of the end-user devices. This chapter summarizes device requirements, acceptance test results, the views of system performance from the perspectives of end-users based upon telephone interviews and survey responses to performance related questions.

Chapter 6 contains the costs and benefits evaluation. This chapter, to the greatest extent possible, documents the costs of the TransCal project, including requirements definition, system architecture, design, integration and operations. Benefits will be presented from the perspectives of end-users. Benefits to project partners are summarized in the chapter on institutional issues. No assessment of benefit-cost ratios is made due to the lack of complete cost data, the brief operational period and small number of system users.

Chapter 7 contains the travel behavior impacts evaluation. The perspectives of end-users regarding the impact of their use on route choice, departure times, mode and destination choices are summarized. Future hypothetical use scenarios are also summarized to help assess potential of TransCal to have long-term impacts on travel behavior.

Chapter 8 contains the institutional evaluation, including details of the institutional relationships that created TransCal and how these relationships impacted the scope and design of the system. Results of TransCal partner interviews, along with lessons learned, are provided.

Chapter 9 contains the report's conclusion.