Traffic congestion has become one of the nation’s biggest transportation problems. Rush-hour traffic jams and unexpected delays frustrate travelers, reduce available roadway capacity, increase crashes, and waste time, fuel and money. According to the Texas Transportation Institute, by 2015 the overall cost of congestion nationwide will grow to $133 billion per year in wasted time and fuel, up from $113 billion in 2006.
One approach to reducing congestion is to better manage and operate the existing highway network, so the system can meet customer expectations regardless of the demands placed on it. Called "transportation operations," this approach to making the most of existing infrastructure includes a host of tools and technologies that can improve system performance without costly new construction. Operations is a viable and cost-efficient strategy that—combined with building new capacity and preserving existing infrastructure—can successfully reduce the effects of congestion, improve traffic flow and meet growing travel demands.