In Southeast Michigan, operating a freeway service patrol program ($2.5 million for 2004) proves cost effective.
Wayne County,Michigan,United States; Oakland County,Michigan,United States; Macomb County,Michigan,United States
Currently, the program employs 32 drivers. The fleet includes 34 vehicles, of which 29 are vans and five are tow trucks. The standard hours of patrolling are from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The patrol also operates on special-event days (e.g., major community public events and sporting events). In addition to detecting and marking unoccupied vehicles and removing debris from the roadway, FCP drivers offer the following services, free-of-charge, to stranded motorists: changing tires; providing gas and other fluids; providing other mechanical assistance; providing five miles of tow service at no charge; and securing and providing assistance to accident scenes.
The actual annual operating cost for the FCP program for 2004 was just over $2.5 million, similar to the annual costs experienced for 2003. The $2.5 million cost translates into $208,333 a month. The amount can vary depending on the number of workdays per month and/or overtime hours beyond regularly scheduled shifts. Drivers’ salaries and benefits, as well as administrative, towing, and operating costs are included in the monthly total. For 2004, the annual cost included approximately $165,000 for new fleet vehicles. To account for depreciation expenses, only one-fifth of the cost of vehicles was used in the benefit cost analysis.
Using modeling tools that focus on travel-time savings to motorists, a benefit cost analysis was conducted. The analysis yielded a benefit-cost ratio of 15.2 to 1.
For 2004, $3 million was programmed in the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for the FCP. The majority of funding for the Freeway Courtesy Patrol comes from the USDOT Surface Transportation Program (STP) with a smaller amount from the Michigan Transportation Fund (MTF). The breakout of funding in the TIP included $2.4 million from STP and $600,000 from the MTF.
Link to the SEMCOG, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, MDOT Freeway Courtesy Patrol in Southeast Michigan: 2003 Evaluation Report system cost summary.
Link to the SEMCOG, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, MDOT Freeway Courtesy Patrol in Southeast Michigan: 2005 Evaluation Report system cost summary.
Author: SEMCOG, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments
Published By: SEMCOG, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments
Source Date: May 2005URL: http://www.semcog.org/products/pdfs/2004FCPREPORT.pdf
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freeway service patrol, courtesy patrols, highway helpers, freeway service patrols