Optimization of Emergency Traffic Patrols (ETP) Operations

Author/Creator ORCID




Urban Mobility & Equity Center


Citation of Original Publication


Public Domain Mark 1.0


Effective incident management relies on many tools to lessen the overall impact of crashes, road debris, and disabled vehicles. Many urban areas have adopted freeway service patrol (FSP) programs that patrol the freeway network searching for incidents, providing aid to motorists, and assisting with incident management and clearance. FSP management must consider the beat configuration, fleet size, and fleet allocation. The beat configuration is how the network is divided into different parts for patrolling, and each part is called a beat. The beat configuration, fleet size, and fleet allocation need to be determined for designing a network for FSP program. This research presents a comprehensive mixed-integer programming model to design the network for freeway service patrol programs. This model aims to concurrently determine the beat structure, fleet size, and allocation of trucks to beats, to minimize incident delay while the operational cost is considered, as well. The proposed model is tested using data from part of the Tarrant County Courtesy Patrol (CP) network in Texas. Also, to explore the problem with field data and real-size networks, the proposed model and developed heuristics are applied to part of the freeway network in Maryland covered by Coordinated Highways Action Response Team (CHART). Results indicate that a joint model forms a better solution regarding incident delay reduction and operation costs.