A 2004 analysis of the Florida DOT Road Ranger program proves the service patrol is well worth the monthly costs of $1,133,085.

January 2006
Florida,United States

Summary Information

Beginning in December 1999, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has been sponsoring a freeway service patrol program throughout the state. The program is referred to as the Road Ranger program. The Road Ranger program is designed to assist disabled vehicles along congested freeway segments and provided quick detection, verification, and removal of freeway incidents. The program consists of 88 vehicles and provides services along 918 centerline miles. FDOT and its partners fund the Road Ranger program. Services are contracted out within each FDOT District.

At the time of the study, all seven FDOT districts and the Florida Turnpike provided Road Ranger services with the exception of District 3. Districts 1, 4, 5, 6, and 7 operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. District 2 operates from 5:30 am to 7:30 pm every day. The Florida Turnpike operates from 6:00 am to 10:00 am, and from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm every day of the year.

FDOT sponsored a benefit cost analysis of its Road Ranger program under the direction of the Center for Urban Transportation Research. Five districts and the Florida Turnpike provided Road Ranger program data and activity logs for the analysis. The costs included in this analysis were the contract costs of the Road Ranger program in the five districts; namely, administrative, operation, maintenance, employee salaries, and overhead. The annual costs of a service patrol depend on the number of centerline miles covered, hours of operation, and number of fleet vehicles. Because each district operates their Road Ranger program, the costs of each program varies from district to district. The cost of truck per hour which ranged from $27 to $41 is based on the cost paid by FDOT to the private contractor per truck hour for running the Road Ranger program. Monthly costs (provided from one year to several months, depending on the district) for the five districts included in the analysis are presented in the table below. For this study, only vehicular delay, fuel, and emission savings were calculated. Total monthly savings for each of the five districts are presented in the table below. The Freeway Service Patrol Evaluation (FSPE) model, version 12.1, developed by the University of California – Berkeley, was calibrated and used to estimate the benefits and costs of the Road Ranger program for each district and the overall Road Ranger program. The overall benefit-cost ratio for the FDOT Road Ranger program is 26:1. The year of analysis is 2004.

The monthly costs, benefits, and benefit-cost ratios for the five districts and the overall Road Ranger program are presented in the table below:

DistrictTotal Cost Savings
Total Cost
Benefit-Cost Ratio
District 2
District 4
District 5
District 6
District 7
Overall Florida

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Ramp Management and Control Handbook

Author: Jacobson, Leslie; Jason Stribiak; Lisa Nelson; and Doug Sallman.

Published By: U.S.DOT Federal Highway Administration

Prepared by PB Farradyne for the U.S.DOT FHWA

Source Date: January 2006

EDL Number: 14242

Other Reference Number: FHWA-HOP-06-001


System Cost

Monthly cost for the Florida DOT Road Ranger program is $1,133,085 (2004).


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Related Unit Cost Subsystems

Transportation Management Center (TM)


freeway service patrol, courtesy patrols, highway helpers, freeway service patrols

Cost ID: 2006-00103