Benefit-Cost Ratios of up to 25.8:1 have been produced in regions with aggressive Freeway Service Patrol programs.

Results from several states with Freeway Service Patrol programs

November 2008
San Diego,California,United States; Statewide,Florida,United States; Statewide,Minnesota,United States

Summary Information

The Federal Highway Service Patrol Handbook describes the desired characteristics of a Full-Function Service Patrol (FFSP) program from the viewpoint of an agency funding, managing, and operating the program. It provides an operational concept for FFSPs, describes key characteristics and presents concepts, information, and guidance for deploying an FFSP. The intended audience for this handbook includes State department of transportation decision-makers, managers, operators, and practitioners who are responsible for an FFSP, are considering implementing an FFSP program, or are contemplating upgrading an existing service patrol to full-function capabilities.

Included in this handbook are benefits seen from agencies with extensive freeway service patrol (FSP) programs that help to justify the existence of these programs in metropolitan areas.


Very few of the programs surveyed reported conducting an official benefit-cost ratio analysis. Currently, no national standard exists for measuring the benefit-cost ratio of service patrol programs. However, individual states reported the following benefit-cost ratios:
  • San Diego - The San Diego Freeway Service Patrol reports one of the most comprehensive benefit-cost assessments. A recent study by the University of California, Berkeley calculated the statewide average benefit-cost ratio was 8.3:1
  • Florida - The Florida Road Ranger program completed a benefit-cost analysis in November 2005. The overall benefit-cost ratio was 25.8:1.
  • Minnesota - In Minnesota, the Freeway Incident Management Safety Team (FIRST) reports a benefit-cost ratio of 15.8:1. The magnitude of this ratio reflects a significant public benefit for the investment.

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Federal Highway Administration Service Patrol Handbook

Author: Houston, N., Baldwin, C., Vann Easton, A., Cyra, S., Hustad, M., & Belmore, K

Source out of date

Published By: USDOT

Source Date: November 2008



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Goal Areas


Typical Deployment Locations

Metropolitan Areas, Statewide


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

Benefit ID: 2014-00905