In 2002, the Maryland CHART highway incident management program reduced delay by about 30 million vehicle hours and saved about 5 million gallons of fuel.

November 2003
Statewide,Maryland,United States

Summary Information

The CHART (Coordinated Highways Action Response Team) highway incident management program is a collaborative effort between the Maryland DOT State Highway Administration (SHA), Maryland Transportation Authority (MTA), Maryland State Police (MSP), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the University of Maryland, and several local governments. Initiated in the mid-1980s as the "Reach the Beach" program, the program was designed to support safe travel to and from Maryland's eastern shore. By the year 2000, CHART operations became part of a regional advanced traffic management system for the Baltimore - Washington region. The regional system included a statewide operations center (SOC) and three satellite traffic operations centers (TOC) that were deployed to improve real-time operations on commuter routes. Recently, in cooperation with federal, state, and local agencies, CHART has expanded into a statewide system. At the time of this report, CHART consisted of the following operational components: traffic monitoring, incident response, traffic management, and traveler information (i.e., live traffic cameras, real-time traffic maps, weather, and local traveler information).

The overall objective of the CHART 2002 study was to assess the effectiveness of CHART/SHA operations. It was noted that an ideal comprehensive evaluation of incident duration would consider detection time, response time, and traffic condition recovery time; however, at the time of this study, the data on detection time and complete response time were limited. The impact analysis in this report was based primarily on incident data collected from MSHA patrols and Maryland State Police (MSP) reports.

The results below highlight the findings of an analysis of incidents with and without response by CHART personnel. The authors note that the available "without" data were limited, given that CHART was responding to most incidents within its coverage area by 2002.


The impacts of CHART on delay and fuel consumption were estimated using the CORSIM traffic simulation software tool. The model estimated that CHART operations in 2002 resulted in a total delay time reduction of 29.98 million vehicle-hours and a total fuel consumption reduction of approximately 5.06 million gallons. The table below summarizes the estimated cost savings from reduced fuel consumption and decreased delay as a result of CHART operations from 1999 to 2002.

Cost Savings ($ million)
(fuel cost + delay/time cost)

Number of Incidents Reported**













**The yearly increases in number of incidents reported are due in part to improved data quality.

See Also:

CHART Program Performance (1999 and 2000)
CHART Program Performance (1997)

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Performance Evaluation of CHART (Coordinated Highways Action Response Team) Year 2002 (Final Report)

Author: Chang, Gang-Len, et al.

Published By: Maryland State Highway Administration

Prepared by the University of Maryland for the State Highway Administration of Maryland

Source Date: November 2003



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Benefit ID: 2006-00295