Traffic forecasts provide essential input for the appraisal of transport investment projects. However, according to recent empirical evidence, long-term predictions are subject to high levels of uncertainty. This article quantifies uncertainty in traffic forecasts for the tolled motorway network in Spain. Uncertainty is quantified in the form of a confidence interval for the traffic forecast that includes both model uncertainty and input uncertainty. We apply a stochastic simulation process based on bootstrapping techniques. Furthermore, the article proposes a new methodology to account for capacity constraints in long-term traffic forecasts. Specifically, we suggest a dynamic model in which the speed of adjustment is related to the ratio between the actual traffic flow and the maximum capacity of the motorway. As an illustrative example, this methodology is applied to a specific public policy that consists of suppressing the toll on a certain motorway section before the concession expires. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
- Toll motorways
- Traffic forecast