Integrated Corridor Management (ICM)

Results Show Multimodal Integration Benefits Corridors

Dallas, TX; Minneapolis, MN; and San Diego, CA, are three diverse metropolitan areas that share at least one similarity: they all have congested multimodal transportation corridors. In an effort to improve travel conditions, all three of these cities are designing integrated corridor management (ICM) systems in their busiest corridors.

In 2010, stakeholders in Dallas, Minneapolis, and San Diego conducted analysis, modeling and simulation (AMS) to explore whether applying ICM strategies to a corridor could improve performance and to assess their planned ICM strategies. AMS findings in all three corridors suggest that ICM will increase reliability while reducing travel time, delays, fuel consumption, and emissions. Benefits-to-cost ratios for ICM were shown to range from 10:1 to more than 20:1 over the life of the ICM system. Furthermore, the benefits of ICM appear to scale with travel demand and are especially meaningful under scenarios that unexpectedly constrain supply, such as traffic incidents.

Like all urban areas across the country, the ICM AMS corridors carry millions of commuters, leisure travelers, and freight on increasingly crowded roadways and transit systems. Adding travel lanes on freeways and arterials can relieve congested roadways, but this relief is astoundingly temporary. The vision of ICM is that metropolitan areas will realize significant improvements in the efficient movement of people and goods through aggressive, proactive integration of existing infrastructure along major transportation corridors.


The ICM AMS methodology is more comprehensive than traditional corridor studies, which often focus on a specific facility or area (e.g., a freeway). This is accomplished through the use of up to three classes of simulation modeling tools - macroscopic, mesoscopic, and microscopic - which permit combined analysis of regional travel patterns; specific strategies such as congestion pricing or traveler information; and localized systems such as ramp metering, respectively.

AMS helps agencies identify the optimum combinations of ICM strategies by providing a true, corridorwide picture and saves agencies from investing in costly strategies that may not have the intended outcomes.

Under the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) ICM research initiative, the three ICM AMS sites investigated the potential of truly active and integrated ICM strategies such as ramp metering, congestion pricing, signal optimization, transit priority, and traveler information to enhance corridor performance in relation to five ICM performance measures: mobility, reliability, fuel savings, emissions, and benefit-to-cost ratio.

The sites followed a common approach, described in detail in the ICM AMS Guide, a key knowledge and technology transfer resource designed to help technical program managers at transportation agencies conduct AMS. The AMS Guide complements the ICM Implementation Guide, also available, to help managers and engineers design and implement ICM.

Demonstration and Evaluation

Dallas and San Diego are preparing to demonstrate and evaluate their ICM systems in early 2013. The effort will examine the performance measures assessed in AMS, including the benefits and costs of ICM. It will also examine the implications of traveler information in changing traveler behavior.

The vision of ICM is that metropolitan areas will realize significant improvements in the efficient movement of people and goods through aggressive, proactive integration of existing infrastructure along major transportation corridors.

  • Mobility: How well the corridor moves people and freight
  • Reliability: Extra “time cushion” travelers must plan for to assure on-time arrival using the corridor
  • Fuel Savings: How much fuel corridor travelers save
  • Emissions: Tons fewer of toxins
  • Benefit-Cost: The bottom line of monetized benefits compared to costs

ICM AMS Helps Agencies:

  • Invest in the right strategies by determining which combinations of strategies are likely to be most effective under which conditions.
  • Invest with confidence because they have identified consequences that would otherwise be unknowable before implementation.
  • Improve the effectiveness/success of implementation because they understand in advance what questions to ask and in what level of detail.
  • Improve their implementation of ICM continually based on experience.

ICM AMS Sites:

  • Dallas, TX
    • Major employers
    • No expansion capacity
    • Surrounding construction planned
  • Minneapolis, MN
    • Busy commuter corridor
    • Limited expansion capacity
    • Major construction planned
  • San Diego, CA
    • Popular freight, tourist, and commuter corridor
    • Lengthening peak travel periods


  • Examines the implications of ICM strategies under conditions of varying demand.
  • Encompasses freeway, arterial, and transit facilities.
  • Assesses the effects of ICM strategies under scenarios such as special events and incidents.

For more information on the ICM KTT or the U.S. DOT ICM Initative, please contact:

Steven Mortensen
U.S. DOT/Federal Transit Administration

Robert Sheehan
Program Manager
Multimodal ITS Research and Deployment

For more information please visit the U.S. DOT's ICM Intiative.