SILVEIRA-SANTOS, Tulio; PORTUGAL, Licinio; RIBEIRO, Paulo. Using a Discrete-Event Simulation Model for Evaluating the Operational Performance of Toll Plazas. Journal of Infrastructure Systems, 2023

Resumo: Toll plazas are commonly described as a potential bottleneck due to the collection process at specific points on the highway. In a highway concession model, tolls are used to cover the majority of infrastructure costs. However, not all existing road concessions have toll plaza–related key performance indicators (KPIs), resulting in less efficient operations for transport managers and road users. To address this issue, this paper presents a discrete-event simulation (DES) model for policy analysis and the model for the planning, management, and evaluation of toll plazas using an extensible simulation package with animation capabilities, built by selecting modules that contain process features. The DES describes situations in which entities (vehicles) arrive, wait in the queue (if necessary), and then are attended to before leaving the system, either directly or indirectly. As a result, the simulation is based on discrete events (arrivals and departures) and statistical process data. This paper examines data from Brazil’s first public–private partnership (PPP) project in the area of road infrastructure and analyzes the toll plaza in Itaúna/MG using a case study methodology. The DES model was used in this case study, and the results show that the toll plaza was in good operating condition during the peak hour analyzed because the vehicular flow was lower than the system capacity. The willingness to pay the toll rate through the concept of open road tolling or a free-flow system, on the other hand, would provide significant benefits to road users because it would significantly reduce the time it takes to cross the toll plaza. The developed DES model assists toll plaza managers in making decisions while keeping in mind the need to comply with the operational efficiency measures agreed upon in the concession contracts.

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