Berkeley - MIT Bay Area Traffic Study in the News

Featured Faculty: Alexandre M. Bayen, Marta Gonzalez

Nature Scientific Reports published an article on the research done by the team led by CEE Professor Alex Bayen and MIT Professor Marta Gonzáles on how drivers from a few specific regions in the Bay Area affect travel time for everyone.

Researchers specifically found that canceling trips by drivers from San Rafael, Dublin, Hayward, San Jose and parts of San Ramon would cut 14 percent from the travel time of other drivers in the region.

“This is a preliminary study that demonstrates that not all drivers are contributing uniformly to congestion,” said Bayen, “Reaching out to everybody to change their time or mode of commute is thus not necessarily as efficient as reaching out to those in a particular geographic area who contribute most to bottlenecks.”

Because the methodology used requires only 3 types of data — population density, topological information about a road network and cellphone data — it can be used for almost any urban area.

The study was based on the efficient use of cellular tower data, which was validated using GPS traffic data collected through the Mobile Millennium system.

See UC Berkeley press release.
See MIT press release.

The findings were echoed in numerous venues including NPR/KQED, KGO, KCBS, as well as on KTVU. Press coverage included:

Published 01/10/2013