Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



Level of Service


The project's focus was to identify the feasibility of and methods toward a Level of Service (LOS) system that can be assessed equally for the motor vehicle, bicycle. pedestrian, and transit modes. Interviews conducted with key stakeholders are used to Identify how LOS measures found they plan on continuing to use LOS measures to assess existing conditions, identify roadways in need of improvement, and prioritize construction projects. Some stakeholders want to allow LOS trade-offs between modes and promote a balanced multi-modal transportation system. The project advisory committee concluded that the current methods of describing levels of service are appropriate for their mode, understandable by broad audiences, and professionally defensible. They also agreed that a system of measuring level of service equally across modes would be of significant value to policymakers, developers and the transportation industry. They applied a systematic creative thinking technique to identify and assess different concepts and approaches that FOOT can use to develop a common LOS system. The committee proposed a system that keeps the current LOS methods in place but seeks to related each mode's LOS to the other modes' LOS by establishing the relation to user needs as a common characteristic. The advisory committee concluded that the identification of the common denominators across all the modes or users was necessary for a true method of assessing LOS equally across modes and permitting trade-offs across modes. The advisory committee strongly recommended that FOOT seek to incorporate user perceptions to identify how to respond to the range of needs reflected by the various LOS measures and dynamic needs of transportation users. In effect, the advisory committee recognized that transportation system users have a hierarchy of needs that are common to all modes. A subsequent literature review demonstrated the importance of these psychological factors to mode choice decisions and their omission from mode choice models. The implication of the term "level of service" suggests that we are concerned with the appraisal of those existing and potential users of the various modes. It is clear that any method of combining level of service will probably miss the mark if it fails to take into account psychological factors. An approach for a pilot project to identify, construct and apply a Transportation System User Hierarchy of Needs was proposed.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Assessing Level of Service Equally across Modes, Center for Urban Transportation Research, University of South Florida, 56 p.