Multimodal Level of Service for Urban Streets

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - traffic, infrastructure - vehicle, planning - service quality, ridership - drivers, place - urban, mode - bike, mode - pedestrian


Traveler perception, Transit riders, Traffic operations, Streets, Service quality, Road design, Quality of service, Pedestrians, Passenger service quality, Motor vehicle operators, Level of service, Highway operations, Highway design, Drivers, Cyclists, Customer satisfaction, City streets, Bicyclists, Bicycle riders


This paper presents the results of research to develop a national method for the multimodal assessment of the quality of service provided by an urban street. The method considers the level of service from the point of view of four types of travelers typically using the urban street: auto driver, transit passenger, bicycle rider, and pedestrian. Video laboratories and transit onboard surveys were used to develop data sets of the quality of service perceived by the general public for each of the modes of travel on the urban street. The laboratories were conducted in several different metropolitan areas of the United States. Four level-of-service (LOS) models were developed, one for each mode. The four LOS models share a common measure, user satisfaction. The models assign a letter grade LOS (A–F) based on the street cross section, intersection controls, and traffic characteristics (auto, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian volumes on the street). The models can be used in combination to compare the trade-offs of different street cross sections from the unique perspectives of each mode. The models are particularly useful for testing the impacts of converting auto through lanes to bicycle lanes, wider sidewalks, and wider planter strips.