Congestion Management

With rising demand for transportation infrastructure, but limited space to build more, cities face the need to find alternative solutions to manage congestion.

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What if we can ...

  • Improve human health, safety, the environment and the economy by reducing congestion?
  • Develop congestion management solutions in cities by employing best practices from around the globe?
  • Manage congestion through pricing without building new roadway infrastructure?
  • Use technology and data collection to track and understand congestion issues?
  • Reduce congestion by developing transit-orientated communities and improving transit services?


The Reality

We cannot build our way out. Cities, urban areas and inter-urban links around the world are challenged by growing traffic congestion and a limited supply of roadway space, leading to a need to understand how to better manage demand for transportation.

One size does not fit all. Having shared concerns, needs and constraints does not necessarily mean congestion management solutions will look the same from city to city. Each city and situation is unique.

Where do we start. Community, government and existing infrastructure are among the many key factors that determine which approach will best meet the needs of residents, businesses and other key stakeholders.


A Simple Law of Physics

A simple law of (traffic) physics is that when traffic demand approaches the roadway capacity, the quality of service rapidly diminishes, and then when demand exceeds capacity, traffic flow breaks down completely.

The array of processes, tools and practices used to mitigate the resulting congestion is often referred to as congestion management – namely managing the situation in a manner as to avoid or minimize the negative impacts of congestion.A number of commonly used measures are described below.

They fall into three categories:

  1. optimizing roadway uses
  2. spreading traffic in time and space
  3. adapting road infrastructure.1

1World Road Association

Our Approach

We know there is no single, one-size-fits-all solution. Each congestion management project requires a unique solution.

Continuum of WSP Congestion Management Services

WSP’s approach leverages existing experience with global congestion management models, combined with a local understanding of regional operational and policy considerations.

The scope of our mandate can involve either direct or indirect consideration of equity;  technology, and education, achieving multiple stakeholder objectives such as improved safety, congestion and emissions reduction; positive revenue generation; and acceptance by the public, private business interests and multiple government agencies.



Integrated Transport Planning

Managed Lanes, Congestion Pricing and Tolling

  • Policy design and evaluation
  • Travel demand modelling and forecasting
  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Economic impact assessment
  • Environmental review and permitting
  • Statistical analysis and reporting
  • Measurement and data collection design
  • Finance, revenue planning and forecasting
  • Enforcement of congestion pricing
  • Variable lane pricing (express toll lanes, HOT lanes)

Transit-oriented Development

  • Travel demand modelling
  • Traffic relief planning
  • Data analysis
  • Monitoring and measuring
  • Impact assessments
  • Quality of life analysis
  • New mobility strategies and scenario planning
  • Project piloting
  • Public interest and stakeholder facilitation
  • Public planning and policy initiatives

Intelligent Transportation Systems

  • Ramp metering
  • Signal phase timing
  • All electronic tolling
  • Automatic/connected vehicles
  • Traveller information services
  • Roadway/traffic management
  • Coordinated system management
  • System-wide conversion


  • Program/project delivery
  • Preliminary design
  • Capacity building, needs assessment, risk allocation
  • Multimodal roadway/lane use/intersection design (BRT, auxiliary lanes, arterial managed lanes)
  • Innovative lane use/intersection design
  • Automated/connected vehicles, and related infrastructure

Our Services

WSP is uniquely positioned to provide the required expertise and services to tackle areas across congestion management. We offer our clients strategic, technical and operational guidance, leveraging our diverse global experience to find solutions tailored to their local context. 

Leading Commitments

Emission Reduction

We specialize in solving complex problems such as reducing a city’s or region’s air pollution through the adoption of emerging electric propulsion technology.

Our proprietary simulation Battery Optimization Lifecycle Tool (BOLT), which analyzes heavy-duty fleet electrification and optimization, helps public and private transit fleet operators determine quickly and easily the routes best suited for conversion to electric buses.

WSP’s Zero Emission initiative includes work with policy makers, fleet operators, and various levels of government to achieve electric mobility through the adoption of zero-mission vehicles and bus fleets.

New Mobility

WSP works closely with key players across the world to better understand the potential impact of mobility on local environments. Our ground-breaking whitepaper New Mobility Now: a Practical Guide focuses on five themes we expect will to play a key role in the future of transport and in place-making: automated driving; connected vehicles, transport systems and networks; shared use; electric vehicles; and new business models.

With New Mobility, WSP demonstrates an understanding of how shared services, technology and new business models will affect price and travel behavior across a range of services.  Our Scenario Planning Toolbox helps clients develop future-ready strategies—for New Mobility challenges, as well as transport, business planning, urban planning and sustainability efforts around the world.


Future Ready

Future Ready is our program to see the future more clearly, and to work with clients to design for this future as well as for today’s needs.

Through Future Ready, WSP brings clarity and vision to complex challenges. We see the future more clearly through key trends in climate change, society, technology and resources, and challenge staff to work with our clients to advise on solutions that are both ready for today and for this future. Future Ready delivers peace of mind, lower lifecycle costs and resilience.

With the Future Ready program, our experts are able to help our clients prepare for future realities of self-driving cars, ubiquitous renewables, ultra-flexible places, more severe weather events and increasing loneliness, amongst many factors.