Delay-based Passenger Car Equivalent at Signalized Intersections in Iran

  • Habibollah Nassiri Sharif University of Technology
  • Sara Tabatabaie University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Sina Sahebi Sharif University of Technology
Keywords: passenger car equivalent, signalized intersection, delay, simulation,


Due to their different sizes and operational characteristics, vehicles other than passenger cars have a different influence on traffic operations especially at intersections. The passenger car equivalent (PCE) is the parameter that shows how many passenger cars must be substituted for a specific heavy vehicle to represent its influence on traffic operation. PCE is commonly estimated using headway-based methods that consider the excess headway utilized by heavy vehicles. In this research, the PCE was estimated based on the delay parameter at three signalized intersections in Tehran, Iran. The data collected were traffic volume, travel time for each movement, signalization, and geometric design information. These data were analysed and three different models, one for each intersection, were constructed and calibrated using TRAF-NETSIM simulation software for unsaturated traffic conditions. PCE was estimated under different scenarios and the number of approach movements at each intersection. The results showed that for approaches with only one movement, PCE varies from 1.1 to 1.65. Similarly, for approaches with two and three movements, the PCE varies from 1.07 to 1.99 and from 0.76 to 3.6, respectively. In addition, a general model was developed for predicting PCE for intersections with all of the movements considered. The results obtained from this model showed that the average PCE of 1.5 is similar to the value recommended by the HCM (Highway Capacity Manual) 1985. However, the predicted PCE value of 1.9 for saturated threshold is closer to the PCE value of 2 which was recommended by the HCM 2000 and HCM 2010.

Author Biographies

Habibollah Nassiri, Sharif University of Technology

Associate Professor

School of Civil Engineering


Sara Tabatabaie, University of Colorado at Boulder

PhD Candidate

Department of Environmental Design, Colorado School of Public Health

Department of Environmental Design, Colorado School of Public Health
Sina Sahebi, Sharif University of Technology

PhD Candidate

School Of Civil Engineering


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How to Cite
Nassiri H, Tabatabaie S, Sahebi S. Delay-based Passenger Car Equivalent at Signalized Intersections in Iran. PROMET [Internet]. 2017Apr.24 [cited 2020Aug.10];29(2):135-42. Available from: