MAG Freeway Service Patrol

The Freeway Service Patrol (FSP) Program is a regional effort by MAG, Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS), Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). It assists motorists who are stranded on freeways due to minor accidents or disabled vehicles and provides prompt clearance of these incidents. The FSP helps prevent loss of life and property by helping to eliminate secondary crashes and minimizing the impact incidents have on traffic flow. The FSP addresses many goals of the Freeway Incident Management System, a part of the region's Intelligent Transportation Systems Strategic Plan.

The objectives of the current program are to:

  1. Improve freeway safety by helping stranded motorists.
  2. Facilitate prompt removal of vehicles abandoned on freeway shoulders.
  3. Assist DPS officers at traffic incident scenes.
  4. Reduce secondary crashes by promptly clearing minor incidents.
  5. Reduce road hazards by removing roadway debris.

The program was launched in 2000 by MAG as a pilot project. It used $750,000 in federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds the region received for transportation system improvements. During the first two years, the program was monitored using service statistics and user feedback information gathered by DPS and compiled by project partner AAA Arizona. Due to the clear demonstration of benefits in improving safety on the freeway system, the program was incorporated in the 20-year Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) that was approved by Maricopa County voters in November 2004. The FSP program is funded through 2026 with nearly $22 million in Regional Transportation Plan funds. These funds support both FSP capital expenses as well as operating costs. New vehicles and additional personnel are funded as needed to provide FSP coverage on the regional freeway system.

FSP Operation, Coverage and Hours:

Coverage: The entire freeway system in Maricopa County
Hours of Operation: Weekdays 6:30 – 9:00 AM &  3:00 – 6:00 PM
Weekends: As needed depending on weekend traffic generating events

Every year, about 10,000 assists are provided by the Freeway Service Patrol Program within MAG region. Table 1 shows the summary statistics from 2008-2018.

Assists provided by FSP program from 2008 to 2018

  2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Assist at Collision Scenes 443 267 384 331 337 421 601 686 167 218 114
Abandoned Vehicles Removed 376 485 458 360 258 1,895 1,963 2,490 225 342 395
Number of Motorists Assist 10,327 9,143 11,172 10,457 8,910 9,145 10,374 14,532 12,468 12,330 10,959
Traffic Control Assignments 2,963 2,519 2,004 2,544 1,892 1,836 2,265 3,983 3,943 4,350 4,316
Miles Driven 426,760 406,631 411,835 381,473 326,066 303,174 353,201 501,075 415,153 440,769 427,975

Senior Transportation Project Manager
Jeff Jenq

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