Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Engineering (ME)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Committee Member

Mohamed Kaseko

Number of Pages



The Highway capacity manual (HCM, 2000) uses the Passenger Car Equivalents (PCE) to estimate the impact of trucks on freeways. PCE values for trucks recommended by HCM 2000 for level terrain are same under different truck percentages and different freeway conditions such as merging, diverging, weaving section etc. Several studies have shown that the PCE values vary for different traffic conditions such as for weaving, over-saturated conditions, etc. The objective of this thesis is to develop the PCE values for freeway merging sections using simulation software CORSIM. The equal density methodology is used to compute the PCE values. For this study PCE values are calculated for different traffic conditions including truck percentage, volume ratios (VR), and LOS. Analysis is also done with trucks on freeway only and ramp only; From the results of the study, estimated PCE values vary with level of service, truck percentage and volume ratio for merging section, adjacent upstream and downstream section. The study also shows that HCM overestimates the capacity of the merging sections. Since the results of this study are based on only one case study location, the PCE values developed may not be transferable to other locations and/or for other traffic conditions. However, the general relationship between the PCE values and traffic conditions such as percentage of trucks, VR, LOS are expected to be the similar. More extensive studies are recommended to validate the findings of this study.


Car; Development; Equivalents; Freeway; Merging; Passenger; Sections

Controlled Subject

Civil engineering

File Format


File Size

2723.84 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have the full text removed from Digital Scholarship@UNLV, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.


IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit