PC*MILER offers three basic route types: Practical, Shortest and Fastest (North America only and recommended only for auto routing). For routing in North America, any of these may be combined with PC*MILER Toll Discouraged and/or State + National Network routing.  

Light Vehicle routing for vans, automobiles, pickup trucks, and SUVs is also available, and Least Cost routing may be generated for the Practical, Shortest or Fastest route type. 

The route type is set in the Routing Preferences of Route Options or Route Profiles, with the exception of Least Cost routing.

PC*MILER Route Type Descriptions


Route Type Settings



Represents distances and driving routes that a driver would normally take to minimize time and cost. Models the trade-off between taking the most direct path and staying on major, high quality highways. Practical is the default route type in PC*MILER.


Represents distances and driving routes that a vehicle would take to minimize total distance traveled while still following a reasonable route. A Shortest route may have a longer drive time than a Practical route.


(The North America region must be selected, and the Traffic add-on must be installed.)

Uses day of the week and time of day information that has been set for a route (these are optional settings for Fastest routing) to calculate the quickest route to the trip’s destination(s). Actual mileage may be longer than a Practical route.

Other Routing PreferencesDescription

Toll Discouraged Option

(North America only)

Avoids long stretches of toll roads but won’t take long, impractical detours to avoid toll bridges and tunnels.

State + National Network Option

(North America only)

Favors using the U.S. Federally designated National Network (primary Interstates with reasonable entry/egress points up to 1 mile off the Interstate), combined with a preference to favor using the state-designated extensions to the Federal National Network (additional highways and supporting roads that can be any distance off the Interstate, as determined by the individual states).

Light Vehicle Routing (Override Restrictions Option) 

Overrides size and weight restrictions when calculating routes, but routes will still avoid truck-prohibited and truck-discouraged roads.  By default, PC*MILER uses size/weight restrictions. (Note that to generate light vehicle or automobile routing that will use truck-prohibited/discouraged roads, the user can specify small vehicle dimensions that take precedence over this setting.)

Least Cost Routing

Considers user-specified values for miles per gallon, cost per gallon, fuel cost per mile, maintenance cost per mile, labor cost per hour, and stop cost – and includes a parameter for a greenhouse gas emission estimate. If Tolls add-on is installed, toll costs are factored in as well. 

Air (Available only in the PC*MILER Connect, PC*MILER Spreadsheets and PC*MILER BatchPro add-on modules.)The shortest distance in a straight line from one point to another, or “as the crow flies.”