This paper provides fundamental understanding for the use of cumulative plots for travel time estimation on signalized urban networks. Analytical modeling is performed to generate cumulative plots based on the availability of data: a) Case-D, for detector data only; b) Case-DS, for detector data and signal timings; and c) Case-DSS, for detector data, signal timings and saturation flow rate. The empirical study and sensitivity analysis based on simulation experiments have observed the consistency in performance for Case-DS and Case-DSS, whereas, for Case-D the performance is inconsistent. Case-D is sensitive to detection interval and signal timings within the interval. When detection interval is integral multiple of signal cycle then it has low accuracy and low reliability. Whereas, for detection interval around 1.5 times signal cycle both accuracy and reliability are high.