Wednesday, July 17, 2013

HOV to HOT lanes - a first step to More Effective Congestion Pricing?

Gaining Public Support for Freeway Congestion Pricing(25 page pdf, Robert Poole, Reason Foundation, April 2012)

Today we review a report which proposes a more effective approach to relieving highway traffic congestion and to generate more revenue for highway improvements than the unpopular flat tolls. The recent conversion of high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes to high occupancy toll lanes (HOT) in the USA and some Canadian provinces (notably as proposed for 400 series highways in the Greater Toronto Area in the 2013 Ontario budget) could herald a more sophisticated 3-stream system that would both improve traffic flow of traffic and recover more revenue as warranted from vehicles that cause the most damage to highways (trucks). Most important is the step by step approach to gain popular favour to congestion pricing in general.

hot lanes
Key Quotes:  

Federal efforts dating back to the 1970s to induce one or more urban areas to price its freeways have all been unsuccessful.. this evolutionary, bottom-up model of freeway pricing should be seriously considered”

“with over 91% of households owning motor vehicles,8 in most states the motorist population is practically synonymous with the voting population…. many (though not all) tolling and pricing proposals garner popular opposition because they don’t add value to the roadway”

 “Charging the same price to all users during rush hour ignores the huge variability in people’s value of time (and their value of the reliability of trip times).. A uniform price applied to all rush-hour travelers will overcharge many and undercharge others”

“The current trends toward converting HOV lanes to HOT lanes and adding new priced express lanes are the potential first steps away from the conventional model of pricing. The second step should develop complete networks of priced lanes, aimed deliberately at those trips with the highest value on any particular day.”

“if congestion is still a problem on the remaining GP lanes, the benefits of pricing on the (by now) larger system of premium lanes will be obvious to a larger fraction of the population…. support for implementing modest peak pricing on the remaining GP lanes, flattening the peaks and shifting some trips to alternate modes.”

“a three-tiered system of lanes and pricing, as follows:
  • Premium lanes, offering guaranteed trip times by means of demand-based pricing;
  • Regular lanes, using modest peak-period tolls to spread the peak load to shoulder periods;
  • Truck-only lanes, designed and priced for heavy trucks.”
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment