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reducing interests in vehicular travel by getting rid of the fun in the driving

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  • Todd Alexander Litman
    These are called High Occupant Toll Lanes . They reflect a common concern that HOV lanes often have excess capacity that is wasted. Selling this excess
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 16, 2004
      These are called "High Occupant Toll Lanes". They reflect a common concern
      that HOV lanes often have excess capacity that is wasted. Selling this
      excess capacity can generate revenues to help fund the facilities, and
      increases total benefits. HOT lanes are therefore considered a politically
      acceptable way to introduce congestion pricing into the highway system.

      For information see:

      William Stockton and Ginger Daniels, "Considerations in Assessing the
      Feasibility of High-Occupancy Toll Lanes," Texas Transportation Institute
      (http://tti.tamu.edu/documents/7-4915-S.pdf), 2000.

      Robert Poole and Kenneth Orski, "Hot Networks: A New Plan For Congestion
      Relief And Better Transit," Paper 305, Reason Foundation,
      (www.rppi.org/ps305.pdf), 2001.

      "HOV Priority," Online TDM Encyclopedia, Victoria Transport Policy
      Institute (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm19.htm), 2004.

      "Road Pricing," Online TDM Encyclopedia, Victoria Transport Policy
      Institute (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm35.htm), 2004.

      Their potential impacts are generally small. A High Occupancy Vehicle Lane
      can typically accommodate a maximum of about 1,000 vehicles per hour (less
      than a general purpose lane, because HOVs are larger than average
      automobiles, and because it is important that they never be congested). As
      a result, it may be possible to accept 300-600 single-occupant automobiles,
      providing a 5-15% increase in capacity on a typical 6-lane highway, and a
      revenue stream of $1,500 to $3,000 per day, assuming a $5 per peak-period
      toll. This is nowhere near the funding needed to fully finance an
      additional urban highway lane.

      The effectiveness of HOT lanes depends on the price structure used. If the
      price is too low, the facility will experience congestion, reducing the
      performance for both single-occupant vehicle users and HOV users, resulting
      in reduced transit and ridesharing. It is therefore important for the sake
      of overall transportation system efficiency that HOT facilities be managed
      to favor HOV performance.

      I personally support HOT lanes, because I think it is appropriate to fully
      utilize roadway capacity, they give motorists a new option (i.e., paying to
      drive on an uncongested lane occasionally, when it is appropriate),
      provides new funding, and allows motorists to experience road pricing in a
      positive way. However, I think it is important to realize that their
      benefits are modest, and they must be properly managed to avoid spoiling
      HOV priority benefits.

      Best wishes,
      -Todd Litman

      At 02:31 PM 12/15/2004 +0000, Wetzel Dave wrote:
      >Todd wrote:
      >"One of the best features of pricing is that rates can be adjusted to
      >reflect changes in demand and planning objectives. To manage congestion,
      >rates should be higher during peak periods and lower during off-peak
      >periods, and can increase over time as demand grows, ....."
      >I visited Minneapolis last month during the Presidential elections.
      >Next Spring they are going to introduce charging on the High Occupancy
      >Vehicle Lane (HOV, Diamond Lane) for single occupant vehicles on one of
      >their Interstate Highways.
      >This lane, in the middle of the highway, alternates for peak flows.
      >It is currently well under-occupied by HOVs.
      >They intend to charge up to $8 for single occupant vehicles to enter the
      >The congestion will be measured every six minutes - and the price adjusted
      >accordingly, every six minutes.
      >You only pay as you join through one of six entry points.
      >If the lane is congested at $8 then it will be closed to non-HOV traffic
      >I think something similar already exists elsewhere in the USA.
      >Dave Wetzel; Vice-Chair; Transport for London.
      >-----Original Message-----
      >From: Todd Alexander Litman [mailto:litman@...]
      >Sent: 29 November 2004 14:57
      >To: UTSG@...
      >Subject: Re: [UTSG] reducing interests in vehicular travel by getting
      >rid of the fun in the driving
      >At 10:56 AM 11/29/2004 +0000, Sanjay Rana wrote:
      > >How does the congestion charging model incorporate the increased flow of
      > >traffic in future - perhaps by increasing the congestion charge or adding
      > >some other form of charge?
      >One of the best features of pricing is that rates can be adjusted to
      >reflect changes in demand and planning objectives. To manage congestion,
      >rates should be higher during peak periods and lower during off-peak
      >periods, and can increase over time as demand grows, or if a city wants to
      >reduce road or parking supply, for example, by converting some traffic
      >lanes to pedestrian space.
      > >Are there any research on the type of traffic that have
      > >disappeared/migrated? Was it the cross-london traffic or just some one from
      > >Kensington avoiding to go to shopping to oxford street?
      >The London congestion pricing evaluation program is looking carefully at
      >the travel changes that have resulted
      >(www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/cc_monitoring.shtml), and yes, much of the reduced
      >traffic is from avoided cross-town trips, rather than trips to the center
      >area, and some are reduced shopping trips. Some businesses have complained
      >of substantial reductions in traffic, although I suspect they are
      >exaggerating the impacts.
      > >Another (and perhaps impractical) idea - How about setting up a website
      > >where all vehicle owners i.e. households and companies can submit,
      > >anonymously, the following information to a national survey:
      > >For each car or a set of cars owned:
      > >
      > >- postcodes of starting point and end point of journey
      > >- journeys per week
      > >- time of each journey (i.e. AM,PM etc.)
      > >
      > >This could be a small project, advertised on relevant websites such as AA,
      > >banks, DVLA, etc. in UK and similar ones elsewhere and also perhaps via
      > >postal ballot.
      >This is called "Ridesharing" (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm34.htm), and such
      >websites are implemented in many cities. Most are intended for predictable
      >commute trips, others are dynamic, that is, they are intended for
      >individual trips.
      >The challenge we face is not a lack of travel alternatives, it is a lack of
      >incentives to use those alternatives. Ridesharing, public transit, cycling,
      >walking, telework (using telecommunications to substitute for physical
      >travel) and flextime (allowing employees greater flexibility in when they
      >work) are all transportation options that can substantially reduce private
      >automobile travel. Most travelers could shift mode for some trips without
      >too much effort, but they lack an incentive to do so. Most vehicle costs
      >are fixed: motorists pay thousands of dollars/euros annually to own a car
      >regardless of how much it is used. The marginal cost of driving seems low.
      >Vehicles owners feel that they need to maximize their driving in order to
      >get a fair return on their fixed costs (particularly since automobiles are
      >status goods, so many consumers spend more than they really need to), and
      >public transit/rideshare vehicles are generally stuck in traffic as well as
      >private cars. As a result, the current transportation market gives
      >travelers little incentive to shift mode when possible (for example, for a
      >commuter to use public transit when they don't need their car for errands
      >after work, or to cycle during good weather).
      >Note, by the way, that physically and economically disadvantaged people
      >tend to benefit most from pricing incentives, particularly if revenues are
      >used to improve travel options such as public transit and nonmotorized
      >travel conditions, because many already use alternative modes and they
      >value the opportunity to save money, for example, by Parking Cash Out
      >(commuters are given a choice between receiving free parking or the cash
      >equivalent). The claim that pricing is always harmful to the poor is simply
      >Todd Litman, Director
      >Victoria Transport Policy Institute
      >"Efficiency - Equity - Clarity"
      >1250 Rudlin Street
      >Victoria, BC, V8V 3R7, Canada
      >Phone & Fax: 250-360-1560
      >Email: litman@...
      >Website: http://www.vtpi.org
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      Todd Litman, Director
      Victoria Transport Policy Institute
      "Efficiency - Equity - Clarity"
      1250 Rudlin Street
      Victoria, BC, V8V 3R7, Canada
      Phone & Fax: 250-360-1560
      Email: litman@...
      Website: http://www.vtpi.org
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