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San Diego's HOT Lanes were originally approved as part of the FHWA'S Congestion Pricing Pilot Program in ISTEA-1991. The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) celebrated 10 years of road pricing on Interstate 15 this past December. The first road pricing implementation effort consisted of collecting tolls via monthly permits with a decal in the window (December 1996); subsequently, the FasTrak electronic toll collection system in use today was implemented in April 1998. Under this program, customers in single-occupant vehicles (SOVs) pay a toll each time they use the Interstate 15 HOV lanes. The unique feature of this program is that tolls vary dynamically with the level of congestion on the HOV lanes. Fees can vary in 25-cent increments as often as every six minutes to help maintain free-flow traffic conditions on the HOV lanes. Motorists are informed of the toll rate changes through variable message signs located in advance of the entry points. The normal toll varies between $0.50 and $4.00. During very congested periods, the toll can be as high as $8.00. Pricing is based on maintaining a LOS \"C\" for the HOT facility.
Minnesota implemented I-394 MnPASS which converts the existing high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane into the state's first high occupancy toll (HOT) lane. The lanes, which are dynamically priced, remain free to HOVs and motorcyclists during peak hours, and are free to all users in off-peak periods. The first phase of the project opened in May 2005.
In January 1998, Houston's \"QuickRide\" pricing program was implemented on existing HOV lanes of I-10, also known as the Katy Freeway. It was implemented on US 290 in November 2000. The HOV lanes are reversible and restricted to vehicles with three or more persons during the peak hours of the peak periods. The pricing program allows a limited number of two-person carpools to buy into the lanes during the peak hours. Participating two-person carpool vehicles pay a $2.00 per trip toll while vehicles with higher occupancies continue to travel free. Single-occupant vehicles are not allowed to use the HOV lanes. The QuickRide project is completely automated and no cash transactions are handled on the facility. Results from surveys conducted on I-10 indicate that the primary source of QuickRide participants is persons who formerly traveled in single-occupant vehicles on the regular lanes. Toll revenues from several hundred vehicles each day pay for all program operational costs.
The Puget Sound Regional Council of Washington State estimates that by 2030, 45% of the core freeway system in the Seattle metropolitan area will be congested. The State Route (SR) 167 High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes Pilot Project will convert the existing HOV lanes on SR 167 within King County/Seattle, Washington to HOT lanes, from Southwest 15th Street in Auburn to I-405 in Renton without expansion of the existing freeway. This four year pilot project will evaluate the ability of the HOT lane concept to manage congestion and generate revenue. During the four-year pilot, the facility's performance, socio-economic impacts, and public interest/acceptance of the facility will be assessed on an annual basis.
\"FAIR\" lanes stands for \"Fast and Intertwined Regular\" lanes. Multiple freeway lanes are separated, typically using plastic pylons and striping, into two sections: \"fast\" lanes and \"regular\" lanes. The fast lanes would be electronically tolled express lanes, where tolls could change dynamically to manage demand. In the remaining unpriced lanes, drivers whose vehicles were equipped with transponders would be compensated with credits that would be based on the tolls in effect at the time they traveled, and would be established at a percentage of the toll rate.
This FAIR lanes study focused on the congested Interstates 580 and 680 in Alameda County and will built upon the existing Interstate 680 value pricing study. The \"Sunol Grade\" portion of Interstate 680 is, by voter-approved ordinance, required to operate new value-priced carpool lanes. New carpool lanes were also planned for I-580. The FAIR lanes feasibility study examined options in this integrated corridor, including FAIR lane connector ramps at the I-580/I-680 interchange near the Dublin-Pleasanton Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station. Complementary measures to increase public acceptability were to be implemented in the study corridor. They included \"dynamic ridesharing\" and priority parking for ridesharing users at participating BART stations. Dynamic ridesharing enables travelers to respond to pricing in flexible ways that traditional ridesharing and transit options do not. It uses web-based and telephone-based systems to allow users to find carpool partners on a \"real-time\" basis, close to the time that travel is needed. It was anticipated that this new type of ridesharing would be more readily acceptable in the Bay Area than elsewhere, because casual carpooling with strangers is already prevalent there, and this project would add some new security features. In addition to cost and time savings (due to free use of express lanes), dynamic ridesharing would be further facilitated with reserved premium parking spaces at participating BART stations, on-demand backup services, and in-station electronic information screens providing necessary details about individual ride matches.
A feasibility study was recently completed which evaluated the design, operational and financial feasibility, and expected public acceptance of Express Lanes on the 26-mile C-470 beltway in the southwest part of the Denver metro area. The feasibility study was conducted in parallel with an Environmental Assessment (EA) investigating possible solutions to congestion and reliability problems on the roadway. C-470 is a four-lane beltway between I-70 and I-25 with 18 interchanges. Commuters are typically destined to the Denver Technological Center and adjacent offices, a regional employment hub with over 100,000 employees. The segments that do not currently experience severe congestion are all projected to experience such conditions by 2020. Future projected traffic volumes indicate that a phased implementation of added managed lanes may be viable. The concept studied is a four lane barrier-separated facility in the median of four general purpose lanes would manage volumes in the Express Lanes by charging a variable toll to ensure reliable, free-flowing traffic conditions.
The LBJ Freeway (I-635) is the major circumferential roadway in the Dallas region. The total length of the corridor is 21 miles. Traffic on certain portions of the LBJ Freeway is heavily congested for many hours of each day. The major attractors in this portion of the Dallas/Fort Worth region include regional malls, thriving business districts, and adjacent residential communities. Currently, the West Section facility consists of eight general-purpose lanes and one HOV lane in each direction. The facility will be upgraded with up to six managed lanes (three in each direction). The proposed lane configuration would vary - the West Section would have six express lanes, the East Section from US-75 to I-30 would vary from having four express lanes (two in each direction) to having two reversible lanes to I-30. The LBJ express lane project design uses variable tolling to provide free-flowing traffic conditions and connections to transit centers to support Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). The West Section is being actively implemented as a \"Comprehensive Development Agreement\" (CDA) geared toward a concession approach and the East Section is being deferred until seed funds become available.
Katy Freeway (I-10), in the western portion of Houston, is a heavily congested urban interstate facility. The existing freeway is 23 miles long and consists of six general-purpose main lanes (three in each direction), with two-lane continuous one-way frontage roads in each direction for most of its length. Additionally, the freeway has a one-lane reversible high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane between I-610 and State Highway 6, and one HOV lane in each direction between State Highway 6 and the Grand Parkway (State Highway 99). West Houston is one of the fastest growing areas in the Houston metropolitan region. Population and employment along the corridor is projected to increase by 40 percent in the near future, with population in certain portions of the corridor expected to grow by up to 130 percent. The freeway is proposed to be expanded to eight general-purpose lanes, four in each direction, with continuous three-lane frontage roads in each direction. In addition, in the center of the facility from I-610 west to State Highway 6, four HOT lanes are proposed, two in each direction. From State Highway 6 to the Grand Parkway, two HOT lanes are proposed, one in each direction. A re-evaluation of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was completed and made available to the public in January 2003. A press conference was held March 14, 2003 to formally sign a tri-party agreement. 153554b96e