Package road value-pricing strategies with technology upgrades and conduct extensive outreach that involves champions, stakeholders, and the general public.

Experience nationwide with FHWA's congestion and value pricing pilot programs.

August 2008
United States

Background (Show)

Lesson Learned

Implications for planners and managers
  • Plan for extensive outreach activities. An important lesson for project planning is paying heed to the extensive outreach activities associated with all project categories. Be prepared to involve stakeholders and champions and make changes as necessary to accommodate customers and the general public. Patience and persistence is key during the planning stages since initial opposition often diminishes over time.
  • Realize that value pricing projects with large capital costs, such as those requiring new facilities or networks (i.e., HOT lane conversions), may not be fully self-financing. Covering the initial capital cost of conversion from HOV to HOT lane operation can be difficult, especially where conversion requires expensive capital outlays or where a relatively large number of vehicles are allowed to travel freely. In all but one of the HOT lane evaluations studied, however, revenues were sufficient to support operating expenses. Well-designed HOT lane programs can be expected to increase throughput and possibly support additional services. For example, the I-15 HOT lanes in San Diego, was able to cover its operating expenses and support a transit subsidy.
  • Pay attention to technology advancements. For HOT lanes and new priced express lanes, important issues include: pricing by transponders versus license plates; enforcement systems for transponder violations; latest developments in vehicle occupancy verification; open road tolling systems; and truck axle counting automation. Technology upgrades packaged with new pricing strategies may enhance prospects for acceptance.
Overall, by influencing travel behavior, pricing projects have prevented congestion from occurring on priced lanes, reduced congestion on toll facilities, and improved utilization of highway capacity.

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Value Pricing Pilot Program:  Lessons Learned - Final Report

Author: Kiran Bhatt, Thomas Higgins, John T. Berg

Published By: FHWA

Source Date: August 2008

Other Reference Number: FHWA-HOP-08-023

URL: http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/fhwahop08023/index.htm

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Mike Mercer


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Lesson ID: 2009-00506