Conversion of HOV to HOT lanes decreases express bus travel time from 25 to 8 minutes, increases bus speeds from 18 to 55 mph, and increases reliability and ridership.

Experience of Miami-Dade Transit along I-95 corridor in Miami, Florida.

January 2011
Florida; United States; Miami; Florida; United States

Summary Information

As part of the Urban Partnership Agreement/Congestion Reduction Demonstration (UPA/CRD) Program, the United States Department of Transportation (US DOT) awarded Miami, Florida funding for the conversion and expansion of high occupancy vehicles (HOV) lanes to high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes on the I-95 corridor between SR 112 and Golden Glades Interchange. This study looks at Phase 1A of the project which included the conversion of HOV lanes (one in each direction) and expanded them to two HOT lanes in each direction by reducing lane and shoulder width along the affected corridor. This phase also included an increase in occupancy for carpool vehicles from 2+ to 3+ and required registration. Phase 1B extended the length of the HOT lanes and also included the addition of three new routes to the "95 Express Bus Service" which already included the 95X route that had been in existence prior to 2008.

Data were evaluated for three four-month (January through April) time periods over the course of three years. The base year was 2008. The impact of Phase 1A was evaluated in 2009, and the impact of 1B was evaluated in 2010. Transit mode share and travel time data were obtained from the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) I-95 Lane Monitoring Reports. These data were compared to the outputs of previous HOV Lane Monitoring Reports created biannually by FDOT.

Additionally, pre and post project deployment on-board surveys were used in order to assess the user perceptions of the changes made to I-95 and the bus services during Phase 1. The use of two neighboring bus routes (77 and 277) and the bus system as a whole were used as two different control groups in order to assess whether the observations were based on overall trends or as a result of the UPA project.

The 95 Express Bus Service saw many benefits from the conversion of HOV lanes to HOT lanes. Average running times decreased from 25 minutes in 2008 to 8 minutes in 2010. Over the same time, average travel speeds increased from 18 mph to 55 mph. The increased speed allowed Miami-Dade Transit to reduce scheduled travel times for the 95X route. Even with reductions on scheduled travel time, the 95X route increased its on-time arrivals from 76.2 percent to 81.1 percent from 2008 to 2010.

The 95X route alone saw a 13 percent increase in ridership between 2008 and 2010. This increase occurred as ridership declined 15 percent system-wide. In a 2010 survey of new riders of the 95 Express Bus Service, 53 percent stated the opening of the express lanes influenced their decision to use transit. Thirty-eight percent of these new riders had previously been driving alone.

As a result of the changes in the Express Lanes, roadway level of service (LOS) grades increased for all lanes, not just the Express Lanes. The whole corridor saw a LOS gain with the express lanes improving from F to C, while the general lanes improved from F to D. Person throughput increased 48 percent across all lanes in the southbound direction during the AM peak period, while there was a 13 percent increase in the northbound person throughput during the PM peak period.

The only drawback was that there was a decrease in average vehicle occupancy (AVO) for the Express Lanes meaning that in addition to the transit ridership gains, there had been additional increase in the use of single occupancy vehicles paying the congestion pricing toll. Transit mode share of the users of the Express Lanes also decreased as a side effect of the increase in single occupancy vehicles traveling in the Express Lanes.

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Miami Urban Partnership Agreement (UPA) Project: Phase 1 Transit Evaluation Report - Final

Author: Pessaro, Brian

Published By: U.S DOT Federal Transit Administration

Source Date: January 2011

Other Reference Number: FTA-FL-26-7110.2011.1



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Benefit ID: 2011-00700