In California, public support for variable tolling on SR91 was initially low, but after 18 months of operations; nearly 75 percent of the commuting public expressed approval of virtually all aspects of the Express Lanes program.

June 2005
Orange County,California,United States

Summary Information

The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) conducted a regional value pricing study for the Dallas-Fort Worth area. As the region continues to grow, and land and resources are limited for building new capacity, the region considered different approaches. One approach included managing the increasing congestion by operating its freeways more efficiently. Value pricing, also known as managed lanes, is one of the strategies that transportation leaders considered to improve system efficiency. Projects in California, Texas, Florida and New York have shown that value pricing can be an effective technique for managing congestion and raising revenue on highway facilities.

The goal of NCTCOG in this evaluation was to develop a methodology to identify possible facilities on which value pricing might be desirable. The study included the research and review of value pricing concepts, techniques, and information available from other value pricing studies and projects. Included in this study are some of the results found when reviewing the State Route 91 (SR-91) project in Orange County, California.

Throughout the SR-91 project implementation, surveys were conducted to involve the public in the development of the Express Lanes system. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has continued to monitor and evaluate the express lane system on a yearly basis.

  • After 18 months of operation, about 75 percent of the commuting public expressed approval of virtually all aspects of the Express Lane system.
  • Approval of variable tolls and private sector funding was initially low; however, after about a year of operation approval of the system began to increase.
  • Behavioral studies have shown that users place a high value on time savings and are willing to pay higher prices to avoid congestion.
A key element to the success of the facility is public input and customer use. Customers played an important part in the decision making process and are considered a major reason why the project has been successful.

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2005 Regional Value Pricing Corridor Evaluation and Feasibility Study

Author: North Central Texas Council of Governments

Published By: Prepared in cooperation with the Texas Department of Transportation and the U.S. DOT, Federal Highway Administration, and Federal Transit Administration

Source Date: June 2005



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Benefit ID: 2008-00549