This session highlights current research and practices regarding the operational aspects of priced managed lanes and cordon pricing. Three presenters discuss priced managed lanes, including the effectiveness of incentives and the design of optimal tolls. The fourth presenter highlights a new way of examining equitable cordon prices on the basis of multimodal trip availability. Altogether, these four presentations will help practitioners and researchers with designing pricing systems.
Examining the Potential of Variable Congestion Charges in Dublin City Centre, Ireland
Thilo Becker, Trinity College, DublinShow Abstract
Brian Caulfield, University of Dublin Trinity College
Philip Shiels, AECOM
Currently in Dublin, roads regularly see excessively high levels of congestion during the morning and evening peak hours returning to pre-recession levels. Over the past number of years, a range of options have been investigated in order to reduce traffic congestion in Dublin. Congestion-charges as they are currently implemented in London or Stockholm are generally supplemented by high quality public transport systems and in most cases commuters have viable alternative methods of transport readily available to them. While similar congestion pricing schemes have been suggested for Dublin, the public transport system in Dublin is in need of expansion and improvement and cannot currently provide a viable alternative method of transport for many car commuters in remote locations. This research examines an approach of introducing a user sensitive variable congestion charge to Dublin’s City Centre. The approach is based on one general congestion charge, as well as individual discount rates to reduce the congestion charge for some commuters.
Optimal Dynamic Tolls for Managed Lanes
Tomer Toledo, Technion Israel Institute of TechnologyShow Abstract
Omar Mansour, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology
Jack Haddad, Technion Israel Institute of Technology
This paper presents a real-time simulation-based control framework to determine dynamic toll rates in order to optimize an operator’s objective, subject to various operational and contractual constraints, such as smooth toll rate changes and maintaining prescribed levels of service on the toll lane. The toll-setting system incorporates models to predict the vehicle arrival process upstream of the toll lane facility and drivers’ choice whether or not to use the toll lanes as a function of the toll rate and travel times presented to drivers within the information system. A macroscopic traffic simulation model is used to predict the flow conditions within the prediction horizon. The travel times provided to users as information and the ones predicted by the traffic flow model are iterated until consistency between them is obtained. The whole process is embedded within an optimization algorithm that sets tolls that optimize a given objective function. Several case studies demonstrate the use of this framework and its potential to provide useful toll settings.
User Survey of High-Occupancy-Vehicle-High-Occupancy-Toll Lane Extended Hours and Weekend Operational Evaluation
Robert Benz, Texas A&M Transportation InstituteShow Abstract
Houston METRO conducted a 90-day (July 1, 2015 to September 30, 2015 operational pilot test to determine if extended hours and weekend operations on the High Occupancy Toll / High Occupancy Vehicle HOT/HOV system provided a mobility benefit to the traveling public. A user survey was conducted with users and the general public. The operational test had two primary components:
Extended hours of operation on weekdays (additional time from 8 PM to 11 PM in the outbound direction); and
The two primary goals of the operational tests were:
General Findings (not specific to pilot hours)
Pilot Extended Hours Findings
Pilot Weekend Findings
Impact of Incentives on Managed Lane Travel
Namoo Han, Freese and Nichols, Inc.Show Abstract
Mark Burris, Texas A&M University
The use of managed lanes to control and maximize freeway throughput is increasing. One way of encouraging more managed lane use is through the implementation of incentives. In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, a managed lane is being added to the I-30 (Tom Landry freeway) and incentives to maximize the use of this lane were planned. Since the managed lanes were not yet open and the incentives were hypothetical, a stated preference survey was used to gauge the impact of the incentives on traveler behavior.
The stated preference survey was developed through the online application Limesurvey. The stated preference questions were designed using Db-efficient and random adaptive designs. The incentives were chosen by looking at other programs around the country and through discussion with transportation experts. Once ready, the survey was administered online to travelers in the area and a total of 898 usable responses were gathered. From the responses, a mixed-logit model was developed to describe and predict traveler behavior. From the model, elasticities were calculated to predict the impact of the incentives on mode choice. Incentives with discounts and free trips (a transit fare discount, express bus service to downtown, a free trip for every X number of paid trips, and a discount offered to select businesses) were more effective at encouraging managed lane use. The other incentives (gift card worth $5 for every X number of trips and $5 in credit for every X number of trips taken by transit) had less of an impact.