The Rationale for HOV Lane Conversions to Tolled Express Lanes

The rationale for converting HOV lanes to tolled express lanes is explained well in the environmental assessment for Texas DOT’s MoPac express lanes project in Austin:

“HOV lanes have often not maximized corridor capacity . . . . DOTs across the country have been unable to manage HOV lanes effectively so that reliability is maintained on the facility . . . . For example, HOV lanes set at two-person occupancy limit are often congested, while those with a three-person limit are often underutilized, causing resentment among travelers in congested GP lanes. Therefore, many DOTs have replaced HOV lanes with other options, such as express lanes or have added a tolling component to their HOV lanes (HOT lanes). . . . Without a dynamic pricing component that ensures a minimum level of service on the HOV, reliability of the facility cannot be assured. . . . In addition, occupancy enforcement can be a challenge. There is currently no reliable automated enforcement technology. . . . Furthermore, without a tolling component, the funds to implement this alternative currently are not available.” n



About Bill Reinhardt

Editor of Public Works Financing newsletter
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