Value Pricing and Traffic Reduction Incentives

<p>In the urban and suburban regions of the United States, most Americans would agree that highway congestion is an increasing problem. Many of the highways in these regions are outdated and functionally inefficient. As a result, they are crammed far over capacity during peak morning and evening hours, causing massive delays and very high user costs. Attempts are being made to control the traffic problem, but actions taken are often too little too late. Highway expansion projects by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and private highway authorities are costly and often take years if not decades to implement. By the time these projects are completed, the highway traffic has in many cases already grown beyond the capacity of the new highway, only reducing the problem and not eliminating it. Ramp metering projects have proven effective in many metropolitan areas, but as traffic continues to increase, queues at access ramps will grow uncontrollably and will increasingly obstruct local roads. The traffic problem cannot simply be reduced, it must be solved. A solution is possible. That solution is the joint implementation of value lanes and monetary traffic reduction incentives. Value lane implementation is a simple concept, already tried in the United States with promising results. Highways would reserve one lane separate from other traffic, restricted from other lanes with concrete medians or traffic delineators. The lane will be guaranteed to flow below maximum operating capacity, providing fast service during all hours. To access this lane, users must pay a fee via EZ-Pass or a comparable substitute. The problem often faced in value pricing experiments is an increase in congestion on the remaining "Slow Lanes". Monetary traffic reduction incentives will solve the problem. A large portion of the money generated by value lane users will be used to fund an off peak incentive program. Daily drivers of the slow lanes will be offered a monthly reward to ensure that their daily commute occurs before or after peak hours. If administrated properly, peak hour volume will decrease in the slow lanes to a manageable size, and highway efficiency will increase as user costs accumulated by lost time are reduced. The program may be monitored by EZ-Pass to ensure driver cooperation. The research will include the analysis of a set of hypothetical congested roadways at varying degrees of congestion, along with combinations of value pricing and incentive options to find optimum solutions. This proposal is innovative in that it combines additional toll revenues (Value Pricing) with Peak Traffic Reduction (Incentives). It meets the goals and objectives of the University Transportation research Center (UTRC) in that it is designed to be utilized in the planning and managing of state and regional highway systems. It is futuristic in that it uses incentives to change the time /travel patterns of a portion of the highway users, while greatly reducing congestion.</p>


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Department of Transportation

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration
    Washington, DC  USA  20590

    University Transportation Research Center

    City College of New York
    Marshak Hall, Suite 910, 160 Convent Avenue
    New York, NY  USA  10031
  • Project Managers:

    Crichton-Summers, Camille

    Thorson, Ellen

  • Performing Organizations:

    New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark

    Center for Transportation Studies and Research
    University Heights, 225 Colton Hall
    Newark, NJ  USA  07102
  • Principal Investigators:

    Deutschman, Harold

  • Start Date: 20110701
  • Actual Completion Date: 20120930
  • Source Data: RiP Project 28671

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01465992
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: University Transportation Research Center
  • Contract Numbers: 49111-11-23
  • Files: UTC, RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 3:08PM