An Integrated System Model for Evaluating the Impact of the Dynamic ICC Toll Policy on the Regional Network Mobility

The construction of the Inter-county Connector (ICC) has certainly offered the prospect of reducing travel time between the I-270 and I-95 corridors, and may potentially alleviate congestion on the I-270 and I-495. However, since the entire ICC will be a toll road, its daily traffic volumes may depend primarily on the cost and time savings perceived by regional drivers on ICC and on existing routes, such as the US-28. Thus, the transportation agency responsible for the ICC operations will inevitably face the following challenging issues: (1) what toll policy can maximize the revenue for ICC and pay for its investment and operating costs; and (2) How to attract more drivers to ICC and how to effectively reduce congestion on the I-270 and I-495 corridors. The objective of this study is to develop an integrated system model that will enable State highway Administration (SHA) program managers to effectively assess the impact of any proposed ICC toll policy on the mobility of the regional traffic network, especially on the I-270 and I-495. More specifically, the proposed integrated traffic system model will have the following functions: - Capturing complex interactions between all critical factors such as the perceived travel cost of driving populations, travel times on alternative routes to ICC, congestion levels on the neighboring freeway networks, and the financial concerns of ICC operations; - Assessing the interrelationship between maximizing the revenue with the dynamic toll policy and minimizing the congestion for the target traffic network (including I-270, I-495, I-95), and - Serving as a tool for users to estimate the overall benefits of a proposed ICC toll policy with respect to traffic delay, fuel consumption, emissions, and safety.