HOT Lane Revenue Estimates Vary Widely

High occupancy toll (HOT) lanes are in the news in many of America's congested cities. Feasibility studies are underway, in many cases resulting in widely varying estimates of anticipated costs and revenues. This article briefly describes the experiences of four different cities to illustrate this disparity. In Virginia, a planned addition of four HOT lanes to the Washington Beltway is going forward, supported 100% by the toll revenues generated by the new lanes. In contrast, a study done in Atlanta, GA concluded that the costs would not be completely covered by the revenues generated by HOT lanes. The other examples are in Denver and Minneapolis/St. Paul. The author explains his understanding of the differences between these four feasibility studies, discussing the variations in allowing high occupancy vehicles (2 or 4 person) to ride for free in HOT lanes, toll rates, definitions of financial feasibility, adjusting toll rates for inflation, and modeling methodologies. The author concludes that the transportation planning community has not fully understood the kind of revenue profile that a HOT lane can produce over a long time period (e.g., 30 years). Also, models and simulations are still at a relatively crude stage for these feasibility studies.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Pagination: pp 23-24
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01001886
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 14 2005 10:11AM