Estimating the Benefits of Managed Lanes

Stated preference (SP) studies developed to estimate travelers’ value of travel time savings (VTTS) on managed lanes (ML) may underestimate the VTTS. This study investigates survey design strategies and differentiating the VTTS for ordinary and six common urgent situations faced by the travelers in an attempt to improve on VTTS estimation. An internet based survey for Katy Freeway travelers was used to collect data for this study. The authors used three different survey design strategies to produce surveys. They found that a random attribute level generation strategy, where the VTTS presented in the alternative was adjusted based on the answer to a previous SP question, performs better than other designs with respect to analysis of choice behavior and estimation of VTTS. The authors analyzed SP choices for travelers facing ordinary and six common urgent travel situations. They found that travelers value their travel time savings much more when facing most of the urgent situations. Due to this significant increase in the VTTS for travelers on urgent trips it is possible that the majority of ML travelers are on urgent trips. This includes travelers from all income levels, as even low income travelers on urgent trips value their time more than many high income travelers on regular trips. Therefore, using average VTTS will greatly underestimate the value of these MLs to travelers. This has significant policy implications since the benefits of MLs (and of most transportation investments) are primarily derived from travel time savings. Underestimating the value of ML travel time savings underestimates the benefits of MLs, reducing the likelihood of funding such facilities. Thus an important travel alternative would not be constructed. This study provides an important first step in proper estimation of these benefits using revised SP survey designs.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This research was supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University Transportation Center for Mobility

    Texas Transportation Institute, Texas A&M University System
    College Station, TX  United States  77843-3135

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Burris, Mark W
    • Patil, Sunil
  • Publication Date: 2009-9


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Maps; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 83p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01141697
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: UTCM 08-05-04
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT06-G-0044 (Grant)
  • Files: UTC, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Oct 13 2009 4:14PM