Lesson from a domestic scan of ten metropolitan areas considering congestion pricing and/or managed lanes options
The FHWA sponsored a scan of selected Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and State Departments of Transportation (State DOTs) to determine how they are planning for congestion pricing and managed lanes. The scan was performed by conducting a survey of agencies that had been directly involved in consideration of these options in ten metropolitan areas:
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Dallas – Fort Worth, Texas
- Los Angeles-Orange County, California
- Kansas City, Missouri
- Miami, Florida
- Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
- Phoenix, Arizona
- San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, California
- Seattle, Washington
- Washington, DC
There was considerable enthusiasm for the concept of congestion pricing and pricing of managed lanes among the agencies in the metropolitan areas surveyed. The number of studies, and in particular, the consideration of congestion pricing on a regional network basis suggest that interest in and acceptance of congestion pricing and managed lanes is growing.
When evaluating congestion pricing and managed lane options:
- Recognize that reducing congestion is at least as important a reason for implemented congestion pricing or managed lanes as revenue generation. Many of the respondents reported that projects had been initiated primarily to generate revenue, but the congestion management benefits were ultimately at least as important if not more important to the success of the projects.
- Evaluate congestion pricing and managed lanes projects from a systems perspective and potential network choke points should be taken into consideration when assessing the revenue generation and other benefits of pricing. A single choke point can change the viability of a project.
- Set aside time and resources to collect the data needed to enhance the travel demand model to handle managed lanes projects since not all regional travel demand models are capable of simulating variable pricing.