In 2005, Mn/DOT completed a Phase I study that examined the conversion of high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lanes to high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes on I-394 and I-35W in Minneapolis-St.Paul. In 2010, a second study was conducted to examine the concept of implementing dynamic pricing on shoulder lanes to provide additional capacity with minimal impacts and changes to the overall roadway footprint. These new MnPASS lanes would run parallel to general purpose lanes and require all vehicles except transit to pay tolls. Price would increase with volume to maintain free-flow conditions.
A sketch-level benefit-to-cost analysis was conducted to estimate system impacts. The analysis assumed that capital costs would be incurred by 2014, the system would be operational by 2015, and benefits would increase at a rate of 1.2 percent per year to match estimates for increased traffic demand.
Benefits included vehicle operating and maintenance benefits (calculated from the system VMT changes output from the travel demand model) and travel time savings (calculated from the system VHT changes from the model). Cost variables on each corridor included capital costs, operating and maintenance costs, and salvage costs. The capital cost, however, was the primary cost driver for the benefit-to-cost analysis. Benefits were primarily derived from travel time savings measured as the reduction in vehicle-hours traveled for both general purpose and managed lanes in each corridor.
The analysis included the following constraints and assumptions.
- Auto Value of Time (per hour) = $13.59
- Truck Value of Time (per hour) = $17.08
- Auto Vehicle Operating Cost (per mile) = $0.26
- Truck Vehicle Operation Cost (per mile) = $0.71
- Vehicle Occupancy (per vehicle) = 1.35
- Discount Factor = 2.9%
- Inflation Rate = 3.0%
- Evaluation Period = 20 years
- Annual O&M Costs (toll collection and enforcement)= $50,000 per mile
- Major Structures = 60 years
- Grading and Drainage = 50 years
- Sub-Base and Base = 40 years
- Surface = 25 years
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