Annual boardings for the I-85 Xpress bus service increased seven percent, more than twice as fast as Xpress bus services in other areas of the city after HOT lanes were implemented to address congestion on I-85 in Atlanta.
Experience with congestion pricing on I-85 in Atlanta
Made Public Date


I-85 HOT Lanes
United States

Atlanta Congestion Reduction Demonstration: Interim Technical Memorandum on Early Results

Summary Information

The Atlanta Congestion Reduction Demonstration (CRD) project is one of six sites funded by the U.S. DOT through the Urban Partnership Agreement (UPA) and national CRD program to demonstrate congestion pricing and other supporting strategies. The projects are focused on reducing traffic congestion along the I-85 corridor. The Atlanta CRD was the conversion of existing 2+ person high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes to dynamically-priced 3+ person high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes, called Express Lanes, on approximately 16 miles of I-85 northeast of Atlanta. Other Atlanta CRD projects that are being evaluated include transit enhancements, where 36 new buses enabled operation of five new routes on the corridor and park-and-ride lot enhancements.

Evaluation data were collected before and after the conversion to assess impacts on commuters, stakeholders, agency operations, and the environment. "Before" data were collected from September 2009 to September 2010 and "after" data were collected from October 2011 to September 2012. Initial results from a preliminary analysis are shown below. A final evaluation will be provided at the end of the project.


Transit Analysis
  • Annual boardings on the I-85 Xpress bus service increased by seven percent while other areas increased by only three percent.
  • Park-and-ride lot use also increased at three out of four lots evaluated. The increased transit use was due in part to increased gasoline prices.
Congestion Analysis
  • Traffic sensor data suggested benefits for Express Lanes, but mixed results for general purpose lanes.
Tolling Analysis
  • During the first four months of operations the monthly number of trips during morning peak periods grew 54 percent on Express Lanes.
  • Excluding the first two weeks when toll rates were in flux, the maximum toll price increase during the four month period increased from $1.55 to $4.25.
  • The number of tolled trips increased at a greater rate than the number of non-tolled trips (67 percent compared to 32 percent, respectively).
Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Analysis
Moving up to a 3+ person requirement for free travel in the Express Lanes, survey data indicated that
  • 39 percent of carpoolers would likely switch to general purpose lanes to avoid paying tolls.
  • 15 percent would switch to driving alone.
  • 9 percent would look for another person to create a 3 person carpool.
  • 5 percent would move to transit.

Atlanta Congestion Reduction Demonstration: Interim Technical Memorandum on Early Results

Atlanta Congestion Reduction Demonstration: Interim Technical Memorandum on Early Results
Publication Sort Date
U.S. DOT Federal Highway Administration

(Our website has many links to other organizations. While we offer these electronic linkages for your convenience in accessing transportation-related information, please be aware that when you exit our website, the privacy and accessibility policies stated on our website may not be the same as that on other websites.)

Application Taxonomy

Goal Areas
Deployment Locations