Monitoring and Evaluating Managed Lane Facility Performance

J.L. Carson
College Station, TX: Texas Transportation Institute
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Publication Abstract: 
Much of the progress made in advancing the state of the practice in performance monitoring and evaluation has considered general freeway facilities and lacks specificity for managed lane facilities. Managed lane facilities are unique, typically requiring a higher degree of active (sometimes real-time) management, addressing goals and objectives that are inconsistent with the general freeway facility (i.e., revenue generation, person throughput), and accessing an exclusive set of management tools (i.e., gate closures). To address these potential differences between facilities, this investigation was conducted to isolate and document the best performance monitoring and evaluation practices and principles explicitly for managed lane facilities. Despite the novelty of managed lanes as a traffic management strategy, the diversity of managed lane facility types, and the breadth of motivating factors for managed lane implementation, some general consistency in practice was observed with respect to performance monitoring and evaluation. Common goals, objectives, and performance measures were observed across similar facility types. Significant differences were also observed across similar facility types with respect to observed performance outcomes and evaluation methodologies. Differences in observed performance outcomes are likely explained by the variety in facility design (i.e., length of facility, accessibility, etc.) and operation (i.e., eligibility requirements, toll rates, etc.), even within a similar facility type. Differences in the evaluation methodologies used to arrive at these observed performance outcomes are likely reflective of the available resources for analysis at the time of evaluation and the evolving state of analysis methodologies.