The Role of Preferential Treatment for Carpools in Managed Lanes

V.D. Goodin, M.W. Burris, C.M. Dusza, D. Ungemah, J. Li, S.A. Ardekani, S. Mattingly
College Station, TX: Texas Transportation Institute
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With the evolution of high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) facilities to managed lanes, and the increasing level of activity in the development of managed lanes in Texas and nationally, research and guidance defining the role of carpools in priced managed lanes is needed, especially a better understanding of the tradeoffs between carpool exemptions and other project objectives. Increasingly, project objectives reflect not only mobility concerns but funding deficiencies and the need to generate revenue. As a result, allowing exempt users such as carpools requires an evaluation of revenue impacts as well as mobility interests such as person movement, operations, and emissions. This study utilizes a state-of-the practice review, a 4600-respondent survey of freeway users in Houston and Dallas, and simulation modeling of six alternative HOV scenarios at varying toll rates to identify the tradeoffs associated with carpool toll discounts in new managed lanes.