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Talking Freight

Truck Separated Lanes/Truck Tolling

March 16, 2005 Talking Freight Transcript

Jennifer Seplow:

Good afternoon or good morning to those of you to the West. Welcome to the Talking Freight Seminar Series. My name is Jennifer Seplow and I will moderate today's seminar. Today's topic is Truck Separated Lanes/Truck Tolling. Please be advised that today's seminar is being recorded.

Today we'll have four speakers, Darrin Roth of the American Trucking Associations, Fred Altizer of the VDOT/I-81 Coalition, Arno Hart of Wilbur Smith Associates, and Bob Poole of the Reason Foundation.

Darrin Roth is Director of Highway Operations with the American Trucking Associations. He has served in that capacity since 2001. Darrin joined the organization in 1996 as a Transportation Policy Analyst. He serves as the primary staff liaison to ATA's Highway Policy Committee. Darrin's areas of responsibility include transportation financing, including tolls, truck size and weight regulations, and the preservation of an accessible national truck network.

Prior to joining ATA he held several positions in the fields of public policy and public relations. Darrin has a B.A. in Political Science from the American University and did postgraduate studies in public administration at George Washington University.

Fred Altizer is a 34-Year Veteran with the Virginia Department of Transportation. He is currently the assistant to the Chief Engineer and the I-81 Program Manager. Previously he was the District Administrator for one of Virginia's nine construction districts and the Resident Engineer for field operations which included programming, maintenance and construction. Mr. Altizer is a graduate of the AASHTO National Highway and Transportation Management Institute at the University of Indiana and of the Virginia Executive Institute. He received his bachelor of science in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech. Mr. Altizer is registered as a professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Arno Hart is Vice President with Wilbur Smith Associates, in Los Angeles, CA. Mr. Hart holds an M. A. in Economics from the University of South Carolina and he has an extensive experience working on freight and logistics projects for a variety of modes. His project experience include the Washington I-5 Commerce Truck Corridor Feasibility Study, Nogales AZ CyberPort, National I-10 Freight Truck Corridor Study, Wilmington to Harrisburg Truck Freight Corridor Study, Florida Multimodal Trade Corridor Study, Florida Cross-State Rail Corridor Study, Florida Regional Rail Corridor Study, Metroplan Orlando Freight Goods And Services Mobility Strategy, Nashville Urban Freight Study, Houston-Galveston Area Freight Congestion Solutions Study, Study of Goods Movement in Peel, Ontario, Development of Freight-Supportive Land Use Guidelines, Roanoke Valley - Alleghany Regional Freight, Northeast Ohio All-Mode Freight Study, Port of Tacoma Intermodal Business Plan, Charleston SC Inland Port Study, Gulf Coast Barge Services Market Feasibility Study, Florida Gulf/Atlantic Intra-coastal and Brown Water Shallow Draft Barge Study, Port of Itawamba, MS Riverport Master Plan and Regional Intermodal Transportation Plan, Port 2000 Master Plan, Albany NY, Port of Durres, Albania Financial Feasibility, Pennsylvania Air Cargo Study, Thailand Global Transpark Air Cargo Airport, Orlando International Airport Cargo Market Strategic Plan, Tuscaloosa Airport Air Cargo Study, and CSX Intermodal Yard Relocation Study.

Robert Poole is Director of Transportation Studies at the Reason Foundation in Los Angeles. He received his B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering at MIT and did graduate work in operations research at NYU. His 1988 policy paper proposing supplemental privately financed, congestion-relief toll lanes inspired California's landmark private tollway law (AB 680), which served as the prototype for more than 15 similar laws in other states. In 1993 he directed a study that coined the term HOT Lanes. Poole has been an advisor to the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Transit Administration, the White House Office of Policy Development, and the California and Florida Departments of Transportation. He served 18 months on the Caltrans Privatization Advisory Steering Committee, in 1989-90, and was a member of California's Commission on Transportation Investment in 1995-96. He has also served on transportation advisory bodies to the California Air Resources Board and the Southern California Association of Governments, including SCAG's REACH task force on highway pricing measures. He is a member of the board of the Public-Private Ventures division of ARTBA. In 2000-2001 he was a member of the Bush-Cheney transition team on transportation. He writes a monthly column on transportation policy issues for Public Works Financing.

I'd like to go over a few logistical details prior to starting the seminar. Today's seminar will last 90 minutes, with 60 minutes allocated for the speakers, and the final 30 minutes for audience Question and Answer. The Operator will give you instructions on how to ask a question over the phone during the Q&A period. However, if during the presentations you think of a question, you can type it into the smaller text box underneath the chat area on the lower right side of your screen. Please make sure you are typing in the thin text box and not the large white area. Presenters will be unable to answer your questions during their presentations, but I will use some of the questions typed into the chat box to start off the question and answer session in the last half hour of the seminar. Those questions that are not answered will be posted to the Freight Planning LISTSERV. The LISTSERV is an email list and is a great forum for the distribution of information and a place where you can post questions to find out what other subscribers have learned in the area of Freight Planning. If you have not already joined the LISTSERV, the web address at which you can register is provided on the slide on your screen.

If at anytime you would like to zoom in on the slide that is showing on your screen, you can click on the zoom icon at the top of your screen. It looks like a magnifying glass with a plus sign in it.

Finally, I would like to remind you that this session is being recorded. A file containing the audio and the visual portion of this seminar will be posted to the Talking Freight Web site within the next week. To access the recorded seminar, please visit Talkingfreight.webex.com and click on the “recorded events” link on the left side of the page and then choose the session you'd like to view. Due to the size of the file, recorded files are available for viewing/listening purposes only and cannot be saved to your own computer. We encourage you to direct others in your office who may have not been able to attend this seminar to access the recorded seminar.

The Power Point presentations used during the seminar will also be available within the next week. I will notify all attendees of the availability of the Power Points, the recording, and a transcript of this seminar.

We will hang on just a few minutes to let other people join in and then around 1:00 we will begin with the first presentation of the day. For now the operator will put you on hold and I will be back in a few minutes.

Operator:

Good day, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the Truck Separated Lanes/Truck Tolling seminar. I will be your coordinator for today. At this time all participants are in listen-only mode. We will be conducting a live question and answer session. You may submit your question via the web at any time by using the Q&A tab or chat feature in the lower right hand corner of your screen. If at any time you require audio assistance, press star followed by zero and a coordinator will be happy to assist you. Should you experience any technical difficulty with today's presentation, please contact WebEx technical support at 866-779-3239. I will now turn the presentation over to your host for today's call, Miss Jennifer Seplow.

J. Seplow:

It's about 1:00 and we had a few others join us so we will get started. For those of you who did just join us, today's topic is truck separated lanes, truck tolling. Our presentation of the day will be that of Darrin Roth of the American Trucking Associations. If you think of questions during the presentation or any of the other presentations, you can type them into the chat area on the screen. Please indicate which speaker your question is directed towards and then also send your question to all participants which you can select from the drop down box at the bottom. Questions will be answered in the last 30 minutes of the seminar. So, Darrin, if you will give me a second I will set you up and you can begin. Okay, you can begin when you are ready.

Darrin Roth:

Thank you very much. Jennifer, I appreciate the opportunity to be here today and to be a part of this panel. What I'd like to do is talk about truck separation and tolling separately…no pun intended. I think there are issues involving both and I would like to go through them in general. ATA, the American Trucking Associations, believes that separating cars and trucks can be a positive thing. Particularly with regard to safety. Separating cars and trucks eliminates the operational differences that can create conflicts between vehicles. Because three-quarters of car-truck crashes begin with the actions of the car driver, separating the vehicles can create a safer work environment. There are opportunities for productivity improvements as a result of less congestion with increased capacity and better flow of traffic due to a more homogeneous mix of vehicles by separating cars and trucks. Reduced accidents and reduced congestion creates a reliable highway and separating cars and trucks creates the opportunity for changes in truck size and weight limits which obviously contributes to increased productivity. In addition, if you're separating the vehicles, you can design the highway to fit the vehicles using that highway for the truck lanes you can have thicker pavement, stronger bridges, better geometrics more suitable for trucks. On the car lanes you may not have to build pavements that are quite as thick which reduces costs, bridges that may not have to be designed to accommodate heavy truck traffic. And, of course, you can have geometric features that don't necessarily have to accommodate larger vehicles. There are potentially some negative aspects associated with truck lanes as well. I think all of them can be overcome. If you are mandating use of truck lanes by trucks and you are reducing the number of access points, the number of interchanges that the trucks can use, there is the potential for some shift of truck traffic to surface streets. It's obviously something we want to avoid. There are also potentially some unique design features associated with truck lanes which could pose safety problems. If trucks are entering or exiting the truck lanes through the -- using the general purpose lanes, you may have some merge issues which could create additional conflicts. If the truck lane is single lane design that could result in reduced headways, reduced spacings between vehicles. Problems with accident clearance, emergency response and routing vehicles around construction zones. Again, I think all of these potential problems can be avoided. As far as toll financing is concerned, the trucking industry generally prefers highway funding through the traditional methods such as federal and state fuel taxes and registration fees. And this is very important to understand. Fuel taxes and fuel costs in general are more easily understood by shippers and are generally part of the contract negotiation between the truckers and the shipper. So with increases in fuel taxes the carrier is more -- is able to for the most part pass those costs along to the shipper. Tolls are different. Shippers tend to regard tolls as an optional cost. When faced with the prospect of tolling, the carrier generally has three options. One, the carrier can absorb the toll costs. Two, the carrier can try to spread the cost among all the customers. If he is big enough he can incrementally increase rates to cover the cost of the toll. But for those two options to happen, the carrier has to be of some size. 85% of the trucking industry is comprised of carriers with six or fewer trucks. So for a lot of the carriers, if they aren't able to pass along all or part of the toll costs, there is the option to use an alternative route. Particularly, when it comes to a tolled interstate highway, this is problematic in terms of safety particularly because interstate highways accident rate tends to be four times lower than other highways. If traffic is shifting to local roads, you are causing additional congestion in the local communities, additional pollution and noise problems. And you are creating additional maintenance costs. Potentially higher capacity costs, if you are having to add capacity to those alternate routes, if they are now congested because of the diverted traffic. And one thing that in particular when it comes to rural interstate highways, the assumption is that out of state deliveries, interstate trucks will be bearing the brunt of the cost. And we found that really isn't true. Because the farther you are away, the farther the truck is away from the toll road, the more options that trucker has to avoid paying the toll and using an alternate route. What ends up happening is that local trucks and local deliveries and local businesses are the ones who end up paying a significant share of the toll cost. One thing we are concerned about and others are concerned about is that traffic and revenue projections for toll facilities routinely underestimate the evasion of traffic or evasion of tolls through diversion of traffic and that's something that has to be addressed. ATA's position on tolls is that if tolls are used to finance a highway, it must be voluntary. The toll must be on new lanes only. We would oppose placing tolls on existing interstate lanes. The revenue should go to the project. We are not alone in this position. We are supported by all the major highway user groups including AAA, the business community, by various taxpayer groups and by the general public. Our polling and other surveys have shown that the general public will not accept tolls on existing lanes. So that's something that should be taken into consideration. I want to talk about a couple of the proposals that you will be hear being and I won't get into too much detail. But Bob Poole will talk about his proposal on the Reason Foundation study. In general, what that does is what Reason proposes is to build new truck-only lanes. And toll those lanes, make the tolls, make the use of the lanes voluntary. We believe that that proposal meets all of our criteria. Some earlier proposals had single lane design which we were concerned about and understand that later proposals do not have the single lane. The one thing I think that is preventing the trucking industry from coming out enthusiastically in support of the Reason Foundation concept is that federal law under limited circumstances allows tolling of existing interstates. And what our members are afraid of is that even if you build new tolled truck-only lanes with voluntary use, if traffic and revenue projections don't pan out, the state will come back later and mandate use of the truck lanes or impose tolls on the existing general purpose lanes. So the authority, the federal authority to toll existing lanes, I believe, is actually a detriment to building tolled truck-only lanes. We also believe that the most promising truck lanes fill the gaps in the existing longer combination vehicle network and bob will talk later about those types of operations. I want to shift to Virginia, Fred Altizer will address this. But in general, the proposal is to build along all 325 miles of I-81 in Virginia tolled truck only lanes, four new lanes. Use of those lanes will be mandatory for trucks. No plans for allowing LCVs. Total cost of the project right now is $13 billion. Virginia DOT and I think the general assembly has determined that as it stands now this project is not going to work the way it's envisioned. That trucks simply can't bear the entire cost or majority of the cost of the project without a significant amount of diversion. And that's unacceptable. The toll rate at completion in 2019 for this project is under the current plan 37-cents per mile, 25-cents per mile adjusted for inflation. Historically trucks make 2 to 4-cents per mile in profit. You can see where there will be an incentive for trucks to avoid paying the toll unless the alternate routes prove to be more costly. According to a study done for the state, at 25-cents you can see the left column about 42 percent of truck loads would divert from I-81. 58 percent of the truck VMT. Where is that traffic moving to? Part of it moves to I-95 in Virginia, which is already congested, already a relatively unsafe highway compared to I-81 and other interstates. Another part of the diversion puts additional truck traffic on secondary roads such as U.S.-11 which is a two lane undivided highway. A significant amount of the traffic, more than 26 percent of I-81 VMT shifts to highways outside of Virginia and half of that shifts to non interstate highways outside of Virginia. A few closing thoughts. The current system of financing and building highways is not working as well as needed. If it was, we wouldn't have the congestion that we are experiencing today. We believe, ATA believes that tolled truck lanes can be a limited solution under certain circumstances. However, planners and policy makers must have a better understanding of how the trucking industry works in order to avoid some of the unintended consequences, particularly the safety problems that I described. And they need to understand how the truck industry prices its services and how routing decisions are made. We will be more than happy to work with the states. Our state affiliates will be happy to work with the states in figuring this out, and we can set up meetings with carriers and help with the research. But I think this is definitely a critical thing for states to understand if they are to successfully build toll truck lanes. That concludes my presentation.

J. Seplow:

Thank you, Darrin and thank you to those who posted a to the chat area. For those who just joined us, if you think of questions during the presentation you can type them in the chat area and please send them to all participants so everybody can see them. Let's now move on Fred Altizer of the Virginia Department of Transportation. And, Fred, I will get you set up and you can get started.

Fred Altizer:

Okay, thank you. I want to begin this afternoon by covering a few of the conditions and some of the history along 81. Then we will talk a little bit about the tier one NEPA study as we refer to the corridor improvement study. We will move on and talk about Virginia's tolling application and end up with our public private transportation act and where that is in Virginia. I-81 as you can see is a critical corridor on the east coast linking some of the major interstates in the south to the northeast. Really, I-81 and I-95 parallel from the south to the north and provide one of the major if not the major access for freight moving from the west and south up through this corridor to the northeast. As you can see, the cities are major along this corridor linking Knoxville, Tennessee, all the way up to upper state New York. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a real hub for freight that is quite often off-loaded at that location. And then over to the York City, New Jersey area. I-81 through Virginia is about 300 plus miles, about 90 interchanges. Traffic ranges now from about 25 to almost 60,000 in the more populated areas. I think this slide will show some of the real critical issues that we face on 81, even though the road is predominantly in the valley of Virginia, the actual water breaks and drainage areas in the through the valley create just a very high degree of challenge for the driver because of the changes in elevation all the way from Tennessee to the West Virginia state line. And from a traffic standpoint, when you have a high number of motor freight carriers along with our other drivers, it creates a real diversity in terms of speed and conflict of movements in this area. 81 as most of our interstates were -- was designed for 15% trucks and running now 20 to 40% throughout the corridor. It's one of the top trucking routes in the U.S. One of the things that makes it unique we have found is a diversity of the drivers. Not only commercial but it's known as the local main street. It's the only corridor that we have for most of our population that live in this area to use. One of the things that has come to the surface when we began looking at 81 as the number of student drivers that we have found along 81, we have about 60% of the students and higher education facilities are educated in this corridor, somewhere between Winchester and Bristol, Tennessee. That includes your commute to colleges, major universities. That adds to the problems and the kinds of drivers and conditions when you mix all of those together. Last I will say that we have noticed a tremendous increase in the number of RVs. It seems that 81 is a major hot spot for RVs that visit the Shenandoah national park and travel down the Blue Ridge parkway use 81 -- and that's a traffic issue also. We have continued to make improvements along time to time as resources are available. We have some construction projects underway. Several types of enhancements for guardrail. A number of ITS components. Variable message signs, highway advisory radio. Two traffic centers. Smart traffic centers online that are helping us manage traffic in the corridor and will be continuing to make those improvements as time goes on. We will talk a little bit about the NEPA study now. In 2004 in January, we began tier 1 environmental impact study along the entire corridor. This tiering is fairly new to Virginia. We have used it before, but this was the large corridor. We felt like that it was the only way to really get to break down the issues and make some decisions on what we needed to do along the corridor. This is a map that shows both rail and 81. This was used in the analysis and as we continue to work on that, the rail concept continues to be studied in our process. The tier 1 study looks at -- is kind of the high altitude look at 81. It provides broad concepts and ideas. It is not site specific. Many of our people who want to know what we will do on 81 ask about specifics and those are the kinds of things that will come along the tier 2 environmental studies. Some of the things that will come out of our tier 1 study will be the concepts for number of lanes. Partial or complete separation of trucks and cars. Segments of 81, as I said, 81 is 300-plus miles. To get this down into manage -- manageable, buildable sections the tier 1 study will recommend sections of independent utilities. We will look at adding rail capacity if that alternative or concept is selected. One of the most important aspects of the tier 1, it will provide the advancement of I-81 as a toll pilot project. Talk a little bit more about that in a second. That's the brief schedule of where we are. This tier 1 has moved along at a rapid pace. We hope to have some final decisions made this summer and a -- issue that will allow us to begin looking at tier 2 studies later. Typically some of the major components that folks really want to ask questions about will be looked at in tier 2, and these are just a few of the issues and items that the public often wants to know about. Like I said, these will come along in a tier 2. Talk now about our tolling application. And V--dot applied for it -- tolling is the only mechanism that we have for financing improvements on 81 if that is a decision that comes out of tier 1. In March of '03, V-dot submitted an application under section 1216B for one of the three pilot tolls that are allowed for or that are allowed in that legislation. And we received approval later that spring from FHWA with certain conditions. And in October of '03, we began work on those and that continues. The latest aspect of that is that we were given approval or condition upon finishing tier 1 we would receive provisional approval to continue that tolling study. These are some.

J. Seplow:

Again, thank you to those of you who posted questions and I see some discussion between attendees going on in the chat area and we definitely encourage that. We want you to all help each other and share ideas. We will get the questions posted at the of the seminar even if some them have been answered, we will discuss them a little further after all the presentations. Our next presentation will be that of Arno Hart Wilbur Smith Associates.

Arno Hart:

This is Arno Hart. It's a pleasure to be here on as part of the seminar with this esteemed panel on large scale truck separation in the United States. I'm going to spend sometime talking about this subject from the perspective of state DOTs. I'm going to use some work that done for DOTs as the discussion. When we talk about truck separation, there are various concepts. You talk -- there is grade separation, you can have trucks in H.O.V. lanes that's a concept looked at. Tolled truck lanes, specifically to raise revenue and then truck -- these are examples of how truck separation actually occurs. State DOTs are paying attention to more room. They always known we need additional capacity for freight. What I'm saying here is in the contact of separation. They are paying attention to the idea of using freight to add additional capacity to their highway system. For the I-10 freight corridor study for the eight states along the I-10 from California to Florida, we looked at a variety of different scenarios for adding along I-10. And including widening ITS, truck separation, waterway corridors and truck bypasses and trucker activity. two are significant here are truck separation. I will spend some time on what we have there. What came out of that specific analysis was a new freight policy direction for the state DOTs along the corridor. Is that despite the need for continued focus on motor diversion, our current policy for focusing primarily only on diversion of freight from highways, they have agreed and put forward the idea that in addition to that, we got to recognize that trucks are growing as a percentage share and that we need to do things to accommodate trucks. We need to focus on doing better at accommodating trucks. Innovative ways of highway development and innovations of truck movability and -- that's important for the DOT have taken. And the area that they are focusing on or caught on to is the idea of mass flow concepts. Trucks obviously haven't -- have a huge advantage. They are door-to-door. We don't have to change the system to allow them to run. The system is designed for them. We wish they could run in mass like rail, barge and move a lot of things. The idea is perhaps applying this mass flow concept to trucks. Allowing them to move or propel large volumes, especially through urban areas. So again that's the overall principal of looking at ways at moving trucks in separated areas. The second point is that state DOTs are recognizing that separation can actually provide additional capacity. do we need to provide capacity for trucks but they can provide additional capacity for general purpose lanes. If you look at this graph that I have up here, this shows 2025 congestion along the I-10. Levels of service A through F. F meaning bad, A good. Red is bad, green is good. You will see that with freight, you have a lot of areas that have congestion along the corridor of 2025. Without freight, if you removed the trucks somehow either on rail, barge or on separate facilities, you have an immense increase in or reduction in congestion. So looking at trucks does add capacity to the general purpose lanes. They came up with criteria for identifying where trucks make sense. Where truck separation makes sense. Fundamentally areas with high truck volumes, areas that have very high core capacity issues. Areas with total daily high volumes of total traffic and segments of corridor that have high service requirements. IE, that move freight with high service requirements such as merchandise. Merchandise goods, stuff that have a high value that have high time sensitivity. Those segments of corridors or fundamental criteria could lead to candidates for truck separation. And for this specific corridor, we identified four candidate locations. The southern California area, Phoenix, Tucson, Tucson, west and the gulf coast. All of these had sustained patterns of combined stress. The DOTs got together and identified specific criteria for where trucks separation made sense and analyzed it and found that if they were to remove the trucks in those specific segments, they would reduce deficient mileage, i.e., by 40 to 60%. By focusing on the truck aspect. The third is that state DOTs are paying attention to are separation offers activity and cost savings for the truck industry as a whole. If you look at research done on where the cost for operating a truck goes, about 50% of the fuel or energy is consumed in drag. So there is research done by Daimler-Chrysler where they are running trucks in daytime using electronic draw bars where they link the drive train and the braking steering electronically. And as you can see for the second vehicle you see a huge reduction in fuel savings. Increase in fuel savings. This is obviously where you have the trucks moving on their own not in mixed flow. It won't work with normal traffic conditions and mixed use lanes which brings to point the fact for you to have innovations in truck mobility, you need separation. Separate facilities. The same group further evaluated the idea and used platooning as a concept where they have three trucks running in platoons, where the coordinating their lane changing, acceleration and braking. Again, the idea here is trying to propel several trucks in tandem providing productivity and cost savings for the industry as a whole. Bob Poole will talk about another productivity gain which are a longer combination of vehicles. I won't spend time talking about that. But that's very real productivity gain that DOTs are paying attention to. Obviously the issue is where is the future for large truck design going? One can argue fuel cost, safety could play a role in the demand for a new vehicle category that can move in a mass flow concept. Fourth point, the DOTs are realizing and pay attention to the fact that productivity gains provide for revenue generation. In the case of Washington DOT, the legislature wanted to look at developing a separate corridor north-south corridor in addition to I-5 that looked at both transportation and energy and the focus there was to let the private sector pay for the corridor. We evaluated the feasibility of a privately developed multi-modal energy transportation corridor adjacent to I-5. Again, the idea there is to look at public, private partnerships and for private investment. And what have here is a diagram of the various combinations. We looked at gas lines, commercial vehicles. General purpose vehicles. Freight and passenger rail. Power transmission. Shared use for pass and equestrian trails. Anybody that would use anybody that could possibly use this multi-modal corridor. What we found is of all of them, of the energy components, rail components, the toll components, the only one that really made sense in terms of a privatized approach for developing a separate corridor was truck tolling. Only one that generated sufficient revenue to pay for in part for the development of the corridor. Obviously would require public subsidy and require quite a substantial toll. But the point here is that it would require 50% diversion. The is it's the only way that DOTs are seeing for them to add additional capacity is for specific user group. Again, also found there were significant volumes or sufficient volumes to justify the separate facility. Of all of the different ways, the truck part made the most sense. The fifth point I want to make is I don't have slides on this but there a lot of dialogue in today's discussion on this. The other issue that DOTs are recognizing obviously is that there are added benefits of safety in a clear environment. If we use less fuel we a cleaner environment and less emissions and the safety aspects of having separate vehicle lanes for trucks. Separate from cars and also the perception of safety, too. But again, those are the five fundamental aspects that the DOTs are paying attention to and looking at truck tolling and separation as a serious way of enhancing transportation in our country. As a closer of the status of ongoing truck on the initiatives are substantial. You heard from Fred Altizer, you heard from Fred Altizer with V-dot and what they are doing. The I-10 to gulf port route, port of gulf port route in Mississippi a serious endeavor, too. They are waiting for legislation to allow for that. In Missouri looking at I-70 and determining the feasibility of truck only lanes in Missouri. And the most serious and you will hear more about it from bob in a is in southern California. There is a variety of proposals that are planning and feasible phase. That's my summary of how this concept of truck tolling and truck separation is evolving from a variety of different aspects from a state DOTs perspective. Thank you for your time.

J. Seplow:

Our final presentation of the day will be that of Bob Poole of the Reason Foundation. Bob, let me get you set up. Okay, begin when you are ready.

Bob Poole:

We are going to summarize here about three years of work at the Reason Foundation looking at the underlying economics of toll truckways -- which is a specific form of toll truck lanes we have defined and started researching. And we think it holds a lot of promise. The problem we are trying to solve is, as Arno suggested, there is a need for more lane capacity on many of our interstates, particularly the ones that serve as major truck freight arteries. But states are short of funds and it looks increasingly doubtful they can add much lane capacity in the next ten or 15 years. Tolls could be a major new funding source, but historically the trucking industry has for understandable reasons opposed paying tolls for facilities that already exist. The challenge that we face that inspired this research, is: how can we come up with a toll truck lane concept that is genuinely a good deal for the trucking industry? We asked the question, what does the trucking industry want that it's not getting from the highway system today? One thing it wants, as previous speakers have mentioned, is greater productivity. More payload per driver, a fundamental driving force in the economics of trucking business. And in cities they want reliable trip times for that portion of freight that's time sensitive that really needs just in time delivery. And currently you can't really get either of those the highway system as it is.

Trucking could be a lot more productive than it is. Since deregulation of the railroad industry, rail productivity has increased four fold, an amazing change. But in trucking, we still have basically one driver hauling one trailer for the most part. As Darrin mentioned, and Arno also, longer combination vehicles can move up to twice as much freight as a 18 wheel rig with one driver. And because truck shipping is a big business, saving on shipping costs due to higher productivity could produce multi-tens of billions of dollars of savings for the economy. LCVs just to clarify here, we are talking about these large rigs particularly the two on the right-hand side of the slide, the triple short trailers or two long trailers, the turnpike double. That's where you get the biggest payload capacity. Still with a single driver and modest increase of fuel consumption to haul 50 to 100% more payload.

Historically we've had a big safety issue or a perception that's holding up change because of the 5000 deaths per year from crashes involving trucks and cars. Highway safety groups and the railroad industry have campaigned against expanding the legal territory in which LCVs can operate. Since 1991, there is a federal freeze that restricts the use of LCVs to the few western states and eastern turnpikes where they were already allowed to operate by state law. This map shows the existing routes where LCVs are allowed. East of the Mississippi only on a few turnpikes. And in the west it's mostly rural interstates in mountain states-- hardly anything like a national freight network.

With our concept for toll truckways, we think we have found what could a win-win proposition from a policy standpoint. We call for heavy duty lanes specifically designed for handle LCVs built in or alongside the existing right-of-way on interstate routes that have heavy truck traffic. Open voluntarily to all trucks, but in a state that does not currently allow LCVs those trucks could only operate on the specialized lanes behind concrete barriers. And the goal would be to see to what extent can these be self-funding from tolls. The tolls would be charged electronically; we're not going back to old fashioned toll booths. Our first study which came out in 2002 and is available on the Reason web site (reason.org) was a simulation modeling exercise that took a hypothetical heavy duty pavement design, looked at the corridor that was loosely modeled on I-35 in Texas, and estimated the productivity gains from a mixed fleet of trucks including LCVs operating on those lanes. We looked at the economics feasibility in terms of what it would cost to build and maintain those lanes. And then based on estimates of productivity gains, we looked at the financial feasibility: how much toll can you charge and would that toll revenue be enough to pay for the capital or capital and operating costs of the facilities? The broad conclusions from Phase I is that it would be worth the truckers' while to pay a higher toll to get to use the LCVs. And in some of the scenarios the revenues would be enough to pay the cost of building and maintaining the separate new lanes. The cases where that was true was where we assume there was sufficient right-of-way to add the new lanes, so there are no land acquisition costs. That applies in some cases but not in others.

The next step we took was a Phase 2 study to look at where is the low hanging fruit. Which actual interstate corridors would be the most feasible places to try this concept of toll truckways on a pilot program basis? We used data from the Freight Analysis Framework from the Federal Highway Administration. We identified financial feasibility criteria, both revenue criteria and cost criteria, to see which routes would pencil out best. Revenue criteria include gross truck volume along the corridor, long hauls as opposed to short hauls, the existence today or in the next 15 years of significant congestion, connectivity to existing LCV routes because that's the natural place where you would attract the trucking industry first (where they can extend the route from say Nevada into California). And we actively sought trucking industry input from companies that are active in running LCVs as to which corridors on the system they would most likely to gain access to. From a cost standpoint, we looked at right-of-way availability, particularly the median. For this study, we looked at a single lane per direction plus shoulders and with passing lanes every few miles. We were looking for the minimum feasible project and we also looked at terrain because obviously it's less expensive,other things equal, to build in flat terrain than in mountainous terrain. On the basis of relative revenue and cost, we came up with ten corridors that a quantitatively look like the best bets in having some or all of those features to a greater or lesser degree. You can see they fill in a significant extent missing links. They all connect to existing LCV corridors, and in some cases like the route across Illinois and Iowa, it would permit LCV service nonstop from Denver to Chicago and then all the way across into Indiana and Ohio turnpikes far as Cleveland. Then if you fill in that gap between Cleveland and the New York state line, pick up the New York Thruway, you can go through to New York and Boston without having to reconfigure the trailers.

Finally, the third phase of research was a first look at urban toll truckways. That was done last year and published in January 2005. We tried to quantify time savings on freeways where there is a lot of congestion, in addition to the payload increase from LCVs. And here you don't have a question of available right of way—there isn't any. What we would expect to be high-cost lane additions are either elevated new construction or acquiring very expensive new right-of-way to widen the freeway. So this little chart which you may or may not be able to read very well is a summary of the productivity exercise that we went through. We looked at short-haul urban trips, getting current urban short haul freight rates from a freight database. And we analyzed two things. First, the speed differential, comparing 60-mile-per-hour versus 38-mile-per-hour speed on regular freeway lanes and second the difference in payload capacity (in the two right hand columns) of the triple trailer LCV and double trailer LCV. The bottom line of this chart is that we estimated from the overall productivity gains how much of that could be used for paying tolls. We assumed a third of the productivity gain would be available to pay a toll to pay for the infrastructure. That gave us a range of 61-cents a mile to $1.83 in this urban setting.

The design features for the urban truck lanes are two lanes each way, concrete barriers separating them from the general-purpose lanes, completely separate egress and access ramps connecting the truckway to a series of what we call nodes. These are make up and break down yards where the multi-trailer configurations would be made up for use on the truckway and taken down into individual street legal tractor-trailer loads for the end points of the delivery. There would also be direct access for major facilities like ports and airports that are significant origins or destinations for freight. We assume variable tolling to take advantage of congestion pricing in the urban setting to keep the truck lanes free flowing, all done electronically. And we assumed, as ATA has welcomed, that these lanes will be voluntary for existing conventional rigs but mandatory for LCVs. The appeal to conventional rigs will be primarily the time savings and reliability of trip making. For LCVs it will be that, too, but particularly important are the payload gains. And all the locations would be in existing freeway corridors.

So we designed on paper, at a very conceptual level, two truckways. One would be in Los Angeles. This one links the twin ports of L.A. and Long Beach going all the way to the Nevada line, where LCVs are legal on the interstates. And the other one would be in the Bay area. The one in Angeles is similar to but not identical to a conceptual project that the Southern California Association of Governments has been planning and has done feasibility studies of various segments. It would Empire- and from there up I-15 out to the high desert and to the Nevada border. It will be four lanes all the way, two in each direction. There are 292 lane miles in the urban segment which we costed out at $8.4 billion using SCAG's unit cost estimate which allows for a lot of elevated construction and costly right-of-way acquisition. The rural segment from San Bernardino to the Nevada border we estimated at a $2 billion project. We crunched numbers in a spreadsheet and there is a map showing the general route. Again, making a whole lot of assumptions, such as three percent annual truck growth, in the medium term, after a ten year ramp-up period, we assumed we would be capturing 50% of the truck traffic on the urban section from the ports to the Inland Empire, at an average toll in 2004 dollars spread across the different categories of truck, averaging $1 per mile. For the rural segment on I-15 we assumed after ten years we will pick up 60% of the truck traffic on that corridor on a lower average toll of 40-cents per mile. With those assumptions, we showed that both segments are financially feasible and will pay for their costs based on toll revenues.

The second urban truckway is in the Bay Area connecting the port of Oakland on the north, Silicon Valley on the south. And then eastward to the central valley to connect to I-5 which is the main north-south freight corridor in California. Eighty percent of Bay Area freight movement is by truck. There's a crucial need for more truck capacity in that part of California. This would also be an all four lane facility. 325 lane miles and $9.1 billion construction cost, using the same unit cost figure that SCAG uses in southern California. There it is on the map. It's basically a "T." Here are a few of the details. We assumed after a ten year ramp-up in this case we would capture 60% of truck traffic in the corridors at a $1 per mile average toll. This project comes out about break even in terms of net present value of toll revenues versus the capital costs. And for that reason, we think it would need some conventional highway funding assistance. But the good news is that it came as close as it did based on our assumptions.

Now to do such toll truckways, existing law needs modifications. First, decisions at the federal and state level that it was okay thing to make right-of-way available in the existing interstate corridors for such a use, which may preclude either adding general purpose lanes or adding HOT lanes. There are some tradeoffs to be made here. Second, liberalizing size and weight limits both in state law in many states such as California and at the federal level. This would require an exemption from the 1991 truck size and weight freeze. Third, removal of the ban on interstate tolling for these toll truck lanes; potentially this could be done in the urban area on the basis of the congestion pricing pilot program, assuming it gets reauthorized. And in states like California you need state enabling legislation in order to do any kind of a tolling project. And that has just been introduced in California in the legislature.

So in conclusion, from the three studies we have done (which I must emphasize were at a highly conceptual level), we think the numbers are in the right ballpark for toll truckways to be economically and financially feasible. This can be a win-win proposition. You can meet the need for increased goods movement capacity, paid for largely by the users. Reduce shipping costs thanks to the higher productivity. Increase highway safety by separating much truck traffic from car traffic. And reduce highway emissions by hauling more freight in these multiple units which is inherently higher productivity and therefore yields more tons moved per gallon of fuel consumed. That's the conclusion. I look forward to the question period.

J. Seplow:

I hope everybody enjoyed these presentations. I'm going to start off the Q&A session with the questions posted online. I will start off with Bob's presentation. The first question is, this comes from Karen White and the question is, why are the sections of proposed LCV toll roads discontinuous in California?

B. Poole:

That was because we were looking at long haul routes in that particular study. And we based them on where the truck traffic was highest. The I-5 link goes from the outskirts of the L.A. metro area (which we defined as urban and outside the scope of that study) --basically from around Bakersfield or from the Grapevine, if you are familiar with I-5, to Sacramento where it links to I-80 which is a major east-west truck route. Go from a logical origin to a logical destination. But to model it as a rural long haul route. The other California corridor in that study was I-15. In that particular study, SCAG has proposed their truckway would stop at Barstow which is north of the Inland Empire but nowhere near the Nevada border. We decided a rural link from their termination at Barstow to the Nevada border would take the containers that got as far as Barstow which is a major intermodal point take them into the LCV network in the mountain states that starts in Nevada. And truck volume there look likes it will support that.

J. Seplow:

Okay, thank you. The next question is actually a comment that you can respond to. This comes from Michael Fisher. And the question is, on your slide about urban toll truckway productivity, we would question the assumption about trip lengths and speed differentials. Given the high fraction of truck trips in off peak and urban areas we doubt that volume weighted average speeds across the day on most of the urban freeway is as low as miles per hour. Also, very few truck trips in urban areas are 100-miles in length.

B. Poole:

Good comments and they point to some extent to the limitations of time and data in a conceptual study. I think if you look at when the toll truck lanes would actually be in service in Los Angeles area and the Bay area, that 38 mph may well be a realistic average freeway speed in 2015, 2020, 2025. None of these projects could be built less than ten years from now. You can't judge them by today's congestion -- we have to make projections. We did not have access to any good projections of freeway volumes in those years. We made an estimate; it may be not correct. We could have done better if we had more time and a bigger budget. The 100-mile urban trip is a good point. We again did not have a good database of trip lengths. I believe we were looking at round-trip lengths such as from ports to a warehouse. So it would be more like a 50-mile one way trip. But still, that's a legitimate question as to how representative that is and certainly worth further study.

J. Seplow:

Thank you. The next question for you, did any of the studies look at the Kern County region, especially Kern connected to the Nevada border.

B. Poole:

None of ours did. I'm aware that there is interest in California on that question. But I'm not aware of specific toll truck lane proposals there. Arno, are you aware of any?

A. Hart:

I don't know of any other studies specifically with Kern County.

J. Seplow:

Thank you. Actually, Arno, we will move on to some questions for you now. You typed some of the questions in, but we have a few people on the phone who aren't logged in so we will go over the questions again. One question is, can comment on the potential pros and cons of possibly converting HOV lanes to truck-only lanes or truck toll lanes or allowing trucks to use HOV lanes during off-peak travel time.

A. Hart:

There is also pros and cons you could just imagine the operationally how to get trucks over wide interstates and freeways to the HOV lanes and take short trips and get back off again. So a lot of operational issues, safety issues and so forth. But if you think and focus on perhaps identifying trips that are THRU trips that are for some portions of the HOV lanes where you load them on one end and unload on the other end you reduce the issues. Looking at perhaps off peak periods, too, one of the challenges there is trucks and cars almost tend to have the same peak and off peak characteristics. You have a higher peak in the mid-day for trucks than you do have for cars. In general, your high use urban areas are congested all day long. So the key question there again is do you really have segments of corridors where your HOV lanes are off peak. If so, are those not the -- are those the peak periods for trucks. challenge look at. In general, I think if you were to able to identify trips that are end to end and put them on HOVs, that may a starting point for looking at the specific issue. And to follow on to that, there are folks looking at this. I know that -- the San Diego association of governments that has a very aggressive managed lane program, managed lanes, i.e., HOV lanes turned into toll lanes have an idea at some point of looking at trucks in their managed lanes doing off-peak periods.

J. Seplow:

Thank you. Let's see, the next question for you, Arno, is -- looking at your I-10 work seems to point you to urban areas of high congestion as good locations for truck lanes. The truck trips in urban areas are short and building limited access truck lanes that serve a lot of the traffic is hard to accomplish. It doesn't take into account that the time of day characteristic of truck traffic in terms of what the capacity buys in terms of reduction. Will these considerations change your thinking in selecting good locations?

A. Hart:

That's a great question. Two-part question there. The first is absolutely. We should be looking at urban areas for truck separation. That's where the predominant problems are for congestion as well as that's where the bulk of the trucks are. We should also obviously be looking at inner city troops which is where Bob Poole's studies are and urban. Obviously truck -- the bulk of truck trips in urban areas are short, sometimes under 100 miles. Short trips. But if you will look at the percentage share of thru trips on high use urban corridors, our research shows that there is a growing amount of growing amount of corridors that actually carry enough thru trips to justify a separate facility. Secondly, some urban areas are so large, like Los Angeles, like New York, that even the urban trips, even some portion of those urban trips which aren't admittedly local trips, even a share of those urban trips tend to go between major dense load centers, between ports but is a load center and say large warehouse district areas. And if you -- and they tend to use the same freeways or the same highways for those trips as those thru trip dozen that I mentioned earlier. If you combine those two together, you begin to have a pretty good business model for looking at specific segments of urban corridors for truck separation. The truck trip itself, the length of the truck trip is important, but is not as important as looking at segments of corridors where you have a large share of trips of truck trips that are using the same facility that could be separated, moved off and moved back on the general purpose lanes for some portion of the trip. And then obviously you can do a variety of things. Add productivity gains along that trip or total the -- toll them on that trip. But to answer the question, we find there are serious evidence for looking at urban corridors from that standpoint. The question of or not it's going to seriously enhance congestion for the general purpose lanes, well, we could always debate to what degree it could. But there is evidence to show that there are -- that car peak periods and truck demand periods do coincide in some part during the day. For those parts you would see serious enhancement capacity.

J. Seplow:

The next question is, what is the threshold for justifying truck only lanes for thru truck trips that you mentioned?

A. Hart:

Great question. On the I-10 study, it's obviously what really the threshold for us is or not it justifies a separate facility, through volume. If that percentage translates to a significant enough volume to support a separate facility, then that's what we are looking at. In the case of I-10 for those urban segments that we looked at urban bypasses in El Paso and in Phoenix, we found that the volumes were significant enough where at a point of about 30 percent through truck -- thru truck trips it justified a separate facility. Around 30 to 40% in thru truck trips as a share of total truck trips.

J. Seplow:

The next question for you, what is the status of the tech proposal for a huge right-of-way across Texas which I believe would include exclusive truckways? I believe that was for you, Arno. If you are not the right person, if any the presenters could answer that one.

Unknown Presenter:

I can start off by answering that. It's documented public information that TxDOT is negotiating or I will put it this way, is undergoing for a planning study to look into how they would sign an exclusive rights franchise agreement with major overseas developer. I think it's an Australian firm to have franchise or exclusive development rights for I-35 to develop the corridor, to work with the DOT and identifying which mode should be developed and go through and planning and developing and toll and develop and financing the specific facility.

B. Poole:

I could flush that out a little bit. Developer CINTRA is a Spanish toll road operator, the largest one in Spain. They have proposed a $6 billion project to do about 350 miles initially of the corridor parallel to I-35. That would build four lanes, two in each direction which would start off being general purpose lanes. The general plan is that those initial lanes would later become exclusive toll truck lanes. The lanes would be tolled from the outset as general purpose lanes. And as traffic demand grows, they build four or more car lanes on the outside and convert the initial four into truck only lanes.

J. Seplow:

Thank you. Now move on to questions for Fred. A two part question here. How realistic is it to say that very much traffic would divert to I-81 -- from I-81 to I-95. I-81 is the major trucking corridor the state and within Virginia these facilities are close to each other. The ultimate origin destination points would determine this decision.

F. Altizer:

The tier one study is looking at some diversion and we are not through with that yet. But there will be some diversion out of the 81 corridor. The I-95, I-85 is one of those. One the earlier studies that was done not by VDOT but our sister agency, their consultant produced a study that shows a deal about that freight movement and tolling in Virginia. And it does conclude that some of that freight at certain freight toll rates will be diverted off. And some of it is diverted on to 95.

J. Seplow:

And the second part of the question is, what options are available to the low accounts to prevent trucks from using route 11 as alternative corridor since a significant portion of this road is a scenic byway and other locals are looking at extending that designation.

F. Altizer:

I just don't know of -- what options are available for route 11 is one of course several roads. But it does parallel I-81 through the entire length of I-81. The conditions along that route, some of it is four lanes and some is two lane. And, of course, these are all major concerns for us about traffic that may be diverted off of 81 on to route 11. But there is also other diversions in the area. At this point in time, we are just not able to determine how much that diversion will be and what the volumes will be.

J. Seplow:

Darrin, you typed in comments there. Did you want to add anything?

D. Roth:

Yeah. In terms of I guess maybe I will take the last two questions. In terms of traffic shifting from 81 to 95, we know that a lot of trucks even where 95 may be the most direct route are using I-81 because it's less congested and avoids major cities. By tolling 81 you are likely to create an incentive to go back to 95. To address the second question, Virginia has the authority since route 11 is not a national network route and not a federally designated truck route to restrict truck traffic on route 11. Their problem is going to be that they have to provide access to route 11 for local deliveries. And the question is, how do you distinguish a truck making local deliveries from one avoiding I-81 tolls? So I think there is an enforcement issue there.

J. Seplow:

Fred, the next question for you, it's a comment that is interesting the map in the V-dot presentation shows the freight rail line running parallel to I-81. How much of the problem could be solved by increasing the capacity of the rail system instead of the highway?

F. Altizer:

That's one the things we were in looking at in the tier 1 study is that we have talked to NS. They do have some plans and some concepts that they asked us to look at. There can be some savings of traffic moving off the rail -- off of our 81 on to rail. It's just a matter of which one of those options we choose and at the end of the study. But that is true. There are corridors that parallel 81, but there would have to be improvements made to the rail to show significant input. Significant increases in their efficiencies on the rail side.

A. Hart:

If I could add to that, Jennifer. This is Arno. On the I-10 study, we looked at serious investments in adjacent rail lines along the I-10. We just didn't make assumptions about the percentage diversion or the potential percentage of diversion of truck to rail. We look at rail service ability issues and the trip lands and trip types and so forth. If you invested in improved capacity of the rail lines you would divert trucks to the tune of 4 to 6 unit trains a day. Four to 6 unit trains in the intermodal business and rail business is a significant A business. When you look at a system that carry in some urban areas in excess of 20 to 40,000 trucks a day, that amounts to probably moving around 1000 to 1200 trucks off the system and the impact and congestion is almost -- almost zero. So from an intermodal standpoint and rail standpoint it makes a lot of sense. But if it allows the DOT to save money on construction and delay construction because of reduction in congestion it doesn't.

J. Seplow:

And Darrin, did you want to add anything?

D. Roth:

Yeah, VDOT or maybe -- I think it was actually Virginia Department of rail and public transportation looked at that as an option and I think what they found was the only way to get a significant amount of truck traffic off 81 and on to rail was to invest I think the number was 7 or 8 billion would have to be made along about a 13-state corridor. And that potentially could draw about 30% of the trucks off 81. The problem is that truck traffic is growing at such a great rate on 81 that within 20 years you would actually have 40 percent more truck traffic on 81 than you have today and so the need for highway expansion would continue.

J. Seplow:

Thank you. Fred, one last question for you. Have you evaluated toll impact from an environmental justice perspective?

F. Altizer:

That will be an issue for tier 2 that we will look at. That's more specific. We not look at those except in just a broad perspective in tier 1. Those are some of the types of issues that we get to in the need for tier 2 studies.

J. Seplow:

Thank you. We will move on to questions for Darrin now. You mentioned in your presentation that trip diversion tends to be underestimated. Do you have a recommended resource or existing study that we can look at as a good example of diversion calculation?

D. Roth:

One thing to look at I think would be some of the routing software that is available to carriers that they use and it's becoming increasingly more sophisticated. Over the past couple of years they have incorporated tolls into their software and you can customize it by sort of plugging in what your cost is per mile. You can customize roads so that you're accounting for congestion in urban areas, accounting for traffic lights and things like that. And I think that provides a pretty good resource for evaluating diversion and probably something that should be looked at when these studies are done.

J. Seplow:

Next we did for you, is it practical to design car lanes with weaker pavement, bridges, et cetera, when those lanes may have to be used for maintenance and things such as incident management?

D. Roth

I'm not an engineer. I won't pretend to be one. Probably smarter people can answer that question. But I think if you are -- if trucks are only using the lanes incidentally, then you can -- you are obviously reducing the loads on that pavement so you should be able to reduce the expense of construction. Same thing with bridges. So I know that someone else wants to comment on that. I think there is a potential cost savings there.

J. Seplow:

Any of the other presenters like to make a comment on that? The next question, I will start with you Darrin but I think we can ask this of all of the presenters. You are worried that truckers would choose to use existing untolled highway lanes rather than new toll lanes so you oppose tolling on existing lanes. But imposing tolls on new and existing lanes and will make it easier to pass on tolls to shippers. Why strongly opposed to tolling existing lanes.

D. Roth:

I guess it's because -- other than some sort of satellite based technology or something else that actually allows you to toll the entire system, I'm not sure how you would do that. With the -- even with the transponder systems that are in use today, it's just practically not possible to toll all lanes and even if you limit that to the interstate system, a lot of the roads that are being used to divert are non interstate and local roads and examples of that with the Ohio turnpike where trucks were avoiding the turnpike and are avoiding the turnpike by using local roads and it's just not practical to toll all those facilities.

J. Seplow:

Okay. Thank you. Would any of the other presenters like to comment on that?

Unknown Presenter:

Well, I will second Darrin's comment that it's not today at all practical to do that. As a long term possibility, there are certainly people and companies working on GPS--types of installations that could be standard equipments on all vehicles which given that plus GIS mapping-type software, it would be possible to pay for all highways all roads based on knowing which ones -- how many miles were driven on each particular road segment. And there is an Oregon DOT is working on some demonstration projects to look at that sort of a system and multistate DOT consortium with highway state funding has been doing work on putting together what the technology package would look like to do that sort of thing. How it could be phased in over a long like a 20 year period to shift over from using fuel taxes to using a universal mileage charging system. But we aren't anywhere near close to anyone being ready to make a policy decision to go in that direction.

J. Seplow:

Thank you. Any other comments on that? Darrin, I will ask that question of you. The gist of it is, you are saying how it's difficult to build tolls into the fee system. Have there been movements in the country that address this through registration fees or more sensibly such as the diesel fuel tax?

D. Roth:

A few states have increased their fees and taxes. At the federal level I think the barrier to that has not been the user community. It's just been the I guess general sentiment within congress and the White House that they don't want to raise taxes of any kind. We certainly would be more open to an adjustment in the fuel tax than a spread of tolls. One thing we are concerned about with the federal program and also in the states is that the money is not being used as effectively as it should be. So we would like to see that addressed as well. But that's certainly something that needs to be looked at obviously. We have to find the additional revenue from somewhere, tolls can be part of that. But only on -- under the conditions that I described.

J. Seplow:

Thank you. I think the last question that we will have time for today, I will open up to all presenters. There have been a number of web addresses typed into the chat area. And contacts and actually when I send the E-mail out to all of the attendees for everybody who registered and attended with all of the information and the presentations I will copy these web sites and put that into the E-mail. Do the presenters want to add anything as far as are there study on success or issues of separating trucks on the highways from around the nation? Don't all jump in at once.

B. Poole:

There are few examples. There was a study from the University of South Florida about four or five years ago looking at the potential of toll truck lanes in Florida. But it didn't -- I don't think it had any evaluation of existing separate truck lanes in it.

A. Hart:

This is Arno. Same. I think the focus -- the current knowledge on the subject is on the issue of finance and the issue of private and public partnerships and perhaps the vehicle - not much research on building specific and testing specific. There are obviously some research done by some of the universities. University of Minnesota, PAVE down in California. The variety of different universities that are doing tests on the idea of separate vehicles and automatic vehicles and so on. And that's on going research and work that I talked about today in Germany and Spain and in Europe on the idea of running tandem trucks and so forth. In that case they have looked the results we are looking at running these trucks in general use lanes and mixed use lane and looked at the socio-economic impacts the traffic impacts and so forth. I can make that web site available to you, Jennifer, for distribution.

J. Seplow:

That would be great. I will get that from you and send that out. At this point, I think we have gone through all of the questions typed in. We won't have time to open phone lines today because there were a large number of questions typed in. We will close out the seminar. If you have further questions the presenter's E-mail addresses are listed on the slides and you can use the freight planning list serve. So first of all thank you to all four presenters today. Everybody in the audience for attending the seminar. The recorded version of the seminar will be available within the next week on the talking freight web site and I will send out a notice when that's available. The next seminar is held on April 20 and is titled Freight Transportation and Air Quality: Notable Practices. If you haven't done so, visit the web site and sign up for the seminar. And you can join the freight planning list serve with the address on your screen. Thank you again, everybody. And enjoy the rest of your day.

Updated: 03/29/2011
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