Evaluation of the I-10 Katy Freeway Managed Lanes
The reconstructed Katy Freeway Managed Lanes (KML) opened in October 2008 as the first multilane managed facility in Texas. This study evaluated multiple aspects of KML and the critical areas of project development, design, and operation. The KML provide travel time savings of 5 minutes in the morning and 14 minutes in the afternoon in the peak directions compared to the general-purpose lanes, and this advantage has increased as volumes have grown. Continual monitoring and adjustment of operating aspects of new managed lanes is necessary post-opening, especially during the ramp-up period in which drivers make travel adjustments to use the facility. The operating partners for the KML have continuously monitored the performance of the lanes since opening and have made adjustments in toll rates, lane configuration at the tolling zones, and access operations at the western terminus. These adjustments are critical to ensuring that the performance standards for the lanes are maintained.
Innovative Finance: Strategic Research Project
According to the Texas 2030 Committee, over the next 25 years the Lone Star State faces a $170 billion gap between projected public revenues and infrastructure improvement needs. Without that revenue, Texans will have to accept a substandard transportation system. With that as context, TTI conducted Project 6-0700: Innovative Finance for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). The report provides a list of possible out-of-the-box transportation revenue strategies, together with an overall framework in which to understand them. It reviews the different ways Texas has financed transportation in the past to identify prevailing 'funding philosophies and organize them into a matrix of finance principles and strategies. Within those categories, specific funding approaches - toll road-user fees versus vehicle registration fees, for example - are be mapped and classified."
Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) Fees Study
This study evaluated vehicle mileage fees as a possible funding mechanism for meeting long-term transportation needs in Texas. The research represents an effort on the part of the State of Texas to evaluate these fee mechanisms with a particular focus on the specific needs of the state. Researchers held multiple focus groups with the general public. They also conducted stakeholder interviews and consulted technology experts that reviewed public input on possible deployment options. Results indicated that most Texans are not supportive of mileage fees and that the public is unclear about how transportation funding works in Texas. It appears that concerns about privacy, administration, and enforcement will be difficult to overcome. The researchers' primary recommendation to help alleviate public concerns was to demonstrate the logic and sustainability of mileage fees through an electric vehicle implementation. The research confirmed a consensus that applying a mileage fee to vehicles like these, which do not pay fuel taxes, makes the most sense for near term implementation.
Congestion Pricing Listserv
The Congestion Pricing (CON-PRIC) Listserv is a mailing list hosted by the State and Local Policy Program at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. Listserv membership is free and focused on topics related to congestion pricing. The Listserv provides information on current events, new research, summaries of public response to congestion pricing projects, lessons learned, and facilitates communication between members.
The Congestion Pricing website is hosted by the State and Local Policy Program at the University of Minnesota. It provides users information on the state of practice in value pricing and specific pricing projects in the U.S. and internationally. Links to other congestion pricing sites are also available on this site.
Guidelines for Shaping Perceptions of Fairness of Transportation Infrastructure Policies: The Case of a Vehicle Mileage Tax
In 2010, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, published these guidelines based on a study on individuals' perceptions of fairness towards a VMT-based transportation funding policy using the regulatory focus theory. According to regulatory focus theory, messages are more effective when they are congruent with the goal framing promotion (gains) or prevention (loss avoidance) focus of the recipients (i.e., there is a regulatory fit). This study confirms this relationship, and finds that the sensitivity towards fairness is more pronounced when subjects exhibit a prevention fit than when they exhibit a promotion fit. Findings of this study may be useful in guiding outreach messaging strategies for related policies.
These reports document the activities of a two-phase research effort based on the mileage-based user fee framework supported by the University Transportation Center for Mobility. The study was composed of three primary, interrelated components including 1) a technology assessment, 2) an institutional assessment, and 3) a one-day implementation focused symposium. Phase 1 documents initial progress on these activities through February 2009. The Phase 2 Technology Assessment reviews technology options for a mileage-based user fee system in Texas, including showing how various architectures can meet policy objectives. The Phase 2 Institutional Assessment involves the study of various user fee frameworks in place throughout the U.S. and an analysis of the institutional issues to be considered with their development, implementation, and administration.
Well Within Reach - America's New Transportation Agenda
This document provides a summary of the David R. Goode National Transportation Policy Conference and panel discussions held at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia on September 9, 2009. A review and discussion of the history of national transportation commissions and major policy studies, funding sources and structure, urban congestion, freight and cargo, multi-modal system, and recommendations for where to go from here are covered.
Proceedings of the 2009 Symposium on Mileage-Based User Fees
The symposium was sponsored by The University Transportation Center for Mobility™ (Texas Transportation Institute), IBM, Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority and PBS&J. It included a summary of U.S. pilot projects, an examination of the federal perspective, and panel discussions on institutional issues, public acceptance, technology, the state and local perspectives, and stakeholder perspectives.
A New Approach to Assessing Road User Charges
This report summarizes early research into assessing road user charges. The study concentrated on smart vehicle technology: some form of on-board system that would enable a user charge to be assessed on the basis of the distance driven, wherever travel occurred. In designing the new approach, the researchers emphasized user friendliness. Other focuses included privacy of the road user, convenience, and ability to include desirable features such as on-board navigation and emergency vehicle location. They also looked to make the new approach secure, robust, reliable, and sufficiently flexible to enable a variety of public policies to be supported.