February 28, 2017
Event ID: 3183003
Event Started: 2/28/2017 12:55:31 PM ET
Please stand by for realtime captions.
Ladies and gentlemen. This is the operator. Two days conference will begin momentarily. Until that time you are placed on music hold. Thank you for your participation.
Good afternoon. My name is Christine and I will be your conference operator today. At this time I would like to welcome everyone to the environmental justice analysis tools workshop.
Hello everyone. And good afternoon. Or good morning to those of you in the West. Welcome to the virtual workshop on environmental justice analysis tools and approaches sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration's office at administration. I will be moderating this session today and it is part of the outreach events to support state and local agencies and other sponsors to try to improve programs and initiatives.
The four we for those of you who are calling in to the conference please mute your lines to eliminate echoes.
During the presentation if you have a question you can type it into the chat area. To note that your lines are automatically muted. Please make sure to send your questions to everyone in the chat box we will be unable to answer questions during the presentations but we will take the questions typed into the chat box during the Q&A session at the end of the presentation. Your phone lines are automatically muted and we will open the line for questions and comments after the presentation. If at that time you have a question press *want to be placed in the queue. We will repeat these district instructions at the start in case you have missed this part or were not able to write and instruction down you can still have them handy when you want to speak during the Q&A and discussion session.
For this afternoon the agenda is as follows. We will start out by listing the objectives of the work shop and introducing the speaker for the day. We will then proceed to an overview of the rising program focusing on the rules of the office of operations in advancing environmental justice out first. We will then here about real-world examples of environmental and injustice analysis approaches and the first one we hear about is the inside assessment of ICANN I want and then we will hear from North Central office on shadowing behaviors with sensitivities and these presentations will be followed by Q&A and open discussions. We will start with Q&A with a specific questions to the presenters and wants you and a is done we will move into the open discussion part of the workshop where we welcome contributions from those on the call regarding their own experiences with regard to equity concerns and relating to condition pricing and products and approaches to analysis tools used. The object about today's workshop would want to gain in efforts to support environmental justice aspects and we also want to learn about a way to approach to environmental injustice analysis and tools and real live analysis for today's presentation with scheduled speakers as well as examples of the audience we will be sharing for the discussion.
We also hope to gain a better understanding being of the public perceptions with regard to the equity and pricing and environmental justice population concerns. Lastly we hope to initiate a broader conversation with the discussion session regarding the rules moving forward.
Now I would like to introduce the speaker's of our workshop today. First we have Ms. Jacobs who is the managing at the office of operations. Ms. Jacobs has worked there over 25 years it the federal state and local level. She began working at the Department of Transportation in 1990. She has worked as a specialist for the direct to for the Department of Transportation. Ms. Jacobs Simons includes the map value of working here and she evaluated product sites and many programs sense. Ms. Jacobs works exclusively with product partners relating to private pricing traffic management and the importance of integration. In 2016 she was named to the project manager for the part Department of Transportation under the fast act.
She earned her undergraduate degree. Our next speaker in the order of speaking has financed this effort she is the president of retro public affairs and provides public policy analysis focusing on environmental and transportation initiative issues. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the transportation research Board. She specialized in writing environmental justice analysis for transportation products for low income commuters. She has a Masters degree in public policy from the University of Southern California and a bachelors degree from Harvard. Our third speaker is now a better and she is the program manager for integrated product delivery programs for the North Central Texas Council of God governments. This includes planning in the areas of transportation systems and aviation management safety security with a special emphasis on development. Her responsibilities include coordinating with partner agencies traffic signal retraining which includes a ride sharing incident management and Ms. Becker's act give in the transportation section and has served in a professional status in transportation engineers.
She received her Masters degree in urban planning with a bachelors degree at Northwestern State University.
Those of the speakers for the day. I would like to now hand it over to Angela Jacobs who will provide us an overview of the price improvement as well as a recent updates particularly in environmental justice issues. Angela?
Thank you. I'm wondering can we move to the next slide please?
So to give you a brief background on pricing programs of these slides are pretty straightforward and if this pricing program is designed to provide information and we have amazing website that I would love for you to look for from the office of operations to equip state agencies and practitioners with a better understanding of the tools that they need to implement pricing projects and to incorporate pricing into transportation planning. One of the first things that we did is the value pricing pilot program which is still an act different program in terms of there is no funding available but we have quite a few projects that are still active and the states can pursue authority under the program.
This is Nicole and I am sorry to interrupt. You ours there is soft and could you speak up a little more of our participants cannot hear you. Is this better?
Yes. Much. Thank you. Under the congestion pricing program we do sponsor a lot of projects because we look at price management environmental justice in packs a lot of the concern and that is how we became involved in partners with Natalie on the project in Texas as well as working with LA Metro on their projects on the ICANN and 110 and in addition to that I also was one of the members of the an CHRP panel that was working on environmental justice analysis tools and that an CHRP we part port should be out in April and working with them to develop a white paper on the impact of congestion pricing from populations and you can go to the next slide but the purpose was to provide case studies and provide examples of what or how states and local governments that are in transportations seek to address environmental justice concerns so any agency that is looking to implement price management needs to be aware of the potential adverse impact on those populations and there is also the fact that there is the gap in people's understanding of pricing and that is all of our stakeholders or our local elected officials and once again this is the people who they hear price management and they hear but it is trying to help people to understand that pricing is not always inequitable it can actually be very beneficial.
One of the goals is to reach out to communities and reach out to those who are actually supporting low income neighborhoods who are concerned about environmental injustice to make sure that there is a wealth of information out there on how projects and the state had actually delved into the potential negative impacts and have come up with the tools to address some of those and I feel like there is a lot of information out there but most people are not aware of that information so, I thought that putting together some type of a work shop like this to share that information and provide opportunities for everybody to connect with experts for the ones who developed the two tools would be beneficial.
I will not pass it back over.
Thank you Angela. Thank you for the overview of the pricing program and I just wanted to address the issue of people not being able to speak or people not being able to hear our audio. Well. I was wondering if it seems like my audio is going fine but if you continue to have problems with not being able to hear future. Presenters clearly just put that in the feedback and we will make sure that we let them know and maybe interject so they can either speak up or talked directly into their phone to make adjustments so that they can be heard clearly. Moving on, our first presenter from a state of experience in regard to environmental justice and impact assessment is Nancy Sapper and she will be talking in more detail about any express lanes and lowering impact assessment projects. Nancy packs
Thank you very much I appreciate it and I thought first of all good morning everybody it is morning? I am and I just really want to thank Angela for including me begin this and for taking on this very important mission of getting out more information about the impacts of pricing on low income communities and that is a lack of information out there and I am happy to help contribute to get that information out because I do believe it is counterintuitive or surprising to people that some of these pricing projects can actually offer benefits even to those who have a low income or won't even get a chance to use them there are still some benefits that I have seen so I just wanted to say that in introduction.
I thought I would start by giving an overview of the project that I did. I was fortunate to be retained by LA County MTA to conduct this low impact -- low income impact assessment for the ICANN and one 10 X assessment product back in its demonstration phase and before that and as pointed out to the reassessment was required by the state authorizing known as the 1422 and the bill interestingly offered guidance on the up methodology which was help all at the time it because there was not a lot of other guidance as to how to even answer the question about how would these express lanes impact low income commuters along those corridors so I was grateful for the methodology and the opportunity to work directly with metros that and project manager at the time to devise an approach and I will give you a heads up in advance I have done similar kinds of assessment and was able to take advantage of additional tools and methodologies so I will talk about that at the end of my presentation as well.
So to cut to the chase in terms of what the assessment found I have two major points and first is express Lane implementation has proposed on these two corridors and ultimately implemented were low income commuters better off than not doing it and the key reasons for doing that was that it would provide the express lanes would provide more travel choices and the opportunity for enhanced transit service and that was something built into the project to begin with so that was beneficial and in the way of travel choices what that boils down to it again I will talk about how I got to this point it just means that low income from travelers and commuters would have the options to use the express lanes even if they might not use them regularly. It is there if they need it and something that would not be there if the lanes were not implemented and some mitigations were indicated or recommended and implemented input particular relating to the fact that every vehicle using the express Lane has to have and needs to have a transponder in the car and there is some administrative burdens of that, in having an account of the transponder and those were addressed through the equity plan now called low income assistance plan so that also was a first of its kind in terms of having some concessions or accommodations for low income travels on the corridor so to go into the methodology more in talking about how I did this particular project and how we do this and then I will talk about how I approached some similar projects later on so the first question was what do you mean by low income? And this was a place where the authorizing statute actually gave me guidance as to what to look at to figure out what low income meant and I needed to make a recommendation as far as how the program would be structured and let me point out also that this was for purposes of analysis. When the old program was ultimately implemented in the agency adopted a more detailed you want definition of what would be low income based on household size but for purpose of the analysis that I did I simply looked at the average household size which was very close to three and I look at the property -- poverty trash -- threshold for a house of that size so that was in line with what the statute recommended I look at the threshold that were incorporated in state and local assistance programs like food stamps and I looked the looked at the definitions that were used in the project surveys the things that were done for this particular project and looking at license plate surveys and I believe they did preference service and I would note that the income threshold didn't always a match so a word to the wise if you are going to have a survey for your project look at how various entities might define low income and make sure that your surveys reflect the same cut off for 35,000 or 55,000 per year so whatever the code that -- cutoffs are seeking make best use of the survey data so I combined all of that and I believe that time it was 35,000 but that precise number isn't it important but that is how I got there and once we had a threshold for low income than the challenge was to say who might actually be using these express lanes? We looked at census data on commuting modes. We looked at regional and POC and we looked at the travel demand model for the project in terms of trip origins and where the demographics are and looked in those TAV sews traffic analysis zones and a little knowledge on the part of our audience here in terms of travel demand modeling but basically when we looked at the places where trips on it these corridors were projected to participate and then we said Keith what percentages of those origin Jones is low income but the problem there is that you don't really know the behavior and you can't extrapolate necessarily on the composition of that population in that zone to who is actually traveling and that is an ecological fallacy that I talked a little bit about in my full report and I looked at the license plate surveys it was ultimately the license plate survey that turned out to be the most useful in identifying a low income cut off that I would use in this low income analysis so that is how I did all of that work. So going on I am giving you a lot of words today so I will relieve the words with a picture here which is to show you the income distribution and this is speaking to the environmental justice concerns in looking at who is in these corridors so this is looking at a narrow band around each of the ICANN corridors and you can see that Q1 is the lowest income and Q5 is the highest income and in both cases the ICANN corridor is the lavender and the I one and corridor goes through South LA is even more pronounced in terms of distribution to the lower income quintile so if you looked at the pieces -- people living around these corridors you are seeing a skewed to the lower income quintiles so that was thanks to our region for that data. The Mac so looking at the rest of the methodology and how do we know what the impacts are on low income commuters so they will be safe with a choice of taking a toll lane or not taking a toll Lane and now there is this claimed that they can choose to use and this is the Lexus lanes concerned that low income commuters aren't not going to have the money to be able to choose an express lane so it is only the wealthy that will benefit so how are we even going to understand what the impact is? We looked at these analyses Justin Lane terms of just up overall accounts and numbers of troops and the total optimization model was something that gave me the marginal value for this is where I have to get tech the call and talk about value of time so basically the toll gave us the marginal value of time which in this comparison bullets here is the value at which the body driver is indifferent between staying in the free lane or entering the express lanes so if my value of time as a driver at that moment is a greater than the marginal value of time that I will pick that express Lane and if my value of time at that moment is less than I will pick that because it is not worth it for me to pay that toll so that was basically the comparison that we did and I will talk about the derogation of low income value of time and in the final report that I wrote up I spent some time in looking at how that might be done and based upon literature I believe it is a product fraction of the wage rate and we are talking about commuters so it takes or makes sense to look at the wage rate so it is around 50 or 60% of wage rate is considered to be the travel value of time and obviously if you raise value of time on your wage rate then by definition the value of a low paid person in the value of their time is going to be lower than the time of a high paid person even when they are traveling so what I came up with for a figure of the low income value of time is $10 an hour so when I compared that to value with the marginal value of time I found that there were no instances where the low income commuters which is the express Lane in other words there value of time would always be in all of the modeled cases would always be lower than the marginal value of time as indicated by the toll optimization model and I do want to make one point that I put three stars before and after in the top of the slide which is that the toll model can be run to optimize revenue or to optimize a travel time so if you happen to be working with a toll model just to be aware, the toll models could be run either way and you just need to know particularly about purposes of communicating with policymakers. It is important to be able to say as was the case for this project that the model was run to optimize travel time but there might be times you might want to run it to optimize revenue. So going back to the conclusion then, the instances where I didn't find any instances where the low income commuter value of time would exceed the marginal value of time but one of the things that our toll modeling economist if have appointed out is that Metro because of travel and transit objects they adopted a minimum toll level and they set a minimum toll so it wouldn't be cheaper to drive than to take transit because there was transit service in the corridor so this minimum level has the effect of raising the marginal values of time so that is just something to be aware of as you are looking at the results. Another thing is that the model is giving me an average value of time and there is an instantaneous range of what you value of time might be and also in terms of your own interest in your own value and in fact I want to read a quick quote from my report and I put this in every report that I have written about this issue which is that to the value of time as our use for economic analysis but they don't reflect the instantaneous value of time for any person much less the intrinsic value so I just wanted to make that little disclaimer that we all have our own feelings and concerns about how much of our time is worth. I did find a sensitivity analysis playing with different percentages of the rage rate and also looking at the impact of toll credits which were being contemplated by Metro at the time. Different in some since about the value of time and you I counted in toll credits then there might be a couple of cases where a loan in -- low income person we choose to use the express Lane and I will conclude simply by reading my underlying point which is that anyone might decide that the cost of the toll is worth the time saved at a specific moment. You may need to get to a job interview a class or whatever it is and at that moment you might say I got $10 in my account and this trip will cost me eight and it is worth it for me to get there so the cost of missing the appointment is going to be even higher so I do want to make that point and that gets to the benefit that even a low income person can benefit by having that choice. I am going to say that I am seeing in chat windows a lot of questions popping up and I hope that I can do for those two later so I can keep my focus on what I have here and I will be happy to address questions later so that will be my plan. I am not ignoring anybody. I did want to talk about additional findings that I made and the additional work that I did I do want to in the and in this case out is looking to see that the contemplated toll credits and transit credits wouldn't use too much of the revenues and that is what I found that toll and transit credits contemplating using them the net positive net present value for the things that I could quantify so I was able to Richey -- reuse to again from a policy standpoint that this would be a good thing considered socially and the last thing I need to mention is the administrative burden of transponder accounts might be of concern so in that course of the analysis if you're going to low income travelers just to set up an account should the account to be able to be linked into replenished using cash or check or other kinds of means other than simply having a credit card and I will talk about each of these into an in turn so the first thing that was implemented was that I suggested that LA Metro credits or rebate to the account set up fees for low income households and I focused on setting up or having a credit for the initial fee as opposed to having an ongoing toll credits because of course you are toll that the money you are charging is supposed to be a prices signal about congestion so I would rather see people pay that value of the toll but not have that administrative burden of having the cost of the trends sponsor and ended that was implemented in the form of a one-time $25 so I also suggested that Metro require a lower minimum account balance for accounts that are not linked to a credit card looking at to the likelihood of a low income commuter not using the range regularly and not placing a lot of money into that account that they might benefit from having a lower threshold in terms of actually needing to reply to ship. I did recommend that it Metro in sure local distribution of transponders and locations for users to be able to replay just their accounts and as far as I know that has been done. I am not aware of any complaints at that point and I also recommended that Metro waive or reduce ugly account charges and that was implemented and I am pleased about that. The minimum account policies have changed over time from when I started I believe it was three dollars a month unless you used the lanes it was four times in a month and if you used them four times in a month then that administrative fee would be waived and if you have a low income person who is aware but there money will dribble away three dollars a month until there is nothing left and that will not be helpful and since then they have waived the charge and made a number of changes and I now believe it is a flat one dollar fee for all accounts regardless of the usage level but that is still waived for the low income households and that is great because then again you don't want to put your heart in money in their and then have it whittle away even if you do nothing. And lastly transit credits can be earned if you take a certain number of troops on the corridor using the transit line and the express bus service on that line of transit trips then you get credit into your account so that is an incentive and lastly I am very proud and to be honest I love knowing that the outcome was that is our as of early 20 15/5000 low income households in the Los Angeles County had signed up for Tron's panders so I am very gratified by that outcome. And it says to me that it really did help. To a couple of more things I wanted to talk about.
I did some similar evaluations for other projects notably the one I will talk about is the one I did for San Bernardino County in a different location and I 15 in that County and in the course of doing that I did want to highlight these important publications. This was in useful and if the other one was newer so that one is the top of the slide so TRP reports and I really cannot recommend this highly enough. I don't have to tell this audience about the quality of TRP publications and I used this to devise the questions that I was able to ask on behalf of policymakers when looking at the San Bernardino project. I didn't have the advantage when I did the Metro worked so I am asking who is affected by the express lanes project in this case and who makes direct payments and how are the revenues sent and what are the benefits and impacts of the projects specifically for a low income drivers and what travel alternatives might be available if needed so those are some that is a distilling of a much longer report and this is how I put that in terms of the questions to try to focus on policymakers and adjust pricing to UCLA respectively and this has the great finding that when people say that congestion pricing is a regressive or unfair to low income people you have to say compared to what? And 21 looking at sales taxes which is what we do most frequently they are saying that they are noticing in this paper that approach shifts costs of driving from driving to consumers to everybody who pays the sale tax even if they may not benefit from the lanes at all and in the process they disproportionately place income on purchasing and sales taxes versus the low income so calm those are two very influential papers in this arena that I wanted to be sure that you are aware of so when I did the equity or assessments which is now called the San Bernardino Transportation Authority but for sandbag at the time I looked at the demographic beta with a focus on the low income like I did before with the distributions by distribution and I looked at the survey data whatever people say they will do or license plate surveys where you can see they are going and I looked at project funding and finance the eighth and that wasn't an issue since they were getting federal grants but for sandbag it was a question and I will show you a summary of that. I look at travel modeling and to look at time savings but in San Bernardino when of the big project benefits is that when you implement the express lane you can entice drivers back into the general purpose lanes which benefits those supposedly stuck there or low income drivers who don't have the money in their pockets to pay to use the express lanes they are getting a benefit of using the express lengthening relation to reduce travel time and looking at travel alternatives can there be express bus service for example and transponder issues which we talked about before so I will show you a couple of examples and these are things that I do. I see that I have lost the frame on this slide which actually shows this for the sandbag and looking at ITN and I 15 we can see that they are coming from toll revenues from the local sales tax measure and the bottom line switch is federal funding and the point here is looking at the funding sources and the saying the toll is observing based upon the pricing but the toll is paid by the user for specific benefit. They pay the toll and make it an uncongested trip so that is the most equitable link and back taxes might be paid for nonusers of the tolling and sales tax may be paid by people who aren't even driving on those roads and at the bottom of the slide I point out that there was no standard for what is equitable and that is the treasure that I had and wanted to share with policymakers and in terms of the other example of the benefit I was able to show again this is looking at I 15 and I look at both of the roadways and things are a little bit off center here in terms of the labels but the red bars are the general purpose lanes travel time in minutes from point a to point B for the length the red bars are the travel times in minutes from the model in the no build and the blue bars are the travel times when the express lanes are put into place so there is a stark difference and you can see southbound and northbound so this is the benefit indicated forth will actually be there is certainly a dramatic difference between what a driver in the general purpose lanes would experience if there were no express lanes versus if there is an express lane so those are some examples I wanted to show. I think I am almost done but I do want to summarize a based upon the work that I did for Metro and the work that I did for San Bernardino. Of these recommendations for tolling and the first of all analyze early if you can to coordinate with other project analyst particularly surveys your GIS folks to get maps made to show household incomes in relation to the travel corridors but this is something that I do and of course you will be working with your traffic modelers with your toll modeling if that is being done separately and the financial projections how is that project being funded and who is bearing those burdens in relation to his getting those benefits of a congested trip and I also wanted to highlight that I do have consistent finding links or the hot lanes that I get positive findings for equity for low income travelers and they have more trouble options and they had new transit service where it wasn't possible before and sometimes potentially faster general purpose lanes even if they never use the express lane at all and recommending that there be some type of subsidy or policy for the low income account so they don't have the transponder account burden and lastly I think other forms of tolling me presents more equity concerns. I have had the experience of focusing on hotlines -- hot lanes in constructing new ones where they are parallel to and interest changeable with a general purpose free so that is the niche of this that I have looked at and I have if anybody is looking at that kind of logic that would be interesting so I think that is it and I appreciate your time. It's been a thank you. That was very instructive I just wanted to put especially for people who were not able to hear Angela when she was talking about the recent initiatives and one of the things I have been working on is if white paper that is documenting and collecting information from these examples and one was Nancy just mentioned and in addition to the mitigation strategies that Nancy talked about in the presentation there is also an egg program funded by etc. etc. -- success tool revenues which some audiences may be interested in looking up which also in a sense addresses the equity concerns of tolling by reinvesting excess revenues into the communities which are infected like the tolling. So we in our white paper we look at Texas in Austin Texas and similar to what Nancy talked about when you go about trying to assess income equity impacts of pricing projects.
So I wanted to thank Nancy and there is a bunch of questions related to your presentation when you are speaking and the like I said as the beginning of the session we will be taking questions after the presentations are finished so be assured that your questions have been noted and we will take them in an order at the end of the presentations.
So at this point I would like to move on in the interest of time to the next speaker from NCT and she is going to talk about her project about influencing child's behavior and sensitivity to justice.
Good afternoon everyone and I thank you for the opportunity to present on our value pricing pilot program that the Council of governments of and working on regarding travel time and behavior and the sensitivity to environmental and -- justice. The goal was to determine which incentives are the most effective in changing the travel behavior and the project speaks to the several types of incentives to encourage drivers to alternatives to driving along or outside of the peak. And we also want to examine how the price facilities impact all users including low income populations.
So the project it itself has three phases and some of them have been completed and some are in progress so I will give updates on those who have been completed and let you know where we are and the first phase was about the two other actually tracks users as well as providing print incentives and we have tools that allow folks to go in and log there can be it whether they change their travel time to the proper time with a fan pool or carpool and they are able to log into the system and track it also provides incentives that they do different types of commutes and the second item is connect a ride so the try parking has a ride matching service that is part of it but to the VFW connect a ride wanted it is a real-time casual carpooling app so people can meet up last minute and get share rides or two special events and the second components or phases are to look at the enhancement of the tools that we have developed and the traffic thermostat to help us develop and the tool is to guide operational decisions on toll managed lanes because we hope to help optimize the use of the managed lanes based on the goals and objectives that the operators or the users have said so various incentives were put into this tool to allow us to evaluate what this sentence like half which impacts and in order to determine what incentives were used in this tool we did a survey to understand what incentives might entice people the most to change their travel behavior and from those incentives surveyed that were established as part of the development and enhancement to the tool it allows us to make the policy decisions on our managed Lane facilities within the Dallas-Fort Worth area and the last phase of it is actually implementing these incentives in the corridor that we are studying to see what people said in the survey and what the results from the model for the traffic thermostat tool do they really happen in the real world and we are currently in that phase right now that goes through the end of April so we are trying to quantify for what we thought would happen and what is actually happening in the real world.
So the corridor that we focused on has been the ice 30 corridor and this for four-door is a major east-west corridor that runs between Dallas and Fort Worth from Dallas to Arlington and you will see that it has a managed Lane facility in the middle so it is a six lane facility with a managed lanes in the middle so the area in purple is reversible flow and the areas in oranges yellow are concurrent flows and some of that is concurrently shut down for construction in that oranges section now so we have had to deal with a lot of juggling with different to discuss construction projects and the managed lanes opened in August 2016 so they have not been opened that long for us to analyze the project and that is why we started in October and we are going through able under this corridor also includes event menus with Dallas Cowboys with the corridor also has indicated through environmental justice review approximately and 85% of disadvantaged populations and in terms of low incomes or households below the poverty level we were at 17% along this particular corridor which is the focus of our study on the low income individuals so back to the first phase and we talked about the try parking and that is the tool that allows us to track the community we had to have that in place in order for us to track who is doing quite a long the corridor and the second application is the VFW connect are right and that is for real-time carpooling and the third item that we used is we have a tool called to express and in order to get a 50% discount on the managed lanes you have to go into this app and it declare that you are a carpool and during the peak. You can get a 50% discount on your toll if you are a carpool or at all of those currently exist and are being used by folks within the region.
The traffic thermostat we got our stakeholders together within the corridor it itself so that the city track us up operates the entire facility the freeway and the managed Lane facility in the cities operate the frontage roads along this corridor. We have engaged them in this particular effort as well as the transit agency as part of that. We also have a toll road that intersects this particular corridor so there are some interchanges that leads directly into toll facilities that are operated by the North Texas Tollway authority so the state colors met to develop top priorities and we did limit the number of goals we wanted to focus on because when we put it into the thermostat we want to make sure that folks are not overwhelmed with the number of goals and we want to maximize the use of the lanes and so we really wanted to focus the goals know what as well as the measures that can be used as we continue to move forward. So when we kicked off the survey itself to begin to understand some of the folks who travel in the corridor as well as what types of incentives might encourage them to change their travel behavior from driving alone or driving during the peak. Stand to drive with somebody else or possibly trying to translate transit we have laid a lot of different incentive options out there for folks but I do think it is important to cover the types of folks that responded to our initial survey as we begin to talk about to the incentives if so this is the information that we received from the stairway itself in terms of the gender age ethnicity of the folks that participated in our initial survey that we did to develop what it was we wanted to put into the traffic thermostat to a. We were also able to get information about their education level household incomes and you will see on this particular slide that there are some that prefer not to answer and I will address that at the end where I talked about sometimes it is hard to get information about income if folks choose not to answer that question as you put service out there
This slide looks at modes so you will see on this particular slide the stated preference for the folks is responded to our surveys like to drive by themselves because at the time some of it might not of had the opportunity to travel in our managed Lane facilities so are we are hoping with more education and outreach it might change their perspective so 68% of folks would like to and you will see transit did not rank high along this corridor and it also might be used as transit not available currently and that is another initiative that might be implemented as part of the project to provide transit service along with managed lanes and we have a various park and ride facilities located along the corridor but you will see at the bottom that we outlined about 31% of folks choose to use the express lanes without an incentive than the incentive goes up to 40% percentage goes up to 40% if you add an incentive to encourage them to participate in the managed lanes entrenching their travel behavior. So based on the survey results, we received the following priority incentives to apply in our traffic thermostat so these include anything from gift cards that you get based on how many times you change your travel behaviors to getting the discounted transit fares to ride to and from work along this corridor and looking at express bus ride to services as well as getting some type of free trip if you use it so often you get a free trip along the corridor so these were the primary incentives that came out in the program and many of these we are testing as part of our implementation phase.
The traffic thermostat itself is the input page that is part of the tool that is available and you will see that we rank the user groups on this particular tool so based on the transportation mode which is the middle column you can rank what user group had the highest priority and the tools evaluates that and determines how that applies to the goals of the two are trying to accomplish. So we do have items on here for transit and we have items on here for HOV use and we also include allow law enforcement how many violators and we look at low income travel programs and if we give them some type of incentive during the program.
After you apply the initial user groups and the volume and their priorities you can apply operational fixes and these are many of the incentives that came out of our surveys and we can apply them so that we can better use the managed Lane facilities that we have a and provide better use of the general purpose lanes so it is balancing that traffic on all of the lanes that we have available throughout the day and how we best to do that how do we get the most out of the corridor that we have and this tool tries to address that with giving you options of things you can implement whether you increase the toll rates for different users and allow folks to have incentives to travel during the off peak periods or change their commute time and see what type of out put is part of that.
So this last slide is a part of the output screen that you will see and it addresses whether you meet the goals of what you set to begin with and it shows you what operational fixes you might have applied to the corridor it itself and how you want to operate it and if you scroll further down on this page you will see outputs with adjustments to volumes and toll rates associated with different users so it gives you an output that you can take and begin to make policy decisions about different parameters that you set so one of them says it is 48 so one of them says it is 48 miles per hour so you can adjust your policies and needs. The current phase of that we are focused on his marketing outreach and we are looking or we are recruiting as many participants as we can through 42 we came up with as a tagline for our program called the I 30 insider program and we want to test the different incentives in a real-world setting so as folks go out there they can log what commutes they are doing and earn points for that and their points can be then turned in four different types of incentives so we are tracking what types of incentives folks taste them out to and we are trying to identify what we can about the folks that are logging in and taking the incentives in terms of their demographics and the program will run through April of this year.
This is the info graphic that we put together to educate folks on how they participate in the program. Again they have to go on try parking it and if they log what their commute alternative is and then they earn points and those points can be redeemed for incentives. So far we try to do a lot of marketing and outreach again to engage people more in our program and the larger part the better it was incentives folks are interested in that make them change their travel behavior. It gets them to try something new and hopefully that may become habit for them to do that new routine as part of that effort.
Some of the challenges that we have run into associated with the program to date the first item relates to the tracking thermostat and coming up with it the tool that is accurate and flexible within our tool it itself we have conflicting goals so if you select certain goals it doesn't really work as efficiently as you would like to because if you want to go with the safety and reliability those kind of go hand in hand but there are other goals within the system that don't promote the same type of benefits the majors contradict each other and changing operational? Fixes looking at a variety of operational fixes and how we apply it has been a bit of a challenge for our region and the other areas we have looked to in the survey again is getting different demographic folks to be engaged in our survey and our program itself has been a bit of a challenge. We also have a disadvantage population along the corridor but we are not sure how many of those folks are actually using the facility is self and how do we measure that? How do we engage that community better into our processes as well as educate them about the incentives that are out there and those are some of the struggles that we have had and as we marketed on social media type things we got information such as gender and age but it doesn't have the demographic information regarding low income and aims like that and also when we do our survey they are not required. We usually don't require them to provided that input because we want them to complete the survey to some extent so it is not a required component of the survey so we have gone back and forth whether that should be a required survey or whether it is a requirement that they answer that question or whether it is optional and when we have had it optional we have seen that we had about 18% of the folks who choose not to answer that those are some of the struggles that we have had based on the information we have started to collect as part of five collect as part of 530 we have definitely shown that managed lanes benefits all of the folks at travel along that corridor because we have had increases by as much as 29% in our corridors managed lanes to help us better manage the facility's that we have ended to give spokes more choices on what options they have to get to and from where they need to go so that is something we have definitely an experience as well so alternate back to you now.
Thank you, Natalie and thank you for the update. As a reminder this project that Nancy gave pilot program project so it is partly funded by them under that program.
So at this point we will go to questions and answers which has contact details for everybody and workshop and if you have follow-up questions beyond the questions and answers session on the slide. Some people in the chat have been asking about being able to download this presentation so this presentation is available to download right now in the file share box that you will see in the bottom right-hand corner of your window for the web ask and you can download this presentation right now.
So, at this point we are basically finished with the presentation portion of this workshop today. We can now get into the Q&A portion of the workshop. We will start Q&A with the questions that people typed up in the chat pod for everybody and we have selected those questions and we go through them in the order in which they appeared in the chat box. If you would like speak out in your questions or if you did not get a chance and you type out your question have a discussion on with the presenter you can also press *1 on your phone and put in the queue to speak so your phone lines will now be on muted. But we would first like to go to the questions in the chat window.
So the first question for Nancy by Roger hers it says that I think you are referring to slide number 10 in your presentation I believe that is the ancient come chart and I am hoping it was just a matter of visibility on the screen hopefully when you are downloading the presentation it will be clear but on the left-hand side of the chart where the low income quintile so it would have said Q5 which is the highest I am not sure if that is what you meant but I'm hoping that if you are able to download the presentation you will be able to see that and just compare the two quarters and both of them frankly have the same income profile.
Than to go to show I just go-ahead to the other questions here? That might be easiest. Great. So that is asking that will the interchanges provide access to the express lanes and did these are interesting express lanes. To have access points all of along them so the interchanges of the freeway don't actually match up with the ingress and egress point of the express lanes but I am thinking maybe your question is are you getting in and are you committed and you have to stated all time and take it out of the other and not the case with these particular express lanes you can enter at multiple places but that happens to be true for these and I have gotten the gist of your questionnaire. Joslin asks for LA Metro is there any public involvement conducted to and she said that the model didn't cover and these are all great questions. There is public involvement and in this case and in the case of San Bernardino I was a part of the agency's outreach and I didn't conduct separate outreach but I came a presenter on and in both cases I had corridor advisory groups for different geographic areas on each of the two corridor's so I did present and you are taxing my memory here but I think I presented that some point I might have gone once or twice but I think that I think that is where I could get better insight into how people might use these lanes definitely some issues were raised and I don't remember but for instance being more sensitive to the instance to make sure that people would be able to get the transponders are readily and conveniently and not have to go through a lot of pros processes just to be able to participate so that is something that came up in the course of the public engagement. Barbara asks to provide an example of the toll would need to be such which you the time of valuation is by our and by distance than how do you compare this is so this is a great question and I had to go back a better answer for you on this and with Metro I was fortunate in the sense that I had this toll optimization model and it gave me this marginal value of time and I could they dollars per hour both the 10 and the 110 were very high were 30 or 40 or 50 or $60 an hour in some cases for peak. Travel and those may have been inflated somewhat by the baseline assumption of having a minimum toll. If for the sandbag I wanted to share this reflate I had to take a different approach because for whatever reason I didn't have the same kind of toll model and they didn't produce that marginal toll value of time so what I had to use was to compute and apply the value of time-saving so what I did was I looked for each of the time periods and it looks like I was doing three morning peak and five evening peak times. I had a protected minutes saved for the trip at that time and divide that by the minutes saved or use that with the minutes date to compute an implied value of time for the hour what I could then use to compare with the $10 an hour and in the case of the San Bernardino Mike imputed implied value of time was much lower they were $18 $70 and in some cases they were set $10 and they were actually lower than $10 for the San Bernardino case I could actually point to instances in terms of I 15 westbound in the afternoon where a low income person might actually say yes, that is a good deal even for me even based on my theoretical value of time at $10 an hour I would go take that trip so that is a very excellent question and I had to use the and in that case I did this implied value of one hour of time-saving spaced on what they would take from the modeling and I think lastly Chris asks what percentage of the low income population signed up for the vehicle transponders and with the use of measured this was another great question and I don't have the answer to its per se but I do know the 5000 was to 5200 or 5300 in terms of households and those would be households all over the county so I don't know what percentage of low income population or households overall that represents that the population of LA County is eight or 9 million or something so this is obviously a fairly small slice I'm not sure of what percentage of the low income population or household so I don't have that number offhand it is probably small but in terms of whether the use is measured I believe so and it certainly can be in terms of the data that Metro collects on the toll road and the express Lane operations so that data is probably available in some shape or form and I have not had occasion to get it but it should be and I made a lot of recommendations to Metro which I didn't talk about here about the French performance metrics to track over time and that was the kind of thing that was in there and I don't know if they were tracking most or all of those but that is a very good metric that inch Erie should be able to be pulled out of data that they collect for the operations.
This is Angela can you hear me? I wanted to follow-up on your response to that is okay.
If I can you define. Thank you so I keep in touch with LA Metro because it was one of my projects and as of early last year there were eight year there were 8882 accounts that were opened and 14% of those are opened with cash or checks so that his credit card so that is a usually large unbaked population and as of last year like first-quarter low income chips were about 2% of all of the express Lane trips and 75% are on HOV lanes and 25% are actually told for their trips and so far LA Metro spent about $481,000 for that they paid for low-income trips on the Lane and in addition there is over 200,000 there is over $200,000 that low income users received in toll credits as well so I just wanted to point out if there is a public question about public outreach and one of the things that is a great thing is that they continue to do outreach on performance measures to try to measure that they continue for this happening out there but they continue to periodically do outreach and overall specifically to low income areas because they really do have a desire to see that number increased and the number of low income assistance plans accounts open because they realize there is a lot of people up there that I spoke with Kathy McEwan who is the project manager and she says it a mages -- amazes her every time she goes out how many people don't know anything about the program so they try to make sure that they understand the benefits of the programs. One of the other things that was briefly mentioned is the toll revenue reinvestment program and hopefully LA Metro will push out more information about that as well because it is pretty exciting and thus far in the corridor 74 they have identified $6.9 million in reserve funds and they set us right money also that separately goes for transit operating and you know that there is a transit line that also runs on that corridor and funds generated from the toll also pay for the increased transit operations in the corridor's as well.
So what they also do is there is revenue reinvestment program and as of today believe it or not, they have generated about $44 million and 40% of that is used for assistance and activities for maintenance on the facility and with this program they actually have grants that they also put out grants to the community for low income communities can apply for grants to improve a bus stops and they can do that as well and I'm hoping they will have more detailed information about that program in the future.
Angela thank you so much. That is great additional information and I am so thrilled to know that there is over eight there is over 8000 account holders now and that some are being funded by cash and check and it reinforces the issues that I look at them I was glad to I was able to look at those so yes. I see also that Martha added a question what prompted the study of EJ impact benefits for both of the project examples and I mentioned the name answer is policymakers asked the question in the case of LA Metro it was written in at the time and the state of assembly member in LA County in that exact area so he had that concern and with the San Bernardino also there are many low income communities in that County was a policymakers and board members said what about this it was a question that policymakers frequently raised.
I see there is a question given to consideration building to building express lanes and I think they look at every possible options you have to keep in mind the footprint was never that large and they were able to actually read stripe to get additional lanes but that was only on one of the facilities because there wasn't enough for right of way to actually add lanes so they took the HOV lane and converted it to a hot lane so it was different there was no major construction that occurred on either one of these facilities.
There also seems to be a question who was interested directed I guess it is for Nancy?
I am sorry I don't see the question. Out there it is. Yes. C with regard to the congestion mitigation are trances passes made available rather than managed Lane subsidies. There are's sub print writer release programs through Metro for obtaining transit passes so I am not familiar with those in any kind of detail but I would say both things are available so the transit pass is something that a low income households could access and then there is the transit credits that we talked about so both things are in play there.
Okay. Great. I just wanted to call up on at this time are there any other questions for Nancy and if you are there are you are welcome to type into the chat box or speak up and press star one on your telephone.
There are no audio questions at this time okay, thank you. Let's move on to the questions we actually had one question come into the queue. This your first question comes from the line of Chris and your line is open. Thank you and great information but I had a question as to whether variables tolling in terms of cost was looked at examples?
I will just jump in this is Nancy to say that we had to variable tolling in terms of congestion levels but I don't believe that there is any variable tolling of a lifeline sort of a be a reduced toll rate for low income we have other incentives that I discussed in the presentation but that is not one that is viewed here in California.
Yes you are correct. Too much good stuff to talk about. So that is another option in participating in a van full but specifically in terms of tolling that is a bit complicated but I know that is not something that LA Metro does it this time.
This is Natalie from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. We don't provide that type of benefit either we do it based on the congestion levels within the corridor but we do not do it there.
I think one of the policy drivers for Metro is maintaining that read sensitivity between the cost of transit and the cost of driving that is one reason that the toll credits is the transponder credit for accounts set up and because they don't want to be told to be so low that they could drive for free in that lane and it is cheaper than taking the bus so they are constantly looking at that kind of policy trade-off as well.
There are no further audio questions at this time.
Thank you. We can then move on to questions for Natalie's presentation so we have a couple of questions already in the chat. Nadia do you want to go ahead and ask your question?
Yes I can read through them in the first question is how did you conduct your survey and was it a phone survey? It was not a phone survey was an online survey and we conducted it through a company called line survey software that is available online in that's how we conducted the initial survey for our incentives. The second question is how many people are logging or using the trip logging tool for the purpose of the express Lane incentives and regarding that there is really we have the I 30 challenge which is focused on 530 and that one is the one we talked through today and that one we don't have a lot of hard disciplines taking advantage of those incentives. We have about 100 folks currently and that is why we are going out for a second marketing push to educate people in take advantage of the challenge out there to do something and this time we are reaching out directly to major employers on the corridor and chambers of commerce as well as libraries or anything we can find to get a hold of folks within the corridor. The initial phase that we did a lot of social media marketing and we marketed through the new websites as well as we had billboards along the corridor to begin logging their commutes and the second website or pass that we have the is try parking it and those incentives can be applied for other corridor is not just I 30 there are other incentives that are part of another reduction program that are applied to those other corridor send within that software it self we had the single range of individuals who have logged in and log their commute trip and the third component or act out -- app is the app where you can declare they are a carpool or and get the 50% discount during peak periods and right now within their app they have about 40,000 vehicles that are registered within that app so that is the breakdown of the three different components that work together but for the I 30 challenge we are doing another push to try to engage more folks in that program so we have a better sample size to understand what type of incentives really try to travel behavior. The second question under that was what has been the best method to make people aware of the incentives and that really we don't have an answer to that as of yet. It seems like a lot of social media based on our initial push had at least the most impressions were people have viewed it and we have a lot of statistics on those particular items but we are hoping with reviewing direct employer outreach that we hope to engage more of those employees to participate in this along the corridor. I wanted to point out that there is a website and on that website there is a contemporary throat to can just in pricing and it focuses specifically on the sixth UPA and CRD projects.
I think it would be beneficial because it looks like all of the projects had to look at the impacts of environmental justice impacts and I would have to say that not they are not in depth and as deep tailed as the LA Metro project but there is a lot of information there that covers a lot of areas that those of you who are in the community are concerned about price managed lanes could get great information data because it is pretty data rich report. And thank you Angela. Thank you for giving us that bit of information. Some folks might have mentioned it if they joined it late and were not able to hear your.
We do have one real question collar if you could state your first and last name your line is now open.
Hello this is Filbert can you hear me?
Okay. I wanted to note that we are very proud of our net toll grant reinvestment program and that is something that our Board of Directors supports and something we have done twice now. We did the first round in 2014 and that grant was about 20 million and we did a second round about 2016 and we hope to continue that in the future.
Thank you for that and yes the link that you provided is the most recent grant program is that right?
I can provide the link for the 20 I can provide the link for the 2014 toll grant study if you would be interested. Yes that would be great. We will share it in the chat room.
Think that was the question about equity accounts and as far as last week we had over 11,000 now.
Okay. I was under the impression that is part of that is the metric that is measured against the quality reporting on this project and I just wasn't able to pull up anything in my connection but I wasn't able number of transponders issued to low income we do measure the number of accounts that we don't measure their usage.
Okay. It is dual bulb we don't do it.
All right. Are there other questions or comments or suggestions at this point? There are no further audio questions at this point.
Okay. In that case then let me just call up on Angela. Do you have any closing comments?
No I do not really. I am a little bit disappointed because we saw this as an opportunity for those who are especially in rested in DJ community to have a lot of questions about physically these two programs about overall, the efforts that as an agency to address concerns about potential negative impacts but in addition the opportunity to share information and I am certain that there has the people at an the call who are actively engaged or involved in some type of activity and to their transportation agencies and states that I was hoping this would be a good venue for them to be able to share that information and I appreciate fill that you participated in the college were able to provide additional information on what you are doing in LA but I know there are a lot of other things going on as well and I appreciate Nancy and Natalie taking time out of their busy schedule to share their success stories about what is going on in the projects that they are working on.
Thank you Angela. We still have about 10 minutes left but if there are no further comment at this time we can always closed just a little early. As shown in our previous flight our contact information is available on this presentation that is available to download. At this point. If you have any further questions or comments or said Justin's on any of these areas of research and how to engage with state and local partners in this regard you can reach out for pricing managers under the office of operations. Yes. Will? Angela, are you going to post the webinar reporting to all of the registrants?
Usually do both. We post it on the website but we also send out to the people actually participated in the webinar which makes it a great way for them to share with others.
Thank you for the clarification.
Okay. I think we are aware that there was it some technical issues but hopefully since the voice and presentation running was separated, hopefully the issues related to the presentation we were not able to hear but as Angela said we will be posting this recording on the website and sending it out to the folks who registered. So again, thank you for taking the time to join this workshop. This was a great opportunity and thank you particularly to Angela Natalie and Nancy for taking the time to develop this presentation and for their good work and also for taking time to share this work with the larger community. Since there are no further questions at this point or comments we can go ahead and close the workshop for today. This was also closed captioned and the transcripts will be available along with the webinar recording as well. So hopefully you will have the material that was shared through this workshop for future reference in one form or another. Thank you again for joining and I look forward to interacting with you in the future. Thank you.
Thank you ladies and gentlemen. This concludes today's webinar. You may now disconnect.