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Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Express Toll Lane Modeling Workshop Peer Review Report

2.0 Overview and Background

2.1 FDOT Overview

FDOT is an executive agency, which means it reports directly to the Governor. FDOT's primary statutory responsibility is to coordinate the planning and development of a safe, viable, and balanced State transportation system serving all regions of the State, and to assure the compatibility of all components, including multimodal facilities. A multimodal transportation system combines two or more modes of movement of people or goods. Florida's transportation system includes roadway, air, rail (freight and transit), sea, spaceports, bus transit, and bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

FDOT is decentralized in accordance with legislative mandates. Each of the Districts is fairly autonomous and managed by a District Secretary. The Districts vary in organizational structure, but each has major divisions for Administration, Planning, Production, and Operations. Additionally, each district has a Public Information Office that reports to the District Secretary and a District Chief Counsel who reports to the FDOT General Counsel in Tallahassee. Table 1 provides a summary of the eight FDOT districts, as well as their respective associated counties, daily vehicle miles traveled (VMT), and State Highway lane-miles. Figure 1 provides a geographic representation of the seven FDOT districts.

Table 1: Florida DOT Districts

FDOT District



Daily VMT (millions)

State Highway


District 1


Charlotte, Collier, De Soto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Lee, Manatee, Okeechobee, Polk, and Sarasota



District 2


Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Lafayette, Levy, Madison, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns, Suwannee, Taylor, and Union



District 3


Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Wakulla, Walton, and Washington



District 4


Broward, Indian River, Martin, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie



District 5


Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia



District 6


Miami-Dade and Monroe



District 7

West Central

Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas



District 8

Florida's Turnpike Enterprise




Figure 1: Florida DOT District Map

Figure 1 provides a map of the counties within the state of Florida and the overlapping boundaries of the seven FDOT district areas.

The Florida Turnpike Enterprise[2] represents the eighth and final FDOT District and oversees a 460-mile system of limited-access toll highways, as listed below and illustrated in Figure 2:

Figure 2: Florida Turnpike System Map (2012 FY Report)

Figure 2 provides a map of the limited-access toll highways overseen by the Florida Turnpike Enterprise.

2.2 Planning Analysis Needs and Challenges

The State's forecasting and analysis needs are being driven by stated FDOT policy objectives. Specifically, all new capacity for existing limited access State Highway System (SHS) facilities shall analyze a dynamically tolled alternative while maintaining existing non-tolled capacity. The Systems Planning Office is seeking ways to standardize the managed lane modeling practices in light of recent experience. Six new managed lane projects are now currently in construction or about to begin the construction phase. In each case, the analysis and modeling was conducted without a standardized project approach for the tools. While the analysis may not prove to be inaccurate, the current technical approach makes the process of prioritizing and especially comparing projects against one another a very difficult task for FDOT policy makers and planners.

Projects under construction or nearing construction include the following:

2.3 Workshop Objectives

In accordance with Florida SHS express lane policy guidance, dynamically tolled express lanes are a newly required factor of analysis in the study of major capacity improvements on limited-access facilities. With the increased emphasis on express lanes, there is now a critical need to adopt a standard travel demand forecasting practice in the State of Florida that is capable of analyzing these types of facilities.

In response to this need for a consistent Statewide modeling approach for evaluating express lanes, the Systems Planning Office was motivated to assemble a Blue Ribbon Expert Panel and to convene an Express Toll Lane Modeling Workshop. This workshop was intended to establish Statewide modeling practices in three focus areas:

The Blue Ribbon Expert Panel, consisting of national specialists, was assembled to provide advice and recommended directions for managed-lane model design, along with specifications for a consistent modeling practice for express lane implementation in Florida. FDOT staff conducted a presentation on Florida's current practices and FDOT-recommended guidelines. Workshop participants then took part in two breakout discussion groups within the following subject areas: Planning and Demand Forecasting and Operational Analysis.

The workshop's desired outcome was a set of specific recommendations regarding best-practice modeling strategies for express lanes throughout the State. The recommendations will address issues related to toll revenues, travel demands, and congestion/system performance, with an in-depth examination of the analytical tools available for direct or adapted use.


Updated: 10/20/2015
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