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Enabling Congestion Pricing in the United States ITS WorldCongress and Exhibition on Intelligent Transport Systems and Services SS 12 – “Strategies for Future Funding: Enabling Road Pricing and Congestion Management” London, UNITED KINGDOM October 2006 Jeffrey F. Paniati Associate Administrator for Operations Federal Highway Administration Department of Transportation
Congestion in the U.S. Congestion Pricing as a solution U.S. Congestion Initiative - Moving forward on pricing Presentation Outline
Commuting costs: Each motorist stuck in traffic wastes on average 47 hours and 30 gallons of fuel every year – at a cost of $800 per person annually. Quality of life: Reduced air quality, less time with family and friends. Productivity: Delays to trucks and unreliability of delivery times increase costs for businesses and reduce economic competitiveness. Crisis of Congestion:A Tax on the Nation Congestion on I-95 in Northern Virginia
1983 100 2003 80 60 Hours 40 20 0 Miami Atlanta Detroit Boston Phoenix Average Chicago Dallas Houston New York Washington San Francisco Philadelphia LA/Long Beach City Crisis of Congestion:Wasted Hours • Over the past 20 years, the number of hours lost each year by an average driver to congestion increased from 17 to almost 50. • In the 13 largest cities, drivers now spend the equivalent of almost 8 work days each year stuck in traffic. Annual Hours Lost to Congestion Per Peak Hour Driver Very Large Metro Areas, 1983 v. 2003*
Sources of Highway Congestion Source: “ Traffic Congestion and Reliability;” FHWA (September, 2005)
The price of highway travel (gas taxes, registration fees, etc.) bears little or no relationship to the cost of congestion. Unlike other public utilities, the public expectation is that the “service” is free or does not change with changes in demand. The highway industry has a long tradition of infrastructure building and has only recently begun to embrace the importance of system management and operations. Challenges in Reducing Highway Congestion
Relieve urban congestion. Unleash private sector investment resources. Promote operational and technological improvements. Establish a “Corridors of the Future” competition. Target major freight bottlenecks and expand freight policy outreach. Accelerate major aviation capacity projects and provide a future funding framework. A Six Point Plan
Congestion Pricing: An Overview Peak period throughput, CA SR-91,priced vs. unpriced lanes • A charge that varies by traffic volumes or time of day. • It shifts discretionary travel to off-peak. • It increases vehicle throughput. • Single most viable approach to reducing congestion - positive results both here in the U.S. and around the world. • Reducing peak period travelers by just 3-8% can reduce delays by up to 50%.
Express Toll Lanes Example: SR 91, Orange County, CA
Express Toll Lanes Have Worked SR 91: • Toll-payers save 20-30 minutes. • Trip time is reliable.
Express Toll Lanes Have Worked SR 91: • HOT lanes carry more vehicles per lane.
San Diego, I-15 Eight miles, two reversible lanes. Tolls vary dynamically. Ensures free-flowing traffic. HOV to HOT Conversion
HOV to HOT: Public Opinion I-15 • 70% approval for existing HOT lanes. • 84% favor HOT lanes extension. • Considered “fair.”
Variable Tolls on Toll Facilities Examples: • New York’s water crossings. • Ft. Myers bridges.
Variable Tolls on Toll Facilities Have Worked Midpoint Bridge Ft. Myers, FL Peak 20% Discount 15% Other 10% Percent Change in Traffic During Each Half-Hour 5% 0% -5% -10% -15% -20% 1:00 PM 1:30 PM 2:00 PM 2:30 PM 3:00 PM 3:30 PM 4:00 PM 4:30 PM 5:00 PM 5:30 PM 6:00 PM 6:30 PM 7:00 PM 6:00 AM 6:30 AM 7:00 AM 7:30 AM 8:00 AM 8:30 AM 9:00 AM 9:30 AM 12:00 PM 12:30 PM 10:00 AM 10:30 AM 11:00 AM 11:30 AM Time of Day
Public acceptance issues: Geographic, income, and user equity. Public attitudes – double taxation, tolling existing lanes, trust in government to use revenues “wisely.” Strategies to address issues: Toll discounts or credits based on income. Reduce existing tax burdens. Increase public understanding of traffic management benefits. Challenges with Pricing Strategies: Public Acceptance
Issues: Costs and financial feasibility Enforcement Traffic operations Strategies to address issues: Improve financial feasibility by tolling some existing capacity. If all vehicles pay, enforcement is easier. New technologies are helping solve operations and enforcement concerns. Challenges with Pricing Strategies: Technical
The Objective: To advance the U.S. Congestion Initiative by enabling cities to systematically progress towards implementation of broad congestion pricing over the course of the next three years. Moving Forward: Urban Partnership Agreements
Four components: Broad congestion pricing New or expanded bus rapid transit Expanded telecommuting/flexible work schedules Technology/operations strategies Plus: Expedited completion of key capacity projects US DOT Congestion Mitigation Initiative - Urban Partnerships
Target Projects: Pricing of existing majorroadways in a broad area Priced Managed Lane Networks Cordon Pricing Parking Pricing Moving Forward through the Value Pricing Pilot Program Phases: • Constituency Building/Public Outreach • Project Development/PPP • Implementation/Evaluation
Target Projects: Existing HOV lanes that are underutilized. Existing HOV lanes that have degraded service levels due to high traffic volumes. Proposed new HOV lanes. Proposed freeway expansion projects. Moving Forward with HOT Lanes and Express Toll Lanes
“Congestion is not a fact of life. We need a new approach, and we need it now.” Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta May 2006