Fitch Ratings analysis points up problems for toll express lanes - both <forecast and >forecast, politically driven price caps & new capacityBy Peter Samuel on November 8, 2013
2013-11-07: Fitch Ratings analysts see toll express or managed lanes (MLs) as especially difficult to assess for financial viability, saying that they vary enormously one to another, and are likely to demonstrate very different performance and be subject to greater volatility than regular toll roads.
In El Paso Texas the local toll authority (Camino Real RMA) is moving to develop its second toll lanes project on Loop 375 heading away from the Mexican border on the southeast side of the city.
The new toll lanes would run along the North Americas Avenue freeway lanes leading from the Zaragoza/Waterfill border crossing 4 miles to I-10 (known as 14b in CRRMA planning) and another 2 miles northeast to Pellicano Drive.
2013-03-11: We try to keep it simple: a 'toll lane' is any lane in which a toll is collected. And it's Express. But serious classifiers and afficionados have a heap of acronyms that generate hottles, ettles, tottles, bolles, tells and even hovels. Toll lanes come in many and changing shapes even within these acronymnal classes.
2013-02-24: Orlando's expressway standard highways are all tolled with the exception of the busiest - the I-4 that wends its way southwest to northeast though the middle of the metro area going right by the central business district.
Data for May - the eighth month of operation - show continued progress for Georgia toll authority in attracting more toll payers to the inside Express Lanes on I-85 on the northeast side of the Atlanta area. Average weekday trips were 17,585, a 4.6% advance on the previous highest monthly number - in March. Average tolls paid at $1.14 were up on April but in line with earlier months.
The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) in the Phoenix area is looking for consultants to examine the feasibility of toll concessions to fund toll-managed or HOT lanes in the Phoenix metro area. This follows enabling legislation for public private partnerships.
Commuters to downtown Minneapolis from the south (I-35W) now join those from the west (I-394) in being able to buy the superior service of toll-managed lanes for a continuous commute. Carpoolers and buses get free rides in the free-flowing lanes.
Virginia secretary of transportation Sean Connaughton says I-66 is a "great candidate" for HOT/toll lanes, and he says the department has a team studying the concept. As soon as he was appointed secretary in the summer when the new Republican administration won office he directed the department to look at "HOT" or toll lanes, he says.
A report by Washington DC metro area planners says adding toll lanes to the expressway network, converting HOV lanes and pricing some other lanes would generate nearly sufficient toll revenues to pay for the cost, improve travel times and achieve major reductions in congestion.
A study has found promising toll express lanes on a northwest radial in the Chicago area - reversible lanes on the Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94) and an extra concurrent lane each direction on the Jane Addams Tollway (I-90). Concurrent lanes on the Stephenson Expressway (I-55) a southwestern radial from central Chicago do not look good.