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.
Study of Minneapolis dynamic priced lanes shows drivers see posted tolls as proxy for congestion - more likely to choose toll lanes when posted prices high
2013-08-07: Researchers in Minnesota studying driver responses to toll rates on the dynamically priced I-394 and I-35W express lanes have found results that confound conventional models.
Weak traffic numbers in the early months of the 495 Express Lanes and on WA167 in Washington state recently provoked an outpouring of popular commentary along the lines of "Why are HOT Lanes struggling to make money?" a headline of a piece in The Atlantic Cities June 24. The articles focussed heavily on lower performing toll lanes and notably avoided mention of the solid ones - 91 Express, CA/I-15, FL/I-95, MN/I-394, GA/I-85… so they were describing an unrepresentative sample.
2013-03-18: Since Cofiroute, the French toller pioneered toll express lanes on the 91 Freeway nearly 20 years in the northeast corner of Orange County California such HOT or toll managed lanes have achieved a great record of success. But even the best ideas can be misapplied or poorly implemented.
2012/11/26: Close to half the vehicles on the I-110 ExpressLanes in Los Angeles are toll paying after first two weeks operation, somewhat more than expected according to LA Metro project manager Stephanie Wiggins.
The Transurban/Fluor concessionaire project on 29 miles of I-95 in northern Virginia is into construction. Initial clearing of brush and small trees is reported in the far southern segment where there is a 9 mile extension planned. Much of the existing 2-lanes reversible HOV further north will be widened to 3 lanes and ramps and off-line bus stations or park-&-rides added.
Most of the work is in the median of I-95.
No news they say is good news. There's no news of problems three weeks after the start-up of Silicon Valley's first toll express lanes on state route 237 (CA237) and a stretch of I-880 - a project to eliminate a bottleneck at the interchange of the two expressways by allowing single occupant vehicles to buy into previously underused HOV lanes.
The Georgia I-85 toll express lanes (GA85XL) now in their eighth week of operation continue to attract more patronage, but tolls while growing, are still low per mile. We've worked on seven full weeks of data. Average weekday traffic in the variably priced lanes is now 11,210 vs 4,170 in the first week.
Georgia I-85 Express Lanes (GA/I-85XL) traffic is growing strongly in the third week of operations without loss of travel time advantages as compared to the second week. Tuesday toll-paying traffic Oct 18 is reported at 9200 vs 5773 Tues Oct 11 and 3513 Tues Oct 4.
The launch of managed toll lanes this week on I-85 northeast of Atlanta was so mismanaged that the state Governor intervened after three days and very publicly ordered changes. For three nights TV, radio and the press in Atlanta reported the fiasco of noticeably worse congestion in the general purpose lanes alongside almost empty "Express" or toll managed lanes on the big highway northeast out of Atlanta, the first in a huge proposed network.