A New Paradigm In User Equilibrium - Application In Managed Lane Pricing
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Ineffective use of the High-Occupancy-Vehicle (HOV) lanes has the potential to decrease the overall roadway capacity during peak periods. Excess capacity in HOV lanes during peak periods can be made available to other types of vehicles, including single occupancy vehicles (SOV) for a price (toll). Such dual use lanes are known as "Managed Lanes." The main purpose of this research is to propose a new paradigm in user equilibrium to predict the travel demand for determining the optimal fare policy for managed lane facilities. Depending on their value of time, motorists may choose to travel on Managed Lanes (ML) or General Purpose Lanes (GPL). In this study, the features in the software called Toll Pricing Modeler version 4.3 (TPM-4.3) are described. TPM-4.3 is developed based on this new user equilibrium concept and utilizes it to examine the various operating scenarios. The software has two built-in operating objective options: 1) what would the ML operating speed be for a specified SOV toll, or 2) what should the SOV toll be for a desired minimum ML operating speed. A number of pricing policy scenarios are developed and examined on the proposed managed lane segment on Interstate 30 (I-30) in Grand Prairie, Texas. The software provides quantitative estimates of various factors including toll revenue, emissions and system performance such as person movement and traffic speed on managed and general purpose lanes. Overall, among the scenarios examined, higher toll rates tend to generate higher toll revenues, reduce overall CO and NOx emissions, and shift demand to general purpose lanes. HOV preferential treatments at any given toll level tend to reduce toll revenue, have no impact on or reduce system performance on managed lanes, and increase CO and NOx emissions.