Title

Value Pricing Education and Outreach Model: I-394 MnPASS Community Task Force

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2006

Subject Area

operations - capacity, operations - traffic, infrastructure - vehicle, infrastructure - bus/tram lane, planning - education, economics - pricing, organisation - management, mode - carpool

Keywords

Value pricing (Road pricing), Traffic capacity, Road pricing, Public support, Public relations, Public participation, Public involvement, Public education, Political factors, Political aspects, Minnesota, Local participation, Limited access highways, HOV lanes, HOT lanes, Highway capacity, High occupancy vehicle lanes, High occupancy toll lanes, Freeflow tolling, Free flow speeds, Free flow (Traffic), Expressways, Express lanes, Express highways, ETTM, Electronic tolling, Electronic toll collection, Electronic toll and traffic management, Citizen participation, Carpools, Carpool lanes, Automated toll collection

Abstract

After a decade of public discussion and political debate, the I-394 MnPASS Express Lane, Minnesota’s first high-occupancy toll lane, opened in May 2005. The MnPASS project was designed to improve the efficiency of I-394 by increasing the person- and vehicle-carrying capabilities of existing high-occupancy vehicle lanes, maintaining free-flow speeds for transit and carpools, and using electronic toll collection (tags/transponders and readers) for dynamic pricing and electronic enforcement. While previous road pricing initiatives in Minnesota, as in other states, have provided opportunity for public feedback, the process tends to be confrontational and less than satisfying for all parties. Both citizens and politicians often believe comments and concerns are minimized and rarely taken seriously enough to alter project plans. The I-394 Express Lane Community Task Force, however, was formed to help citizens and stakeholders fully understand the project and its goals and to provide a more effective vehicle to give advice and guidance during the development of the project. Through this process, the task force members became an informed voice for the project and an essential part of an extensive education, outreach, and public involvement process that has been critical to the success of the I-394 MnPASS project. If proved successful in the long run, this task force model increases the likelihood that Minnesota citizens will support such projects in the future.