Title

SYNERGIES OF BUS RAPID TRANSIT AND HIGH-OCCUPANCY TOLL LANES: SIMULATION OF BUS RAPID TRANSIT IN CONGESTED CORRIDOR WITH ROADWAY VALUE PRICING

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2004

Subject Area

operations - traffic, infrastructure - bus/tram lane, policy - congestion, economics - pricing, mode - bus, mode - bus rapid transit

Keywords

Value pricing (Road pricing), Traffic congestion, Simulation, Road pricing, Managed lanes, HOT lanes, High occupancy toll lanes, Gridlock (Traffic), Cost effectiveness, Computer simulation, Capital Beltway, Bus rapid transit

Abstract

The costs and benefits of integrating two major areas of urban transportation enhancement--high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes and bus rapid transit (BRT)--are explored. The goal is to assess a synergistic strategy of providing premium public transit services in conjunction with roadway pricing strategies. The use of BRT is specifically addressed in the context of a congested urban travel corridor with roadway value pricing. A simple simulation is used to determine those circumstances in which BRT might be an effective element of a multimodal value-pricing corridor strategy. The model used is a variation of SMITE (Spreadsheet Model for Induced Travel Estimation) extended to include managed lanes developed previously by DeCorla-Souza at FHWA. The analysis simulated some alternatives differing from those included in the original DeCorla-Souza assessment of options for the Capital Beltway in Northern Virginia. This is currently a 14-mi-long, 8-lane freeway with no restricted lanes. Seven alternatives are examined. Six of the alternatives place an additional lane in each direction, for a total of 10 lanes. The seventh alternative takes a lane in each direction to provide a special-purpose lane in each direction. The findings suggest that both roadway pricing and BRT compare favorably with toll-free facilities and conventional transit. Taking a lane for a combined HOT facility with BRT might be particularly cost-effective in select locations.