Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - traffic, infrastructure - vehicle, infrastructure - bus/tram priority, infrastructure - bus/tram lane, economics - revenue, economics - pricing, organisation - management, place - urban, mode - carpool


Value pricing (Road pricing), Value of service pricing, Utilization, Urban transit, Transponders, Traffic volume, Traffic violations, Traffic flow, SOVs, Single occupant vehicles, San Diego (California), Road pricing, Revenues, Priority lanes, Operational tests, Level of service, Lane usage, Lane distribution, Interstate highways, HOV lanes, HOT lanes, High occupancy vehicle lanes, High occupancy toll lanes, Funding, Freeflow tolling, Financing, ETTM, Electronic toll collection, Electronic toll and traffic management, Diamond lanes, Demonstration projects, Costs, Carpool lanes, Automated toll collection


The Interstate 15 (I-15) Value Pricing Project is a federally funded, $9.95 million, 3-year demonstration program that allows single-occupant vehicles (SOVs) to use the existing high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes on I-15 for a fee. I-15 is a major north-south freeway in the inland San Diego, California, region. The project began in December 1996 and is generating revenue for transit-service improvements in the I-15 corridor. This feature provides an overview of the project, including background, phasing, and a summary of observations to date. Throughout Phase I (Interim Operations), HOV lane traffic remained free-flowing. Usage of the HOV lanes increased by 27%, from a daily average of 9,215 vehicles in October 1996 (preproject) to 11,700 vehicles in March 1998. However, the additional vehicles on the HOV lanes were primarily carpools and not SOVs. Actual ExpressPass customer use was less than expected. As of March 1998, ExpressPass customers represented 10% of total traffic on the HOV lanes. The violation rate was relatively low throughout Phase I. During the first 8 months of full implementation (Phase II), the price varied between $0.50 and $4.00, and level of service (LOS) C was rarely exceeded. By the end of February 1999, more than 7,000 transponders had been distributed to more than 5,200 accountholders. Most FasTrak customers are occasional users. Monthly transponder usage data for April-September 1998 indicated that 53% of transponders were used 1-5 times, 18% were used 6-10 times, 11 percent were used 11-15 times, and the remaining 19% were used 16-40 times per month. There has been good customer acceptance of dynamic pricing.