Thinking Outside the Box to Expand Metropolitan Travel Choices

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, place - north america, mode - bus rapid transit, economics - appraisal/evaluation, infrastructure - bus/tram lane, ridership - mode choice


multimodal, travel choices, ramps, tolls


The multimodal expressway system is a concept of introducing travel choices for suburban commuters in major metropolitan areas relatively quickly and inexpensively. The entire existing limited-access highway system would provide for free flow of carpool vehicles and buses by temporarily slowing (or stopping) and releasing excess traffic at freeway entrance ramps and on the freeway main line at a series of concentric cordon locations around the core of the metropolitan area. At these locations, travel lanes would be created on the shoulder and restricted to use by buses and high-occupancy vehicles with three or more persons and would allow them to bypass the slower moving metered general-purpose traffic. A multicentered bus rapid transit system would serve commute trips between suburban residential areas and major employment centers. The transit system would be supplemented with a flexible carpooling system. An enhanced version of the concept would introduce variable peak period tolls to encourage further mode shifts, reduce traffic demand, and help pay for system costs. Sketch planning estimates of costs for freeway, transit, and flexible carpooling investments suggested that the capital costs could be self-financed through road-pricing revenues.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Transportation Research Board, Washington, copyright remains with them.