HOT or not driver elasticity to price on the MnPASS HOT lanes

Michael Janson, David Levinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has added MnPASS High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes on two freeway corridors in the Twin Cities. While not the first HOT lanes in the country, the MnPASS lanes are the first implementation of road pricing in Minnesota and possess a dynamic pricing schedule. Tolls charged to single occupant vehicles (SOVs) are adjusted every 3min according to HOT lane vehicle density. Given the infancy of systems like MnPASS, questions remain about drivers' responses to toll prices. Three field experiments were conducted on the corridors during which prices were changed. Data from the field experiments as well as two years of toll and traffic data were analyzed to measure driver responses to pricing changes. Driver elasticity to price was positive with magnitudes less than 1.0. This positive relationship between price and demand is in contrast with the previously held belief that raising the price would discourage demand. In addition, drivers consistently paid between approximately $60-120 per hour of travel time savings, much higher than the average value of time. Reasons for these results is discussed as well as the implications these results have on the pricing of HOT lanes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-32
Number of pages12
JournalResearch in Transportation Economics
Volume44
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Copyright:
Copyright 2014 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Demand elasticity
  • High-occupancy toll lanes
  • High-occupancy vehicles
  • Managed lanes
  • Road pricing
  • Toll roads

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