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HOT lanes – Implementation issues in the Netherlands

The road network in the Netherlands can be considered as saturated with considerable levels of
congestion. To meet the rising problems, policies are developed to increase road capacity at several places and to introduce a general congestion charge to discourage road use during peak hours. Until a short while ago, mobility policy focused mainly on reducing travel times. But we have recently come to realise that travelling time reliability is at least as important to travellers, hauliers and shippers. The importance of travelling time reliability for passenger and goods traffic has been acknowledged by government and local authorities.

With the introduction of electronic toll collection the opportunity opened for new concepts in road pricing, such as high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes, express toll lanes, truck only lanes, cordon tolling, and mileage-based pricing. Whereas, the historical use of tolling has been to fund high-cost projects, it can now be used to manage congestion on a network with limited capacity.

The two aspects of addressing congestion and valuing reliability are combined into a current practice in the USA which has a considerable history of implementation. Some of the previously developed “Car pool lanes” (HOV – High Occupancy Vehicle lanes) were turned into HOT-lanes (High Occupancy Toll) by allowing other vehicles to use the lanes in exchange of a toll. Currently a variety of projects were developed and implemented consisting of HOT lanes. The valuation of toll lanes in the United States is for an important part based on the valuation of congestion relief and travel time reliability. However, there is a certain uncertainty about this valuation and the way this aspect is addressing equity concerns. This makes it difficult to address the implementation of a toll lane both from a location, design point of view and the effects it has.

This project has the objective of developing a Quick Scan model that indicates what are the possible and suitable implementation locations, on national level, determines design features such as tolling scheme and access/egress locations and last but not least includes a simulation that will provide insights into the effects necessary for assessing/identifying key issues/factors that address the implementation’s success. The Quick Scan model will allow assessing all the key aspects of implementing a tolled managed lane in the Netherlands, aspects that have been treated separately by other research on various levels of detail but not incorporated yet in a general evaluation tool. This can also prove to be important for establishing key relations between the implementation’s different aspects.

Start date: April 15, 2012
End date: March 26, 2013

Research topic:
Road pricing

Research question:
Dynamic road pricing: is it worth the price?

HOT lanes – Implementation considerations and assessment