Potential single-occupancy vehicle demand for the Katy Freeway and Northwest Freeway high-occupancy vehicle lanes
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Since the 1960Ã¢ÂÂs, high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes have been successfully used as a travel demand management technique. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the use of high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes as an alternative to HOV lanes to help manage the increasing demand for travel. HOT lanes combine pricing and vehicle occupancy restrictions to optimize the demand for HOV lanes. As two of the four HOT lanes in the world, the HOT lane facilities in Houston, Texas received relatively low patronage after operating for over 6 years on the Katy Freeway and over 4 years on the Northwest Freeway. There existed an opportunity to increase the usage of these HOT lanes by allowing single-occupancy vehicle (SOV) travelers to use the lanes, for an appropriate toll. The potential SOV demand for HOV lane use during the off-peak periods from the Katy Freeway and Northwest Freeway general-purpose lane (GPL) travelers was estimated in this study by using the data collected from a 2003 survey of travelers on the Katy and Northwest Freeway GPLs who were not enrolled in QuickRide. Based on survey results, more travelers would choose to drive on the HOT lanes as SOV travelers during the off-peak periods when the facilities provided higher travel time savings and charged lower tolls. Two important factors influencing travelersÃ¢ÂÂ use of the HOV lanes were their value of travel time savings (VTTS) and penalty for changing travel schedule (VPCS). It was found that respondents had VTTS approximately 43 percent of their hourly wage rate and VPCS approximately 3 percent of their hourly wage rate. Combining this information with current travel time savings and available capacity on the HOV lanes, it was found that approximately 2000 SOV travelers per day would pay an average toll of $2.25 to use the HOV lanes during the off-peak periods.
Xu, Lei (2005). Potential single-occupancy vehicle demand for the Katy Freeway and Northwest Freeway high-occupancy vehicle lanes. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from