Managed lanes provide a faster, more reliable trip by adjusting the toll rate upward and downward based on congestion with the goal of maintaining a minimum speed in the toll lanes. The toll rate is posted, so the driver is aware of the rate before making a choice to use the managed lanes. As demand increases, the toll rate increases in order to maintain a reliable trip speed within the managed lanes.
In addition, managed lanes, such as value-priced lanes and high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes, can improve travel time by as much as 75 percent and reduce fuel consumption by 30 percent, according to the National Roads and Motorists Association.
Managed lanes can also reduce congestion in general-purpose lanes. For example, traffic decreased by 60 percent in non-tolled lanes along the LBJ Express.
Whether you are trying to get to the airport on time, pick up your kids or a repairman trying to fit in additional service calls, managed lanes provide a reliable trip time that in some cases outweighs the cost.
In fact, according to a study released in 2016, the most common car brands on the TEXpress managed lanes in Dallas are Toyota, Ford, Honda and Chevrolet. Luxury brands made up less than 6 percent of all users of the road. This example illustrates how everyone, not just the wealthy, can enjoy the benefits that managed lanes provide a community.
Those who opt into paying the toll receive the valuable benefit of reliable travel time. Those who do not opt to pay, however, still benefit from those drivers in the managed lanes being removed from the general purpose lanes. Also, the revenue collected from the tolls are primarily used to pay for the roadway’s debt, operation and maintenance costs over the life of the concession. So the roadway is paid for by those who take advantage of it.
In addition, using the private sector to develop infrastructure projects transfers risk from the public sector to the private sector. It also allows government entities to take full advantage of private sector efficiencies so the projects can be completed sooner. Finally, private sector investment can move projects forward faster, using less government funding, allowing for the delivery of projects years sooner than otherwise possible.
P3 projects take innovative approaches that decrease construction time and prevent delays. Experience and private sector efficiencies help large-scale projects get completed quickly and affordably.