Electronic Road Pricing in Southern California: Policy Obstacles to Congestion Pricing
Policy issues obstruct use of advanced traffic management technology in Southern California. Reliable equipment for electronic road pricing (ERP) is available that could establish a regionwide network of high occupancy vehicle (HOV) facilities where single occupant users (SOV) buy access. Private toll roads plan to use automatic vehicle identification (AVI), automatic toll collection (ATC), and changeable message signs to guide traffic into high-occupancy, buy-in lanes. Public agencies oppose expansion o this technology to the regional HOV network. Some hypothesize that the high-occupancy, toll (HOT) lanes would not promote ridesharing and related air quality objectives. This paper tests this hypothesis by applying a multinomial logit model to potential travel in one freeway corridor where private, buy-in lames are under construction. The hypothesis is not supported; free HOV lanes can be converted to HOT lanes using advanced technology to achieve an increase in average vehicle occupancy (AVO). The effect on congestion is uncertain.