IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/transa/v32y1998i2p99-114.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

High occupancy vehicle lanes: Not always more effective than general purpose lanes

Author

Listed:
  • Dahlgren, Joy

Abstract

The success of a high occupancy vehicle lane in motivating people to shift to carpools and buses depends on maintaining a travel time differential between it and the adjacent general purpose lanes. This differential, in turn, depends on the level of continuing delay on the general purpose lanes. Therefore, it is clear that a high occupancy vehicle lane that will motivate people to shift to high occupancy vehicles will not eliminate congestion. Consequently, it is not clear that constructing a high occupancy vehicle lane will necessarily reduce delay more than construction of a general purpose lane. The objective of this research is to determine the circumstances in which this would be the case. The hypothesis is that such circumstances would be quite limited, and this proves to be the case. The intended benefits of high occupancy lanes are defined as reduced person-delay and reduced emissions. A model is developed to calculate these benefits for four alternatives: add a high occupancy vehicle lane, add a general purpose lane, convert an existing lane to a high occupancy vehicle lane, and do nothing. The model takes into account the initial conditions, the dynamic nature of the travel time differential between the high occupancy vehicle lane and other lanes, and the uncertainty regarding the extent to which people will shift modes. It combines queueing theory and mode choice theory and provides a robust method for comparing alternatives using a small amount of easily observed data. Application of the model in typical situations shows that with initial delays on the order of 15 min or more, adding a high occupancy vehicle lane would provide substantial reductions in delay and some reduction in emissions. However, in a wide range of such situations, adding a general purpose lane would be even more effective. Only if the initial delay is long and the initial proportion of high occupancy vehicles falls in a rather narrow range, would an added high occupancy vehicle lane be more effective. The proportion of high occupancy vehicles must be such that it allows good utilization of the high occupancy vehicle lane while maintaining a sufficient travel time differential to motivate a shift to buses or carpools. Adding a high occupancy vehicle lane to a three lane freeway will be more effective than adding a general purpose lane only if the initial maximum delay is on the order of 35 min or more and the proportion of high occupancy vehicles is on the order of 20%. Federal policies encourage construction of high occupancy vehicle lanes and restrict funding for general purpose lanes in areas that have not attained air quality standards. The findings of this research suggest a need to reconsider these policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Dahlgren, Joy, 1998. "High occupancy vehicle lanes: Not always more effective than general purpose lanes," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 99-114, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:32:y:1998:i:2:p:99-114
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0965-8564(97)00021-9
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alfa, Attahiru Sule, 1989. "Departure rate and route assignment of commuter traffic during peak period," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 337-344, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Konishi, Hideo & Mun, Se-il, 2010. "Carpooling and congestion pricing: HOV and HOT lanes," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 173-186, July.
    2. Andre De Palma & Moez Kilani & Robin Lindsey, 2006. "The Economics of Truck Toll Lanes," ERSA conference papers ersa06p896, European Regional Science Association.
    3. Small, Kenneth A. & Yan, Jia, 2001. "The Value of "Value Pricing" of Roads: Second-Best Pricing and Product Differentiation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 310-336, March.
    4. Light, Thomas, 2012. "High Occupancy Toll Lane Performance Under Alternative Pricing Policies," Journal of the Transportation Research Forum, Transportation Research Forum, vol. 51(2).
    5. Abrahamse, Wokje & Keall, Michael, 2012. "Effectiveness of a web-based intervention to encourage carpooling to work: A case study of Wellington, New Zealand," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 45-51.
    6. Kenneth A. Small, 2007. "Urban Transportation Policy: A Guide and Road Map," Working Papers 060724, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
    7. Kenneth A. Small & Clifford Winston & Jia Yan, 2005. "Differentiated Road Pricing, Express Lanes and Carpools: Exploiting Heterogeneous Preferences in Policy Design," Working Papers 050616, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2006.
    8. Jean-Marc Aubert & Laure Tourjansky-Cabart, 2000. "L'allocation de la voirie dans les centres-villes," Revue Française d'Économie, Programme National Persée, vol. 15(2), pages 157-194.
    9. Chu, Chih-Peng & Tsai, Jyh-Fa & Hu, Shou-Ren, 2012. "Optimal starting location of an HOV lane for a linear monocentric urban area," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 457-466.
    10. de Palma, André & Kilani, Moez & Lindsey, Robin, 2008. "The merits of separating cars and trucks," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 340-361, September.
    11. Cassidy, Michael J. & Jang, Kitae & Daganzo, Carlos F., 2010. "The smoothing effect of carpool lanes on freeway bottlenecks," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 65-75, February.
    12. Malayath, Manoj & Verma, Ashish, 2013. "Activity based travel demand models as a tool for evaluating sustainable transportation policies," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 45-66.
    13. Jang, Kitae & Cassidy, Michael J., 2012. "Dual influences on vehicle speed in special-use lanes and critique of US regulation," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(7), pages 1108-1123.
    14. Menendez, Monica & Daganzo, Carlos F., 2007. "Effects of HOV lanes on freeway bottlenecks," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 809-822, October.
    15. Dahlgren, Joy, 2002. "High-occupancy/toll lanes: where should they be implemented?," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 239-255, March.
    16. Santos, Georgina & Behrendt, Hannah & Teytelboym, Alexander, 2010. "Part II: Policy instruments for sustainable road transport," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, pages 46-91.
    17. Zheng, Nan & Geroliminis, Nikolas, 2013. "On the distribution of urban road space for multimodal congested networks," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 326-341.
    18. Shewmake, Sharon & Jarvis, Lovell, 2014. "Hybrid cars and HOV lanes," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 304-319.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:32:y:1998:i:2:p:99-114. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/547/description#description .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.