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Buying into the Bypass: Allowing Trucks to pay to use the Ramp Meter Bypasses

Listed author(s):
  • Satya Muthuswamy
  • David Levinson


    (Nexus (Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems) Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota)

People make their route choices based on the delays they experience but not on the delays they impose on others. Moreover different travelers have different values of time. Road Pricing can be seen as the means to optimize the use of a roadway by charging each traveler the cost he imposes on others. This paper analyzes the opening of an HOV ramp meter bypass to trucks that pay a toll. Trucks are similar to HOV as both have a higher value of time than a single occupant car. Thus, by saving time for these vehicles the system stands to gain. The toll to be set was estimated under three scenarios ­ user benefit maximization, profit maximization and system benefit maximization. A queue was simulated, and based on the decision criteria the optimal toll was determined. It is found that to maximize the system welfare, the high Value of Time vehicles like trucks should be allowed to use the bypass for free, but that raises some equity and operational issues. However a toll that allows trucks to use the bypass improves the welfare over simply prohibiting the trucks from the bypass.

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Paper provided by University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group in its series Working Papers with number 200302.

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Date of creation: 2003
Publication status: Published in Journal of the Transportation Research Forum in Transportation Quarterly 57(1), Winter 2003 (81-92)
Handle: RePEc:nex:wpaper:bypass
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