Title

Quantifying the Mobility Benefits of Express Lanes using Real-Time Traffic Data

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-1-2020

Subject Area

ARRAY(0x557373210ca0)

Abstract

Traffic congestion is one of the major problems facing transportation agencies, especially in urban areas. Agencies are exploring ways to use the existing transportation infrastructure efficiently by deploying appropriate traffic management strategies. One of these strategies is the use of express lanes, which are expected to effectively mitigate congestion and increase the reliability of highway facilities. Express lanes are managed toll lanes, separated from general-purpose lanes within a freeway facility. The goal of this study was to quantify the mobility benefits of express lanes by comparing the performance of express lanes with that of their adjacent general-purpose lanes, and by assessing the performance of the general-purpose lanes when the express lanes were open versus when the express lanes were closed. The Buffer Index (BI), a travel time reliability measure, was selected as the performance measure. The analysis was based on 95Express, express lanes along I-95 in Miami, Florida. Overall, the results indicated that BIs for the express lanes were significantly lower than the BIs for the general-purpose lanes, and the BIs for the general-purpose lanes were significantly lower when the express lanes were open compared with the periods when the express lanes were closed. The study results showed mobility improvements on both the express lanes and the general-purpose lanes, although the extent of the improvements varied by direction (i.e., northbound and southbound) and time of day (i.e., a.m. peak, p.m. peak, daytime off-peak, and nighttime off-peak). Transportation agencies may use these findings to quantify and evaluate the mobility benefits of the express lanes and the general-purpose lanes on express lane facilities.

Publication Title

Transportation Research Record

Volume

2674

Issue

11

First Page

414

Last Page

423

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1177/0361198120947091

ISSN

03611981

E-ISSN

21694052

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