Speed as a for-profit service

Michael Giberson

Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal included a story on HOT lanes and other ways commuters can buy through congestion, “American Idle: On the Road.” One excerpt:

In the early years of the nation, entrepreneurs built toll roads, offering travelers a faster carriage ride in return for money.

Now, the concept of the toll road is making a comeback. In Virginia, a key element of a $4 billion transportation package proposed by Gov. Bob McDonnell includes expanding the use of “HOT” lanes, an acronym for high-occupancy toll lanes. These fast lanes will be operated by a private company within the existing freeway system. Toll rates could fluctuate according to demand, or be set based on time of day as they are on Route 91 in Los Angeles. Such pay-to-roll roads are in operation or on the drawing board around the U.S.

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One thought on “Speed as a for-profit service

  1. There are a number of other examples of HOT lanes with variable toll rates to assure high levels of service in the US now including MnPass (2 facilities) in Minneapolis, MN, Katy Freeway in Houston, TX, I-95 in Miami, FL, and others. People do seem to be willing to pay for higher levels of service and for predictable travel times.

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