Saturday, October 3, 2009

Public Acceptance of Toll Lane Options

Rethinking Transportation Finance Roundtable
Public Acceptance of Toll Lane Options

October 9, 2009
9:00 a.m.--11:00 a.m.
Wilkins Room
215 Humphrey Center
University of Minnesota
301-19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Cost: There is no charge for this event, but registration is requested.
Registration: To register, contact Laura Noble at 612-626-0564 or

In an era of increasing congestion and limited state budgets, there is a need to develop cost-effective solutions to accommodate increasing travel demand. How can policy makers and Departments of Transportation around the nation help to provide options for motorists? How can DOTs use existing infrastructure as efficiently as possible to meet current and future transportation needs? Two concepts, FAST Miles and FEE lanes, offer a potential solution for more efficiently using infrastructure.

The FAST Miles concept proposes to ease highway congestion on a system of limited access facilities by pricing the road to promote the use of car pools and public transportation. Under the concept, each motorist is provided a number of dollar credits per month. The motorist, at his or her discretion, can apply those credits to use the priced lanes. The FAST Miles concept addresses equity concerns such as lack of alternatives to paying the toll, concern for low-income drivers, as well as taking away lanes that were previously free.

Flexible and Efficient Express (FEE) lanes can serve as the back bone of the FAST Miles System. FEE lanes are a combination of active traffic management and congestion pricing and may be combined with a credit based system.

Focus groups were conducted in May 2009 to test how understandable the FAST Miles concept is to the public as well as public opinion on converting existing freeway right-of-way to priced lanes - FEE lanes. These concepts were tested with transportation users and stakeholders such as transit users, peak period drivers, and commercial drivers. From the focus groups, potential barriers to comprehension and implementation of the FAST Miles program were highlighted.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) and the Metropolitan Council have explored the possibility of implementing a system of MnPASS lanes (HOT Lanes) in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area for over a decade. The results of this study will be used to help develop an implementation initiative with improved potential for success.

8:30 a.m. Continental breakfast
9:00 a.m. Welcome
Laurie McGinnis, Acting Director, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota
9:05 a.m. Presentations
Moderator: Lee Munnich, Senior Fellow and Director, State and Local Policy Program, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota
Express Lane Networks: Patrick DeCorla Souza, Tolling and Pricing Program Manager, Federal Highway Administration
Study Methodology: Adeel Lari, Director of Innovative Transportation Finance, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota
Study Results: Kenneth Buckeye, Program Manager, Minnesota Department of Transportation
10:10 a.m. Audience discussion
* What is your reaction to the concepts of FAST Miles and FEE Lanes?
* What are the potential impacts for transit if express lane networks are expanded in the Twin Cities area?
* What further steps should be taken in Minnesota?
11:00 a.m. Adjourn

Directions, transit, & parking
View directions to the Humphrey Institute. Parking is available in the 19th Avenue Ramp across from the Humphrey Center. For transit information call Metro Transit at 612-373-3333 or visit

This event is sponsored by the University of Minnesota's Center for Transportation Studies and the Humphrey Institute's State and Local Policy Program with the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

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