Do Travelers Pay for Managed-Lane Travel as They Claimed They Would? Before-and-After Study of Travelers on Katy Freeway, Houston, Texas Academic Article uri icon


  • This study examined whether travelers are using the new Katy Freeway managed lanes (MLs) in Houston, Texas, as people stated that they would in their responses to a survey conducted in 2008, before the MLs opened. To check the veracity of intended behaviors, a new stated preference survey was given to Houston's Katy Freeway travelers in 2010. The 2010 survey yielded 3,325 respondents, of whom approximately 869 respondents had likely been participants in the 2008 survey. Mixed logit models were developed from the 869 responses, and their value of travel time savings were compared with the 2008 survey estimates. The implied mean value of travel time savings based on the 2010 survey was found to be about 48% of the sample mean hourly wage rate, similar to values estimated for the 2008 surveys. The value of travel time reliability was estimated as 56% of the sample mean hourly wage rate. Combining both the value of time and the value of reliability for these travelers results in a combined value of $61/h. This value is close to the value travelers are giving their travel time for their actual recent trips on the Katy Freeway (an average of $51/h). Thus it appears that travelers are factoring in (consciously or subconsciously) some additional value for the reliability of MLs when they choose to use these lanes. The percentage of travelers from the 2010 survey who actually used the MLs was similar to the percentage of 2008 survey respondents who indicated that they might or would definitely use MLs. These findings suggest that travelers are actually using and paying for MLs as they said they would. The results also suggest that the maximum willingness to pay for travel did not change much from before to after the opening of the MLs.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 8

author list (cited authors)

  • Devarasetty, P. C., Burris, M., & Shaw, W. D.

citation count

  • 13

complete list of authors

  • Devarasetty, Prem Chand||Burris, Mark||Shaw, W Douglass

publication date

  • January 2012