Influence of HOV Lane Access on HOV Lane Utilization
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High-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes are employed in many cities as a traffic congestion mitigation technique. These lanes are intended to provide a travel time benefit to carpools and buses, providing an incentive to choose those modes. The time and frustration involved in finding and using HOV lane access points may act as a deterrent to HOV lane use. Thus, proper planning of HOV lane access may be able to improve convenience for potential users, increasing HOV lane utilization. This paper investigated the possible relationship between the time required to access the HOV lane and travelers' choice of HOV lane as their mode. Additionally, the distance to HOV lane access points and the type of access point were examined for their influence on HOV lane use rates. It was concluded that neither the type of HOV lane access point (for example, a T-ramp versus a slip ramp) nor the added time necessary to access the HOV lane were significant factors in HOV lane use rates. Instead, the convenience of carpool formation and the convenience of HOV lane access to traveler's origins and destinations were found to be the most important factors in HOV lane use rates. 2010 ASCE.