Benefit-cost analysis of variable pricing projects: QuickRide HOT lanes
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Researchers identified a potential methodology for obtaining the incremental societal costs and benefits from a variable pricing project and applied that methodology to the QuickRide high occupancy/toll (HOT) lanes in Texas. This is one of the longest running variable pricing projects in the United States and, as such, it provided useful historical data and trends upon which to estimate future benefits and costs. This analysis found that the incremental societal benefits of QuickRide exceeded incremental societal costs for the time period considered. A companion paper that used the same methodology to examine the benefits and costs of the SR-91 Express Lanes found similar results. However, the differences between the benefits and costs were dramatically different for the two projects, indicative of the relative size of the two projects and the number of travelers impacted. On SR-91, tens of thousands of travelers were impacted on a daily basis where QuickRide's impact was limited to approximately 400 travelers per day. Interestingly, the benefit-cost ratios of the two projects were similar, both between 1.5 and 1.7. 2006 ASCE.