Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Social welfare analysis of HOV to HOT conversion

M Rouhani, Omid (2016): Social welfare analysis of HOV to HOT conversion.

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Abstract

In this article, I will examine the social welfare effects of implementing High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes, and Managed Lanes in general. HOT lanes, in contrast to existing general purpose (GP) lanes, allow motorists to use these express lanes if they either pay a toll or have a certain minimum number of occupants in their vehicle. HOT lanes are often implemented by either converting existing High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes to HOT lanes or by constructing new managed lanes (MLs) in the median strip of an existing highway. They offer two major benefits over HOV lanes: (i) mitigating inefficiencies arising from the underutilization of HOV and GP lanes; and (ii) generating new revenue while preserving user satisfaction. Despite such potential benefits from HOT lane conversions and ML adoption, a comprehensive study rigorously estimating social welfare benefits and costs has not yet been undertaken. This paper reviews and provides a guideline for HOV to HOT lane conversions, form the social welfare perspective.

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