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40 Evaluation and Performance Measurement of Congestion Pricing Projects The following two sections explain how these measures are used in ongoing operations of the priced facility and in making the facility's case to the public and other interested parties: Operations: Transit Performance Measures as Direct and Indirect Inputs to Facility Oper- ations. Transit performance measures are not generally collected as direct inputs to priced facility operation. However, one exception was presented in the traffic evaluation area above. There, bus travel times were used to derive average speeds, which in turn were tied directly to the decision to raise tolls if thresholds were not met. In this case, the data was acquired from transponders outfitted to the buses. Validation: Using Transit Performance Measures to Validate Variably Priced Managed Lanes. If the priced managed lane facility sponsor or operator is also the agency responsible for transit service, acquiring transit performance data is not difficult. Otherwise, such data needs to be acquired (if it exists) from individual transit agencies. Obtaining the performance data sought, however, requires establishing a good working relationship with that agency and coordinating data collection efforts. Transit data can be used to validate operations, to ensure non-impacted or improved transit service as measured most often by travel times, on-time arrivals, delay, and ridership. Economics Economics is another analysis area not generally assessed for a variably priced managed lane project. Effects on local businesses and regional competitiveness are of extreme interest in a region implementing an area or cordon pricing project, but this is not normally the case with priced managed lanes. Nonetheless, improved access along highly traveled corridors such as the SR 91, which connects residential communities in Riverside County with employment centers in Orange County, California, would be expected to have a positive economic effect. However, it is extremely challenging to measure the precise effect of an individual transportation improve- ment on regional economic trends. This type of analysis would be more likely to rely on the results of economic models, which would allow a comparison to be made between model out- puts and data collected on regional economic activity and real estate prices. Land Use Performance measures to evaluate a variably priced managed lane facility's effects on land use are not commonly used in practice and are not generally recommended by these guidelines. Nonetheless, a facility sponsor may want to consider these measures (such as residential or com- mercial land use trends) if found to be a particular issue of concern in the region. 3.3 Performance Measurement for Toll Facilities with Variable Pricing As with the other forms of pricing, performance measurement for variably priced toll facili- ties is used to document traffic operations and service levels and inform decisions on adjustments to operational policies or physical configuration, which may include toll plazas. Performance monitoring data is also used to document changes in travel patterns and peak-period congestion as a result of the implementation of variably priced tolls, thereby validating the use of conges- tion pricing. In addition, most new or existing toll facilities where variable pricing could be intro- duced are run by toll authorities that rely on toll proceeds as their primary revenue source. As such, performance measurement for variably priced toll facilities is also likely to have a more concentrated focus on toll revenues and financial performance compared with variably priced managed lane projects. This reflects the fact that most toll facilities are self-financing facilities built with debt leveraged from future toll proceeds. As such, management is likely to track finan- cial performance closely and also likely to have bond covenants that must be honored.

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Guidelines for Evaluation and Performance Measurement of Congestion Pricing Projects 41 These areas are of particular concern when variably priced tolling is introduced on legacy toll facilities that have previously used fixed tolls. The conversion of toll regimens from fixed to vari- able pricing can also be expected to involve a considerable amount of initial surveying to under- stand how travel behavior may change as a result of time-of-day pricing, together with travel demand and revenue modeling work to ascertain what the effects of variably priced tolling would be on overall revenue generation and financial performance. Once an acceptable level of com- fort is achieved on the likely outcomes of a conversion to variable pricing, a decision can be made on how and when to proceed with the conversion. After the implementation of variable pricing, financial performance would be closely tracked and compared with earlier forecasts. An optimal result would show that the introduction of variable pricing had no adverse effect on revenue gen- eration and was successful in reducing peak-period congestion through mode shifts from SOVs to HOVs and transit, shifts to non-peak travel times and alternative destinations, and elimi- nated trips. As a result, performance monitoring for projects involving the use of variably priced facility-wide tolls may also need to include capacity assessments demonstrating the effects of shifts to HOV and transit on the capacities of those systems. Given the relatively small number of toll facilities using time-of-day pricing (see Table 2-2) and the fact that only 2 of the 12 case studies conducted for NCHRP Project 08-75 involved the use of variably priced tolls on entire facilities, the recommendations provided here are based on the findings of the research effort, together with industry standards and best practices. 3.3.1 Distinguishing Characteristics of Toll Facilities with Variable Pricing As described below, despite the small number of toll facilities using variable pricing, as with the other forms of pricing, some distinguishing characteristics will influence performance mon- itoring programs for these facilities. Configuration and Physical Integration with Other Regional Infrastructure Toll facilities using variably priced tolls can have remarkably different configurations, rang- ing from tolled bridge and tunnel crossings to regional or long-distance tolled highways. The configuration of the facilities involved and their physical integration with other regional infra- structure will influence the metrics and thresholds used to monitor their performance. For exam- ple, speeds and lane volume capacities would be markedly higher for interstate highway facilities such as the New Jersey Turnpike than those on a bridge or tunnel such as the Lincoln Tunnel which connects traffic into the street grid of Manhattan. In all cases, the measures used to track the performance of variably priced toll facilities will need to be tailored to reflect the type of facility involved and its physical setting. Use of Manual vs. Electronic Toll Collection Toll facilities using variably priced tolls could feature several different collection methods: open road tolling, a toll barrier-less system whereby vehicles' transponders are read by overhead gantries at the speed of traffic; transponder-based collection at a toll plaza, with or without bar- riers, but requiring traffic to slow or stop; manual toll collection (cash), either by a toll booth operator or collection machine; or combinations thereof. Open road tolling obviates the need for toll plazas and the inherent delays and operational challenges they introduce. Hybrid systems using manual and electronic toll collection require toll plazas and introduce new operational issues involving the overall balance between the number of manual and electronic booths and segregating vehicles equipped with transponders from those whose drivers will pay cash. These distinctions have a major influence on performance monitoring, given that monitoring for toll plazas is a complex endeavor often involving queuing and safety analyses, potentially requiring

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42 Evaluation and Performance Measurement of Congestion Pricing Projects aerial photography. These types of performance tools and measures would likely be used with variably priced toll facilities using hybrid collection systems, while they would not be needed for those using open road tolling. Congestion Pricing on New Versus Existing Toll Facilities It can be expected that the operator of almost any toll facility would have an established set of metrics it uses to monitor the performance of the facility, enabling it to track revenue genera- tion, user base, operational performance, and customer satisfaction. If variably priced tolls are introduced on an existing facility, these established monitoring programs would provide a wealth of baseline information and a platform for the ongoing monitoring activities. The operative issue in this type of situation would be to determine whether or not any additional information would be needed in order to assess how the introduction of variably priced tolls had influenced the over- all performance of the facility. If variable pricing is used on new toll facilities, then an entire mon- itoring protocol would need to be established prior to the opening of the facility. If the project sponsor operates other toll facilities, this process could involve a review and adaptation of the performance monitoring systems it already uses, and if it does not, the process would involve establishing an entirely new set of measures and procedures. Level of Public Interest As with other forms of pricing, the overall level of public interest in the use of variable pric- ing on new or existing toll facilities would be a key factor in establishing performance monitor- ing programs for these facilities. One of the main issues in the level of public interest would be whether or not congestion pricing is new to the region. In addition, if congestion pricing is intro- duced on an existing toll facility, this will likely involve a toll increase and would receive close scrutiny by elected officials, the media, and advocacy groups. In these cases, it will be helpful for the project sponsor to document the cost of congestion in the region and establish expectations and a means to track how the introduction of pricing will affect congestion levels in the corridor to be priced. As with other forms of pricing, when there is a high level of concern regarding the use of congestion pricing, project sponsors should develop more comprehensive monitoring programs in order to generate performance data demonstrating the effect of the project and its influence on areas of key concern. 3.3.2 Selection of Performance Measures for Toll Facilities with Variable Pricing This section provides specific factors for consideration, summaries of experience, and recom- mendations on the selection of performance measures for toll facilities with variable pricing. The section's organization follows the order of the eight areas of evaluation identified among the operational congestion pricing projects examined as part of the NCHRP Project 08-75 research that produced these guidelines. These evaluation areas are tied directly to the goals of a project. Specific project goals can be formulated and measured by framing them within the context of the evaluation areas. These evaluation areas and the full set of identified performance measures were introduced in Table 3-1 in Section 3.1.5. The number of operational toll facilities with variable pricing is limited in practice. Five such instances were identified (see Table 2-2) and two were selected for close examination as part of the research behind these guidelines. The number of distinct performance measures captured within each evaluation area for the two facilities studied is shown in Table 3-9, along with the total number of measures identified overall among congestion pricing projects. Because of this limited subset, it is more difficult to conclusively extract performance measures most commonly used in practice to a set of general guidelines than in the case of variably priced managed lanes. These guidelines' recommendations take this into account and also draw from existing knowl-

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Guidelines for Evaluation and Performance Measurement of Congestion Pricing Projects 43 Table 3-9. Total performance measures by evaluation area. Total Measures Identified Measures Used in Facilities Examined Traffic Performance 20 6 Public Perception 15 1 Facility Users 14 5 System Operations 15 4 Environment 3 0 Transit 7 1 Economics 9 0 Land Use 2 0 edge of industry best practice. However, it can be generally concluded that fewer evaluation areas are significant among toll facility performance monitoring requirements and a fewer number of performance measures are used compared to variably priced managed lanes. The full spectrum of performance measures used in practice is shown in Table 3-10. In most cases, a performance measure was used by just one facility examined; in a few cases, it was used by both facilities. The table also identifies whether the measures are generally applied in an operations or validation capacity and whether they play a key (primary) or secondary role in a typical perfor- mance evaluation program. Some performance measures that validate a project may also be used to make operational facility changes, and vice versa; operational measures may also help validate the project. Those marked as operations are the critical measures used to assess facility function against achievement of its primary goals (such as meeting revenue targets or traffic thresholds), while validation measures, which may also be used operationally, are applied on a lower priority basis (such as adjusting the configuration of toll plazas based on collision data analysis). Because of the limited sample size of operational facilities, other performance measures not listed in Table 3-10 could be significant or necessary to collect based on the goals set for a par- ticular facility. These measures may not have been captured by these guidelines' research; however, the issues discussed for each evaluation area can be applicable to those performance measures not identified. Table 3-10. Performance measures in practice--toll facilities with variable pricing (all facilities examined). Total No. of Purpose Importance Evaluation Area Performance Measures Measures Used (No. of Measures) (No. of Measures) Operations Validation Key Secondary Volume Vehicle volume (hourly/daily/weekly/monthly) 2 1 1 1 1 Speed & Travel Time Travel times 1 1 1 VMT/VKT VMT/ VKT 1 1 1 Traffic Performance Congestion Delay/ wait times 1 1 1 Congestion Queue length 1 1 1 Occupancy Avg. vehicle occupancy (auto) 1 1 1 Public Perception Satisfaction General/perceived value/how well? 1 1 1 Transaction Method Transponder/video/by-mail/cash 1 1 1 User Characteristics Vehicle classification 1 1 1 Facility Users User Characteristics Vehicle registrations (HOV, vanpool, hybrid) 1 1 1 Trip Characteristics Time of day/ departure time 1 1 1 Trip Characteristics Toll spending/price paid (self-reported) 1 1 1 Safety Collisions/ accidents 2 2 2 Finance Total transactions 1 1 1 System Operations Finance Revenue (toll/ charge) 1 1 1 Finance Average toll/ highest toll 1 1 1 Transit Occupancy Ridership/ boardings 1 1 1

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44 Evaluation and Performance Measurement of Congestion Pricing Projects Traffic Performance Traffic performance describes the fundamental purpose of a roadway: its ability to provide mobility to people and goods. It is the most important of the eight areas of evaluation and mea- sured through various traffic engineering measures that answer questions pertaining to the facil- ity about how much, how many, how fast, and by what mode. Representative Traffic Performance Goals. Goals for toll facilities with variable pricing most commonly involve traffic performance (as well as the revenue aspect of system operations). Achieving congestion reduction is one prominent example. This goal, in turn though, may be further characterized on a more measurable basis or within a context that better resonates with facility users or those interested in improved performance. To that end, the goal of achieving congestion reduction could more specifically be stated as reducing the volume or extent of peak- period congestion. Accomplishing this goal may require shifts in travel times to a shoulder period or alternate route/mode. As with variably priced managed lanes, traffic congestion reduc- tion goals often imply improved system efficiency or reliability. However, the research has shown that these goals are often subjective, hard-to-define, and dependent on location-specific con- texts. For example, one agency or region may define improved reliability simply as maintaining average speeds above 50 miles per hour, while another may characterize it as the ability to achieve a certain journey time 95 or more percent of the time. Significant differences in facility configu- ration play a role in these distinctions--a 50-mile toll facility may warrant characterization by travel-time reliability given its substantial length within a roadway network, whereas travel-time reliability may apply to a lesser extent to a tolled crossing, given that it likely represents only a small fraction of an overall roadway network's length. Traffic Performance Measures? Measures of traffic, as indicated in Table 3-1, include vehi- cle and person volumes, speeds and travel times, mode share and vehicle occupancies, vehicle miles traveled, and indicators of congestion, (e.g., delay, queue lengths, and specially developed coefficients comparing specific metrics during congested and uncongested conditions). Other measures that incorporate traffic include bicycle and pedestrian measures and parking, although these are not generally applied to toll facilities with variable pricing. Those measures deemed only the most broadly and beneficially applicable are discussed here--others may offer equal or better value, depending on the context in which they are applied. Research shows that key performance measures of traffic for toll facilities with variable pric- ing depend significantly on the facility's configuration--ranging from long-distance toll roads with open road tolling to short tolled crossings, potentially with manual toll collection. As with variably priced managed lanes, traffic volumes are critical to understanding facility usage. Other key measures include travel times and vehicle miles traveled (which relate more to toll roads than tolled crossings) and queue lengths and delay for facilities with toll booths incorporating man- ual collection or that require vehicles to slow as they pass through a point of toll collection. Applying Traffic Performance Measures. Facility configuration significantly influences the selection of traffic performance measures for toll facilities with variable pricing. Those that use toll booths with manual collection or those that require vehicles to slow as they pass through the point of toll collection (effectively any facility without open road tolling) will likely be con- cerned with queues and attendant delays at toll booths. These concerns will apply to legacy toll facilities that introduce variable pricing and retain this type of configuration for toll collection. Queuing and delay are also greater concerns for tolled crossings, which often represent a bottle- neck or choke point within broader roadway networks and where a facility's traffic volume is concentrated over relatively short roadway segments. Greenfield toll facilities or those previously untolled will likely incorporate an open road toll system with mandatory electronic toll collec- tion, obviating consideration of queues and associated delay.

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Guidelines for Evaluation and Performance Measurement of Congestion Pricing Projects 45 Safety analyses of toll plaza configurations--a performance measure under the system oper- ations evaluation area--are facilitated through an examination of queue length and delay in con- junction with collision location and rates. Aerial photography may be used to help conduct these analyses, although this method is relatively expensive and allows measurements to be made at only limited intervals. Day-to-day or even A.M. to P.M. peak comparisons would require mul- tiple collections to be made by the aerial vehicle. From an operations standpoint, vehicle volumes, as with variably priced managed lanes, are a must-have traffic performance measure. This measure fundamentally describes the usage of the facility and is a common input measure for making toll rate adjustments, dynamically, or periodically to a fixed toll rate schedule. Other measures of facility usage can figure into toll rate adjustments or help communicate the utility of the facility. For corridor-type toll facilities (i.e., those not tolled crossings), vehicle miles traveled also provides a good indication of system usage. Travel times can be used to benchmark expected travel conditions between tolling points and usefully compared to periods when variable pricing may not be employed or compared to alter- nate routes to the tolled corridor. Although not revealed in the research for these guidelines, speeds or LOS may also be applied to measuring the proper performance of a facility or its abil- ity to provide reliable travel conditions to its users. Finally, unlike with variably priced managed lanes, measures of vehicle occupancy, mode share, and person volume are not generally relevant to toll facilities, unless special accommodation is made for higher levels of vehicle occupancy as part of the tolling regime. Such facilities would effectively represent HOT lanes or ETL without parallel general-purpose lane capacity. Public Perception Toll facilities often garner public skepticism and scrutiny because of the requirement to pay for the use of road capacity, which is often perceived as a "free" public good. Familiarity with and acceptance of toll facilities can vary considerably based on historical experience and prevalence in any one particular region. In addition, the application of variable pricing on toll facilities has been limited. Given these considerations, public Example: Traffic Volume Monitoring perception is an important factor in performance evaluation on a Privately Operated Toll Road programs. Knowledge of a variably priced toll facility's pur- The Ministry of Transportation Ontario (MTO) pose, acceptance of it as a mobility option, and satisfaction closely monitors traffic volumes on the Toronto with the service it provides are characterized qualitatively area's 407 ETR, which is privately operated by through public perception. Highway 407 International, Inc. The concession- aire regularly provides Traffic Characteristics Representative Public Perception Goals. Gauging public Reports to MTO, which include forecasts of antici- perception is at the heart of goals that seek to validate a vari- pated traffic volumes by vehicle type for the next ably priced toll facility project. Representative goals may 3-month period, traffic volume forecasts for the include achieving or sustaining a prescribed level of satisfaction next year, and actual traffic counts for the past with the facility's operation. Specific targets of perception, 3-month period. The primary purpose of these travel time reliability, safety, or equity can be established and comprehensive data is to maintain the Province's tracked. Social equity is discussed in depth in Section 3.1.4. Freeway Traffic Management System and verify In general, measuring public perception requires an appro- that the concessionaire's performance meets the priate instrument such as surveys, focus groups, or interviews. standards established in the Ground Lease Agree- Public outreach becomes a prime factor in establishing these ment. Toll rates remain at the discretion of the goals and measuring their achievement. A detailed discussion concession company, although certain traffic of integrating performance evaluation and public outreach, thresholds must be met in order to justify a including means of collecting attitudinal information, is pro- change in rates. MTO maintains the right to assess vided in Chapter 4 of these guidelines. Provided here are severe penalties if toll rates are changed without details of the most relevant performance measures for captur- the corresponding threshold having been met. ing and quantifying public perception.

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46 Evaluation and Performance Measurement of Congestion Pricing Projects Public Perception Measures. Public perception measures (as itemized in Table 3-1) focus on awareness, acceptance, and satisfaction. With all three of these measures, specificity can range from the very broad to the more explicit. For example, general awareness of a facility's existence as a travel option or the use of variable pricing can be queried as easily as its specific features, such as pricing policy or hours of availability. Awareness of planned toll adjustments or future expansion may also be of interest. Similarly, acceptance and satisfaction measures can be gen- eral or specific. The research uncovered few public perception measures used in practice, but that may be more an artifact of the maturity of the facilities studied than an indication of lack of pur- pose. Nonetheless, it can be expected that most public perception measures would focus on sat- isfaction, especially once a facility has been operational for some time. What is most difficult about gauging public perception, however, is that there are no "loop detectors" for measuring it. That is, to make measurements that are inherently qualitative or subjective, a different set of tools is required--those that capture attitudes, as detailed in Chapter 4. In addition, many measures are stakeholder-group-specific and must be tailored to a specific issue of significance. Application of Public Perception Measures. Measures of public perception are not gener- ally used--at least in a direct sense--to manage the operations of a toll facility. Certainly, the feedback assembled by assessing public perception can influence operational decisions, but does not dictate the specific daily procedures, policies, or business practices (e.g., toll adjustments or maintenance schedules) that apply to a facility's operation. All public perception measures can be characterized as serving a validation capacity, as well as playing a secondary role to those measures that dictate a facility's operation--at least among operating facilities that have provided information for these guidelines. It is possible, however, that an agency contemplating the implementation of a variably priced toll facility project may view certain public perception measures as key to the performance evaluation program if, for example, a particular issue, such as user equity, is expected to be highly visible. Additionally, results of public perception measures may require changes to customer service functions or pub- lic communication policies. Survey instruments, focus groups, or interviews are generally used to collect data for public perception measures. These tools are described in greater detail in Section 4.2, and their advan- tages and disadvantages along with estimated costs are provided in Table 4-2. Generally speak- ing, these measures are more demanding and costly to collect and synthesize because of the user- specific, manual collection process required to obtain such information. Because of this, their collection is often done on either a "before-and-after" or periodic basis. Surveyed public percep- tions can be collected prior to the opening of a toll facility or its conversion to variable pricing, either once or in several waves, and compared with similar results after opening. Once opera- tional, it may be desirable to continue to collect these types of measures on a periodic basis, such as annually or biannually, or as resources allow. Before-and-after surveys may focus on more market research, acceptance, and awareness issues, while periodic, post-opening-day perform- ance measurement will likely focus on user satisfaction. What is important to keep in mind when formulating measures of public perception is that they should address issues of public concern identified through a public outreach process. From region to region, project to project, the key issues worth tracking and responding to before, dur- ing, and after project implementation are often more unique than alike. In this manner, public perception measures should be tailored appropriately to each project application. Facility Users The term facility users refers to other characteristics of those who make trips on a toll facility with variable pricing and the characteristics of the trips themselves.

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Guidelines for Evaluation and Performance Measurement of Congestion Pricing Projects 47 Representative Facility User Goals. Understanding who the users of a facility are serves both operational and validation goals. One simple goal may be to increase patronage of the facility. Another may be to know the number of transponders issued to help understand how many to have on hand for future distribution. Often, however, characteristics of a facility's users are inputs to developing and measuring goals formulated under other evaluation subjects. For example from a validation perspective, knowing the socioeconomic profile of a facility's user base can help mar- ket the facility to an expanded user base. This understanding, in turn, can help maximize (or maintain) levels of revenue. Revenue generation as a goal can also be served through operational measures such as knowing users' departure times or trip times-of-day, which can inform deci- sions on setting toll policies. Facility User Measures. Measures of facility users primarily focus on characteristics of the users themselves or the trips they take. Specific data on their accounts or toll transaction type are also found among those measures used in practice. The full list derived from current operating facilities is shown in Table 3-1. User characteristics include demographic and socioeconomic data, vehicle data, and home zip code or other residence-identifying measures. Trip character- istics include, among others, frequency, departure times, travelshed determinations, overall trip length, and trip purpose. Application of Facility User Measures. Generally, measures of a facility's users are used in a validation capacity and less so for operations. As with public perception measures, data col- lected about users and their trips may serve to inform operations and policy decisions, but gen- erally apply to only back-office daily operations, rather than the facility itself. Managing cus- tomer accounts and registrations, issuing transponders, and formulating potential (long-term) adjustments to facility operation based on trip frequencies and times-of-day are several opera- tional aspects that can be informed through user measures. These data may be critical inputs for examining the level of revenue a toll facility generates. Whether a public toll authority or private-sector operator, a greenfield toll facility or existing facil- ity that recently incorporated variable pricing, achieving defined targets for revenue is necessary to provide for planned expenditures on operations, maintenance, and enhancements, as well as honoring bond covenants and maintaining debt coverage ratios for past and future capital out- lays. Being able to predict revenue generation accurately depends on accurate and thorough facil- ity user data. This requirement is especially significant when the introduction of variable pricing (and future adjustments to a toll schedule) make predicting revenue more complicated and dependent on the share of users who shift their journey to an off-peak (cheaper) time or off the facility altogether by taking another route or mode, or choose not to make their trip at all. Validating a variably priced toll facility is also accomplished through measures of system users. Measures of user characteristics, especially demographics and socioeconomics, help facility operators understand their customer base. This knowledge can help communicate who is ben- efiting from the facility (e.g., Is the facility drawing customers who are only "wealthy" enough to pay or are lower income groups prominent users as well?) and how widespread those benefits are. Similarly, trip characteristics help inform where and when their users travel. As with exam- ining a revenue generation goal, this information can be used to explore the potential reduction in peak-period usage, a common goal among congestion-priced facilities. Collection methods and frequencies vary for user measures. Some measures, such as demographics, transponders issued, or vehicle make, are naturally tracked through the customer registration/management process. For facilities that use manual toll booths and do not require mandatory transponder usage, this data cannot be obtained without manual survey work. Solic- iting some user measures is possible only through surveys, such as total trip length (including non-priced segments) and trip purpose. Collection of such information is done on an infrequent,

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48 Evaluation and Performance Measurement of Congestion Pricing Projects as-needed basis. Comprehensive travelshed determinations may even require travel demand forecasting or modeling efforts. System Operations For the purposes of these guidelines, system operations refer to operational aspects of a priced facility that are not directly related to measures of traffic, as discussed in the Traffic Performance section. They are categorized in five ways: Finance Enforcement Safety Customer service System function Representative System Operations Goals. A wide variety of goals can be set by and evalu- ated against system operations. The primary system operations goal for variably priced toll facil- ities is to collect a certain level of revenue. Safety is also an important goal for most roadway operators, toll or otherwise. Finally, system operators may want to achieve established levels of customer service or targets of system equipment availability/accuracy. System Operations Measures. Because of system operations' broad scope, various measures are used to track this evaluation area as detailed in Table 3-1. Finance measures include revenue (tolls, fees, etc.) and expenditures (O&M). Enforcement measures track data that includes traf- fic stops, violation rates, and citations issued. Measures of safety often look at accident rates and incident response times. A long and very detailed number of performance metrics can measure customer service, from volumes of inquiry and comments received (positive or negative), to cus- tomer service center response time and average inquiry resolution time. Application of these measures is highly dependent on facility sponsor preference, as discussed below. Finally, mea- sures of system function focus on facility and specific equipment availability and accuracy, num- bers of equipment incidents, and repair rates. Research for these guidelines has shown that finance and safety are the two most prominent types of system operations measures used for variably priced toll facilities. Customer service and system function are also significant, although not necessarily revealed by the research. Violation rates may not factor as highly, unless specific occupancy requirements are part of the tolling regime (as with HOT lanes) or the toll facility has limited controlled access (i.e., those without toll booths and without a license plate detection system that automatically records and bills users, effectively negating the possibility for violations). Application of System Operations Measures. Finance. Among the five categories of system operations performance measures, financial performance data is universally used in the operation of variably priced toll facilities. In ana- lyzing revenue collection targets and trends, the average toll paid, highest toll paid, and total number of transactions can factor into decisions made on setting toll rates and schedules. A balance will need to be struck between managing traffic performance and generating an expected level of revenue. Budgets for operating expenses and maintenance are set and paid for with toll revenue. Bond issues to support facility construction or capital expansion or enhance- ments backed by future toll proceeds must meet established covenants or debt recovery ratios. These considerations make financial performance a priority. Off-peak discounts and/or less expensive shoulder periods are typical price differentiators (along with varying rates based on vehicle class and segment of roadway, if some are more heavily traveled than others) that if too "successful" or "generous" could erode a higher baseline level of revenue collection possible

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Guidelines for Evaluation and Performance Measurement of Congestion Pricing Projects 49 without them. This concern may be especially apparent when moving to a variably price toll structure from a fixed one on Example: Revenue is Key an existing toll facility, as compared with instituting variable pricing on a greenfield toll facility, because of historical expec- The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's tations for toll revenue collections. implementation of variable pricing on the six tolled crossings between New Jersey and New Collection of toll revenue data is managed through ETC York highlights the significance of carefully ana- equipment and does not represent a significant cost once a lyzing the impact of variable pricing on toll rev- facility is operational. The data is captured on an ongoing, enue. Revenue is tracked closely and compared real-time basis and can be considered a must-have among with the estimates generated by the agency's performance evaluation measures. sophisticated and well-calibrated traffic and rev- Enforcement. Enforcement of toll payment requirements enue forecasting tools. As part of its standard (and vehicle occupancy if applicable) is an important measure accounting and business procedures, the Port to present to a public that expects a high level of integrity for Authority tracks the overall number of toll trans- a service that requires payment for use (or participation in a actions for each of its crossings by vehicle class, carpool if HOV requirements are applied in conjunction with time of day, and payment method. This detailed variable pricing). Measures of enforcement such as traffic and historic time series data has enabled the Port stops and violation rates are relevant in this case and help to Authority to study what effects the introduction validate the expectation for fair application of the facility's of congestion pricing had on travel patterns for rules and requirements. However, minimizing toll evasion is motorists using its crossings and heightened its generally an issue only with barrier-free access to a toll road-- focus on variations in the time of day of travel by with the incorporation of a license plate toll option, any user vehicle type and toll facility. without a transponder can be billed through the mail, effec- tively eliminating violations. Safety. With respect to safety, its monitoring and reporting may factor more prominently in operators' performance evaluation programs for variably priced toll roads than with untolled roads because of the greater public visibility a toll road typically generates, the increased traffic safety risks from toll booth configurations and queuing, and the need to scrutinize the level of service provided by a private owner and/or operator. Customer Service. Confirmation of the delivery of high-quality customer service can be eval- uated by many measures. Facility sponsors will want to consider tailoring a selection of these measures based on the role the agency plays in providing customer service functions, public out- reach outcomes, and other needs. If the operation of the facility is provided by a private entity to collect tolls and manage customer service, evaluation measures and reporting requirements can be specified in the contract with the entity. Based on the findings for variably priced managed lanes (which are also deemed applicable to variably priced toll facilities), the most commonly applied customer service measure in practice is level of customer inquiry (by phone or email); generally low levels of inquiry are desirable because they are indicative of good customer satisfaction. A second common measure--incident response time by public safety agencies or safety service patrols--can be considered both a cus- tomer service and safety indicator. System Function. Finally, validating the proper function of the managed lanes' system equip- ment (and any need for potential operational changes) can require certain performance evaluation measures. These measures were also captured through the research of variably priced managed lanes. Frequently applied measures include system equipment availability (transponder readers and other toll collection hardware, cameras, and other vehicle detection and monitoring equip- ment), the number of system incidents (failures, errors, etc.), and the mean time to address the result of the incident. Collection of these measures can be built into the software that manages the systems and directed to produce reports as necessary.

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50 Evaluation and Performance Measurement of Congestion Pricing Projects Environment Performance measures to evaluate the effect on the environment from a toll facility with vari- able pricing are not widely used in practice. For existing toll facilities that shift from a flat rate toll structure to one with variable pricing, the overall effects of improved efficiency in heavily traveled highway corridors are not likely to generate meaningful improvements to such environ- mental conditions as air quality or noise. Environmental impacts from greenfield toll facilities will have been analyzed extensively during the planning and environmental review phase of the project. Measuring predicted impacts after facility opening may be of concern to some project sponsors, depending on stakeholder expectations. If there is particular interest in monitoring the performance of variably priced toll facility projects on emissions, information on emission rates can be calculated using traffic volume and speed data as inputs to standard air quality forecast- ing tools, such as EPA's MOBILE6 Vehicle Emission Modeling Software. Transit Transit refers to aspects of transit service that operate on the variably priced toll facility or cor- ridor. Transit service within the facility's travelshed may also be of interest, where it can offer an alternate route between origins and destinations served by the toll road corridor. Representative Transit Goals. Goals related to transit service pertain to priced facilities that have transit operating along its corridor or at least within the same region/travelshed. Transit goals include improving service during peak periods by encouraging travel-time shifts from con- gested periods to off-peak or shoulder periods, to alternate routes, or to transit itself. Improve- ments in transit service may also be an established goal if system enhancements, such as the addition of new park-and-ride facilities, are incorporated as part of a toll facility conversion to variable pricing. Transit Measures. Aspects of transit service include performance, ridership, finance (rev- enue), and quality of service (as measured attitudinally through customer surveys). Although the research of variably priced toll facilities did not reveal extensive use of transit performance measures, those used in practice most commonly among variably priced managed lanes can be applied instead. For those facilities, transit performance is most often measured by travel times, on-time rates, or excess wait times (delay), as well as ridership or boarding counts. Other measures used less frequently include farebox revenue and O&M expenditures, as well as quality, satisfaction, and reliability as perceived by customers. Application of Transit Measures. Prioritizing transit vehicles (typically express bus service) along highway corridors is often accomplished by dedicating at least one transit-only or HOV lane to its use such that it can reliably travel in free-flow or near free-flow conditions during peak travel periods. It can be assumed, however, that transit vehicles could also use a variably priced toll facility where no priority distinction is given to transit operations. In this case, a variable toll structure that reduces peak-period congestion by encouraging less travel during that time could benefit transit operations. The same benefit would occur with variably priced tolled crossings (bridges and tunnels) if no dedicated lane is already provided for the transit vehicle. A favorable toll rate (or no toll if the facility operator is also the transit operator) could be assessed in order to not penalize the transit service. Measured transit data would be used to validate the toll facil- ity's performance monitoring plan, by documenting reliable and/or improved transit service, as measured most often by travel times, on-time arrivals, delay, and ridership. If the variably priced toll facility sponsor or operator is also the agency responsible for transit service, acquiring transit performance data is not difficult. Otherwise such data needs to be acquired (if it exists) from individual transit agencies. Obtaining the performance data sought,