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A C L O S E R L O O K : P R I C I N G A C R O S S T H E S TAT E S 25 The program has met its revenue goals through its value pricing today and prepare for future national first 2 years despite the revenue forecast's overpredic- transportation financing systems that are less dependent tion of E-ZPass participation. To help refine the projec- on the motor fuel tax. tions further, the authority has developed a new toll The federal Value Pricing Pilot Program remains plazaspecific toll forecasting model to account for dif- critical to pricing's success, and upcoming federal high- ferences in markets, vehicle mixes, E-ZPass use, and way and transit legislation should preserve it. The abil- temporal traffic distribution. ity to price portions of the Interstate highway system The project also has had some success in meeting its under the pilot program should be maintained. demand management objectives. The hourly percentage distribution of weekday traffic between 5 and 10 a.m. showed as much as a 2.6% increase (2,400 vehicles) in PLANS FOR VARIABLE PRICING BY the first hour of the time period, just before the peak toll FLORIDA'S TURNPIKE ENTERPRISE rates go into effect. There is less evidence that the off- peak discount has been effective in shifting demand to Jim Ely the hour following the 6 to 9 a.m. peak toll period. While similar results are evident during the weekday evenings, Florida's Turnpike Enterprise, a largely privatized pro- the effect is not as strong, which suggests somewhat less gram of the Florida Department of Transportation, willingness to travel off-peak or flexibility in evening operates a 449-mile statewide system of toll roads. schedules. Also, there is little evidence that the off-peak One of the enterprise's most ambitious initiatives has discounts have been effective in influencing weekend been the development, distribution, and popularization of travel patterns or overnight commercial movements. an electronic toll collection system; this technology is now In general, the sluggish New York City economy has recognized as a clear prerequisite for effective value pric- dampened travel demand in 2003 in all time periods, ing. It is also key to the turnpike's goal of broadly deployed and this year we have seen evidence of a shift back to "open road tolling," under which charges can be levied the now less congested peak hours by early-hour off- without impeding free and full-speed traffic flow. peak motorists. This suggests that while the $1.00 dis- The turnpike's electronic toll collection system is count has had some meaningful and sustainable ability called SunPass. It is compatible with other electronic to shift travel demand, its effectiveness in shifting toll collection systems across the state. SunPass was demand to off-peak hours is highly correlated to contin- recently opened to retail sales at certain drugstores and ued levels of peak-period congestion. supermarkets statewide, and the sale of the millionth Future toll rate adjustments are likely to seek smaller transponder was recorded in November 2003, just changes targeted by time of day, travel corridor, vehicle 4 years after the SunPass program's deployment. A type, and managed roadway application. These may be key milestone was the achievement of statewide inter- less complicated to advance and provide an opportunity operability (E-Pass, O-Pass, SunPass), which occurred for smoother revenue infusion to sustain future finan- in 2001. cial needs. Another area for continued refinement lies in We believe that by 2004 more than 50% of system interagency coordination, especially given the large revenues will be collected electronically and that by number of toll agencies in the New YorkNew Jersey 2008 participation will grow to 75%. We also antici- region. Synchronized peak hours, jointly targeted mar- pate that the turnpike will deploy an open road tolling ket segments (autos, trucks), and coordinated E-ZPass system by 2008. Another key part the turnpike's plans is customer statements could encourage continued behav- the development of a system of "Xpress lanes." These ioral change and maximize the pricing system's demand lanes are a new product for us, and the first of the management benefits. Xpress lanes will be in the Orlando area on I-4. The In closing, I offer a few observations on the future turnpike is investing $250 million in the I-4 improve- role for road pricing in the United States: ments, which will involve four priced lanes in the median. The project is the product of a partnership New pricing projects will embrace a broader between the local Florida Department of Transporta- transportation improvement agenda, including transit, tion office, the Federal Highway Administration, and to create more travel options and customer choice. the turnpike. More time and resources are needed to help local An opening date is anticipated for roughly 2015. initiatives take hold. In particular, local agencies will Relying exclusively on electronic toll collection, the require resources to conduct continued outreach Xpress lanes will require a transponder and be value programs, educate the public, and manage opinion. priced. Toll rates will be reasonable, between $0.06 and Technical resources to establish and integrate $0.20 per mile, and will be set by time of day to main- tolling and charging systems are essential to advance tain Level of Service (LOS) C. Reasonable rates would