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R O L E O F P R I C I N G R E V E N U E I N F I N A N C I N G P R O J E C T S A N D S E RV I C E S 33 reworked to cover more traffic in the urban area. The tions, many omit flyover connectors at freeway inter- city is now divided into six sectors, and vehicles crossing changes because of their high cost. With the availability the sectors have to pay toll. of a new revenue source, these missing pieces were added Today, the main traffic problems are nearly solved, to the plans proposed by the MPOs. The analysis showed and the traffic situation in the city center is significantly that bonds backed by the HOT lane revenue alone could better now than 10 years ago. cover an average of 67% of the capital cost of construct- More recently, in part because of a funding shortfall ing the new HOT lanes and interchange connectors resulting from a cost overrun on the last city bypass, we needed to create a seamless network. expanded the toll ring again. Key elements of the revi- Put into practice, the concept could offer numerous sion included six new charging points and an increase in benefits, including "congestion insurance" available to the base price. The new system is estimated to produce all motorists; reduced congestion in the general-purpose toll revenue of 200 million NKr per year, operating costs lanes; and facilitation of speedy, regionwide express bus of 17 million NKr per year (representing less than 10% service (bus rapid transit), all within the context of an in operating costs), enough toll money to finance the infrastructure expansion that could be largely self- latest round of investments in Trondheim's surface financing. transportation infrastructure in 2005, and, most impor- tant, a solution to the city's current traffic problems. TOLLING THE A-86 TUNNEL IN VERSAILLES, FRANCE BUS RAPID TRANSIT/HIGH-OCCUPANCY TOLL NETWORKS Dario D'Annunzio Robert Poole The A-86 is a ring road around Paris, the final link of which has yet to be built. Its intended length is 1,100 Many high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes lanes through- kilometers, of which about 900 kilometers has been out the United States are seriously underused; at most completed. Traffic levels on the road have been rising, times of day, excess capacity exists on these lanes, which meaning that Paris is in much the same situation as most are dedicated to the use of vehicles carrying two or more other major cities in developed countries. (or three or more) passengers. The Reason Foundation The final link of the A-86 is expected to cost about 1.8 has recently published a report on bus rapid transit sys- billion to complete. It will include two double-decked tun- tems and the utilization of high-occupancy toll (HOT) nels, with each level including two traffic lanes and one networks to reduce congestion and improve urban transit. emergency lane. Charges levied on road users will repay Such lanes would continue to serve very high-occupancy capital costs as well as operations and maintenance vehicles, such as buses and vanpools, but would be avail- expense. The fee structure is consistent with the facility's able to lower-occupancy vehicle drivers who wished to development and operation by a concessionaire. Total pay a fee for access to these free-flowing lanes. annual revenue is expected to reach 110 million by 2020. The report examines eight of the most congested U.S. This projection is based on an optimal toll schedule that cities to determine what infrastructure would be neces- sets separate rates by time of day and day of week and that sary to complete a cost-effective HOT network. Pricing differentiates between single motorists and subscription on the HOT lanes would be variable, such that the price motorists. charged to paying vehicles would be high enough to An opinion poll that surveyed 3,000 people gathered limit traffic in the HOT lanes to a volume consistent information on perceptions of factors that contribute to with free-flow conditions. On highly congested free- well-being and those that cause concern. On the basis of ways, this would produce peak-period, peak-direction this information, we have developed communication toll rates in the range of 30 to 40 cents per mile. Buses tools that speak directly to the issues that are most and vanpools, as well as emergency vehicles, would use important to those in the A-86 community. One of our the lanes at no charge. most successful communication tools has been an A-86 An analysis of potential revenues that would be gener- West exhibition; we also publish and mail out an A-86 ated and the debt that could be supported was conducted West newsletter. for each of the eight potential metropolitan area net- In summary, through its development under a conces- works. In addition, the cost of building out the network sion arrangement, the A86 West project brings to Paris a was estimated by drawing on the long-range transporta- project that costs nothing to the national or regional tion plans of the respective metropolitan planning orga- government since it is financed wholly by Cofiroute. A nizations (MPOs), supplemented by the authors. While flexible toll rate policy will encourage frequency of use some long-range plans omit high-cost HOV lane addi- and automated toll collection.