The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has selected the company that will implement its dynamic pricing toll technology along the I-66 corridor inside of Washington DC’s Capital Beltway.
TransCore has won the milestone project, which represents the first instance in the USA where volume-based dynamic pricing will be used along an entire roadway corridor manage growing traffic congestion during peak periods. Since developing the country’s first high-occupancy toll (HOT) system in San Diego, California, in 1988, TransCore has developed, deployed, and operated more than 470 miles (756km) of express lanes from California to Texas, Florida and now Virginia. The company’s coast-to-coast presence constitutes the majority of all express lanes and the largest systems in the USA. Converting to dynamically priced lanes has become a popular, cost-effective strategy to provide reliable travel times and maximize capacity usage on existing roadways in major urban areas across the country.
VDOT’s groundbreaking initiative goes one step further, by demonstrating how volume-based dynamic pricing can be used as an effective travel demand and corridor management tool. The first-of-its-kind project allows toll rates for all travel lanes to be adjusted in real time, as congestion levels change along I-66, connecting roadways and adjacent arterial corridors. Once completed, all motorists will continue to travel for free along the corridor during off-peak hours. During peak hours, drivers of single occupant vehicles can access the new dynamically priced roadway by paying a toll. The prevailing toll rate will be prominently displayed on dynamic message signs leading to the roadway, so that drivers of single occupant vehicles have ample time to decide whether to merge onto I-66 well in advance of each entrance point.
TransCore’s express lane system uses its Infinity Digital Lane System and is known as Infinity Express. The innovative system uses E-ZPass readers along with advanced sensors, imaging devices and software, to dynamically determine toll rates that are based upon real-time traffic conditions. The company will also integrate its TransSuite advanced traffic management system (ATMS), which further enhances VDOT’s ability to monitor traffic conditions and congestion throughout the corridor, allowing real-time response and management through the immediate exchange of data. Over the past 42 years, TransCore has partnered with VDOT on a number of tolling projects, most recently electronic tolling on the George P Coleman Bridge and the Powhite Parkway.
“VDOT has long been recognized as one of the most innovative transportation departments in the country, successfully managing a complex system of roads, bridges, and tunnels,” said Bob Landry, vice president, TransCore. “It’s truly an honor to work on such a landmark project in our continued partnership with VDOT to provide the most reliable travel experience throughout Northern Virginia.”