Commuters are a heterogeneous group. When presented with roadway congestion, some portion of the commuting population will be interested in paying a toll to avoid it, some portion will be willing to share a ride to avoid it, and some portion will not be willing to change their behavior and will simply endure the congestion. In other words, commuters are likely to sort themselves into those who are “willing to pay”, those who are “willing to share” & those who are “willing to wait”. Public sector decision makers should be cognizant of these three choices when deciding on the characteristics of future road infrastructure.
While HOT lanes have garnered much interest recently, the importance of non-tolled infrastructure that encourages high occupancy travel should not be ignored. These types of facility provide users with an additional travel behavior choice and may provide important equity benefits for those groups that cannot afford access to tolled infrastructure. Ideally, future infrastructure will encourage higher occupancy travel through both toll and non-toll travel choices.