Dynamic Pricing for Maximizing Performance of High-occupancy Toll Lanes Along a Freeway Corridor

Research Lead: Wenlong Jin

University: UC Irvine

Problem Statement: So far High-Occupancy/Toll (HOT) lanes implemented in the real world have been operated based on heuristic pricing schemes, which are determined based on historic and current traffic conditions. However, these heuristic pricing schemes cannot guarantee the overall traffic system is performing at the optimal state.

Project Description: The objective of this research is to design dynamic pricing strategy for HOT lanes along a freeway corridor so as to reduce traffic congestion and environmental impacts and improve equity outcomes. The research team will apply trip flow models (TFMs) to describe the initiation, progression, and completion of paying trips on HOT lanes and non-paying trips on general purpose (GP) lanes. Based on TFMs, the research team will formulate an optimal control problem, in which travelers choose among HOT and GP lanes to minimize their individual generalized costs, and the whole system’s total cost is minimized. Simulation results will be produced to demonstrate the effectiveness of proposed methods.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $80,000