Report on the Value Pricing Pilot Program Through April 2012
The VPPP has been an effective Federal transportation program and has been critical for States and regions in exploring and initiating pricing projects to successfully manage congestion on State and regional facilities. These projects have played a central role in introducing transportation professionals, political leaders and citizens to pricing as a tool to address congestion problems and to manage our transportation system more effectively. The VPPP (along with the UPA and CRD projects) has led FHWA to frame a congestion pricing program involving technical assistance, outreach, and research over the next 3 to 5 years with respect to both tolling and non-tolling programs and projects.
The FHWA will continue to fund pricing projects, both tolling and non-tolling, that are innovative and are either implementation projects or may lead to implementation. While the assumption among many may be that HOT lanes have been proven, there will be strategic investments in HOT lane projects that lead to innovative HOT networks, implement new technologies or are multimodal investments such as BRT or transitways using HOT lanes. Parking pricing and mileage-based pricing approaches will also be encouraged, particularly if they lay the groundwork or provide critical information for future system changes.
The next 3 to 5 years will be a critical period for the FHWA to continue its work to promote and support these projects. An integrated approach to managing congestion that includes pricing, transit, and technology will be important elements in the operations tool box. Moving forward, it is important that the FHWA’s Office of Operations in coordination with the Office of Innovative Program Delivery and other pricing activities in DOT as well as at other Federal Government agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy further develop, advance, and enhance the tolling and pricing initiatives that have progressed thus far as part of the VPPP. Key next steps will be to promote, educate, and assist a variety of stakeholders in order to advance, monitor, and assess congestion pricing initiatives at the State and local levels.