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Developing tolled-route demand estimation capabilities for Texas : opportunities for enhancement of existing models.
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Developing tolled-route demand estimation capabilities for Texas : opportunities for enhancement of existing models.
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  • Abstract:
    The travel demand models developed and applied by the Transportation Planning and Programming Division

    (TPP) of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) are daily three-step models (i.e., trip generation, trip

    distribution, and traffic assignment sequentially invoked). Currently, TxDOT TPP does not have a procedure to

    account for existing or planned toll roads in the urban travel demand models. TxDOT TPP has been operating under

    guidance established when toll roads existed as planned facility improvements in either the interim or forecast year

    model applications. Although the larger urban areas in Texas have embraced tolled facilities for quite some time (i.e.,

    Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and Austin), roads that charge users a fee to bypass congestion or provide alternative

    routes have only been implemented recently in a select few small to medium-sized urban areas still under the purview

    of TxDOT TPP model development. In order to calibrate base year travel models with operational toll roads or models

    with planned tolled facilities, TxDOT TPP needs a procedure to account for facilities that charge fees to the user. For

    the tolled facilities currently operational in small to medium-sized study areas, the fees are fixed and are not dynamic

    by time of day or congestion levels.

    The technical objective of this research report is to provide TxDOT TPP with a menu of potential procedures

    that could be selected for implementation in the current Texas Package suite of travel demand models to reasonably

    estimate toll road demand, primarily for the small to medium-sized urban areas. Nationally, generally two approaches

    are used: a path-based system and a choice-based system. Researchers reviewed both approaches as well as different

    supplemental techniques (i.e., time of day, market segmentation, and mode choice) implemented nationally and within

    the state that are complementary to any toll demand estimation techniques. Challenges and considerations for each of

    the approaches are reviewed and presented. The procedures and applications reviewed in this project are not intended

    to replace or compete with existing toll-financing-level analysis.

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