Tolled traffic lanes on otherwise unpriced facilities offer a unique opportunity to understand how much people are willing to pay for a faster commute and to truth test the assumptions used by transportation agencies to judge the benefits and costs of potential projects. One of these projects, the high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes on Washington’s SR 167, demonstrates the difficulty of accurately predicting how travelers will value reductions in travel time.
Although several states have considered VMT fees as an alternative to the gas tax, none have yet instituted them. But recent news articles show that interest is still high, and some states may be inching toward this model. Insurance billed on a per-mile basis is also beginning to appear.