How Variable Pricing Works
- To ensure the Express Lanes remain free flowing, variable tolls are used to manage the number of vehicles entering the lanes at any given time.
- When traffic is heavy and demand for the Express Lanes is high, toll rates increase. When demand is low, toll rates go down.
- Changeable electronic signs display the current rates in real time, so drivers know the price before deciding whether to enter the lanes.
- Once you are in the lanes, the price you saw on the sign is the price you are guaranteed to pay. Drivers entering after you or at different locations may pay a different rate.
- The minimum toll rate is $0.25 per segment or $0.50 for a full 11-mile trip. At rush hour the average toll rate in November 2017 was between $.056 to $3.63 for a full 11-mile trip (depending on direction and time of day). Toll rates can go much higher when demand for the lane exceeds capacity and in few short instances have peaked in the $10.00 range.
- It's important to remember that a high toll rate is indicative that traffic in the express lane is very heavy. If you choose to use the express lane when the price is very high, you could experience travel delays. Express Lane tolls are only waived if the lane is blocked by an accident or breakdown. When this occurs the pricing sign will display a "closed" message.
- Tolls paid by users will be the source of money to repay the funds used to finance the project, including the sound walls and bicycle/pedestrian improvements.
Please see the Case Studies for examples of other projects across the nation that use variable pricing on their express lanes.