Search This Site

An Econometric Analysis of the Northern Virginia Capital Beltway Express Lanes

Presenters Name: 
Will Tyree
Co Presenters Name: 
Primary Research Mentor: 
Donna Chen
Secondary Research Mentor: 
Simona Babiceanu
11:00 - 12:15
Time of Presentation: 
2019 - 11:00am to 12:15pm
Newcomb Hall Ballroom
Presentation Type: 
Presentations Academic Category: 
Grant Program Recipient: 
USOAR Program

In November 2012, I-495 Capital Beltway Express Tolled Lanes (ETLs) were opened in addition to the general purpose lanes. They operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in a variable tolled regime for single and double occupancy. High Occupancy Vehicles (3+), transit vehicles, motorcycles, and emergency vehicles travel for free. The 495 Express lanes operate between Springfield and Tyson’s Corner. Two Northbound and Southbound lanes travel down the center of the Beltway. The corridor is 14 miles long. The Express lanes offer signage informing drivers of commute time, and price, dependent upon their exit. This offers advantages of a higher travel reliability, less congestion, and time saved. General purpose (GP) lanes are the Capital Beltway outer Northbound and Southbound lanes. GP lanes are free to use for all commuters, but they tend to experience larger amounts of congestion, especially during peak periods. This study analyzes historical toll rates, travel time savings between Express and General purpose lanes and estimates the Value of Travel Time for ETL users over a 3 month study period in the Spring of 2018. The VOTT is defined as the amount of money travelers are willing to pay in order to save on travel time and obtain a more reliable trip. Travel time savings will be calculated as the difference between the period it takes a driver to traverse the GP lanes, compared to the express lanes.