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Forum LockedVOT Fact Sheet on HOT Lanes

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ybarra View Drop Down
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    Posted: 22 Jul 2008 at 2:02pm
http://www.virginiahotlanes.com/documents/CB-HOT-terms-July-08-Fact-Sheet.pdf
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote n/a Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2008 at 3:34pm
quote:
Originally posted by ybarra

http://www.virginiahotlanes.com/documents/CB-HOT-terms-July-08-Fact-Sheet.pdf



Fact sheet? I saw very few facts; very many speculations. Very little specific commitments or guarantees that protect the VA taxpayers. I even saw a few liberal interpretations (white lies).
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toomuchcoffeelady View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toomuchcoffeelady Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2008 at 5:18pm
Why wasn't an American company hired given this time of economic suckitude? I hope those HOT lanes end up being 100% carpool so these mofos go bankrupt.

ain't free speech a wonderful thing, until you don't like the views being stated? - Ceejay2
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NoSUV Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2008 at 8:59am
quote:
Originally posted by toomuchcoffeelady

Why wasn't an American company hired given this time of economic suckitude? I hope those HOT lanes end up being 100% carpool so these mofos go bankrupt.

ain't free speech a wonderful thing, until you don't like the views being stated? - Ceejay2


Won't happen. If there are "too many" carpools, several things happen:
- taxpayers make up the difference for the private companies
- If HOT jams even with outrageous tolls, blame is put on "too many" carpools and they end up paying tolls, too, in the interest of quicker transit.

Since the roads are for 80 years, the likelihood of the HOT being jammed is huge - just look at the change in congestion over the past 40 years when Shirley Highway first came into being.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toomuchcoffeelady Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2008 at 11:07am
quote:
Originally posted by NoSUV

quote:
Originally posted by toomuchcoffeelady

Why wasn't an American company hired given this time of economic suckitude? I hope those HOT lanes end up being 100% carpool so these mofos go bankrupt.

ain't free speech a wonderful thing, until you don't like the views being stated? - Ceejay2


Won't happen. If there are "too many" carpools, several things happen:
- taxpayers make up the difference for the private companies
- If HOT jams even with outrageous tolls, blame is put on "too many" carpools and they end up paying tolls, too, in the interest of quicker transit.

Since the roads are for 80 years, the likelihood of the HOT being jammed is huge - just look at the change in congestion over the past 40 years when Shirley Highway first came into being.



Just so I understand, then, we're to be punished for carpooling and slugging then as well (as if this commute, the general limitations of ridesharing, etc, aren't enough of a pain in the azz)? This state makes me sick.

ain't free speech a wonderful thing, until you don't like the views being stated? - Ceejay2
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NoSUV Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jul 2008 at 10:51am
bump over spam
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go2grl View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote go2grl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug 2008 at 3:04pm
quote:

Just so I understand, then, we're to be punished for carpooling and slugging then as well (as if this commute, the general limitations of ridesharing, etc, aren't enough of a pain in the azz)? This state makes me sick.



In a nutshell? Yep. 'Tis the main reason I have my feelers out for a job around Stafford now instead of waiting. The commute time to DC is not so bad with slugging/driving in HOV, but with the HOT lanes, travel times are going to lengthen greatly and I'm just not willing to put up with it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote n/a Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Aug 2008 at 8:37am
Unfortunately some more "facts" have been revealed in recent Post articles. Washington Post reporter Eric Weiss states that if carpooling volume exceeds a certain level, VA taxpayers will be liable for payments to Flour-Transurban. After reading the contract details on the HOT lanes, this and other taxpayer funded charges could end up costing us millions.

However Weiss is making the carpoolers out to be the bad guy in this whole scheme. Weiss is a turn-coat, slug-hater, HOT lanes supporter. you can read his article here:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/19/AR2008071901651.html
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote n/a Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Aug 2008 at 8:44am
And in the event this article gets deleted, here it is:

Toll-Lanes Contract Could Cost State
Deal to Allow Free Carpooling on Beltway Project Might Leave Va. Owing Millions
by Eric M. Weiss
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, July 20, 2008; Page C06
Rising gas prices are increasing transit and carpool use, which normally would be a good thing in the traffic-choked Washington region.
But under an agreement Virginia signed with the private companies building high-occupancy toll lanes on the Capital Beltway, the state could be liable for millions of dollars a year if too many carpoolers, who will be exempt from tolls, use the lanes.
The carpool subsidy is in addition to the $409 million that taxpayers are investing in the $2 billion, 14-mile project, expected to break ground next week.
Under the 80-year contract signed in December, when gas prices were much lower, Virginia officials insisted that carpools of three or more people and buses be allowed to use the lanes for free and offered to reimburse 70 percent of the tolls carpoolers didn't pay.
At the time, transportation officials estimated that the provision would cost the state $1 million a year. The carpool subsidy will continue for 40 years or until the builders make $100 million in profits, according to the contract between Virginia and Transurban, an Australian company, and Fluor Corp. of Texas. The subsidy kicks in when carpools exceed 24 percent of the traffic on the lanes.
"Oh, you're kidding!" said Corey A. Stewart, the Republican chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, who carpools to the District several times a week and said there are better ways to spend the state's limited transportation dollars. "We're paying to build a road for private companies, and now we're continuing to subsidize the private company. This just gets worse and worse."
The HOT lanes, two in each direction, will be built on Interstate 495 between Springfield and just north of the Dulles Toll Road. Tolls will fluctuate based on the amount of traffic. Non-carpool vehicles could pay an average toll of $1 a mile.
Similar projects across the country limit the number of carpools allowed or charge them reduced tolls. Virginia officials said their unprecedented agreement was a way to balance the need for the toll lanes to succeed financially while not discouraging carpooling.
"In negotiating, we realized there was a conflict between what we wanted and what they wanted," said Barbara Reese, deputy transportation secretary and a key negotiator on the deal. "Somebody has to pay."
Reese said the carpool subsidy would kick in when the HOT lanes are at maximum capacity for more than 30 minutes. After that point, the state is liable for every 15 minutes that the HOT lanes are at maximum capacity for that day. She said the estimated $1 million-a-year liability exposure to the state seemed reasonable to state officials. She acknowledged, however, that the spike in carpooling and transit use could increase the state's liability, but officials said they could not estimate by how much.
Reese said the contract includes protections for taxpayers, in addition to a revenue-sharing plan if the project exceeds financial expectations. The money the state is contributing -- $157 million from surplus funds from prior years and $252 million in state and federal highway construction funds -- will pay for changes and improvements that the state requested, including building bridges, repairing ramps and connecting the HOT lanes through the Springfield interchange.
"This was not something for nothing," Reese said.
Financing for the project is also being provided by the federal government. The private companies are putting up $349 million in cash and will be responsible for building and operating the lanes and repaying the federal bonds and loans. The road will be turned over to the state after 80 years.
The project, in the works for nearly a decade, was planned as a way for private companies to add capacity to one of the most congested roads in the country, with little cost or risk to the public.
Now some transportation officials wonder whether the deal will wind up costing taxpayers much more at a time when the state's transportation budget is empty. The state will have to transfer $3 billion from construction projects just to maintain the roads it has over the next six years. With the General Assembly's failure to come up with a funding plan in a special session this month, there is little hope on the horizon.
"If we are going to pay this money ourselves, why not build it ourselves and keep the tolls for ourselves?" said Stewart Schwartz, executive director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth.
But others said the state was left with little choice.
"Is this the ideal way to build public infrastructure? No," said Gerald E. Connolly (D), chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. But he said that voters have turned down tax increases and that the General Assembly has failed to come up with additional money.
"At some point, we have to find a way to fund public infrastructure," Connolly said. "We're left with other models, all of which have undesirable side effects."
The goal of the HOT lanes is to use variable pricing to keep the lanes free-flowing. There is no upper limit on rates. Motorists who don't want to pay can drive in the free, non-HOT lanes.
During negotiations, the private companies argued that too many carpoolers in the HOT lanes at peak times would bog down the lanes and cost them revenue needed to repay the financing, because single- and double-occupant drivers would hardly pay a premium of $1 a mile or more to sit in stop-and-go traffic.
Other projects have struggled with how to encourage carpooling while keeping the "express" in express lanes.
In Houston, a HOT lane project set to open this fall limits carpoolers and transit vehicles to 25 percent of traffic. In California, carpoolers were initially allowed on HOT lanes for free but were soon charged half-fare after the lanes clogged. In the Virginia agreement, only state law could change the free-ride status of carpoolers and mass-transit vehicles.
Virginia's deal to subsidize carpools is unique in the fast-growing world of variable-cost toll lanes and public-private partnerships, according to Robert Poole, director of transportation studies for the Reason Foundation and an early proponent of HOT lanes.
This is a way to get a significant amount of relief at a pretty modest cost to the state," said Poole, who tracks developments in the private toll-road arena. Also, "it's in the interest in both parties to ensure a good revenue stream."
Poole said that if the HOT lanes are flooded with motorists who don't pay tolls, "then it doesn't work."
Adding HOT lanes to the Capital Beltway, already one of the busiest highways in the country, is unprecedented in its ambition. In addition to building four lanes largely in the existing footprint of the Beltway, the builders had to figure out ways to get customers quickly in and out of job centers and such destinations as Tysons Corner, the Dulles Toll Road, the Springfield interchange and Route 66.
Fluor-Transurban is negotiating with the state to convert and expand the two reversible high-occupancy vehicle lanes on Interstate 395/95 into three reversible HOT lanes. Carpoolers and sluggers are concerned that the change would upset the successful system that has evolved on the highway over the years.
Ronald F. Kirby, transportation director for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, said that once the Beltway HOT lanes connect with HOT lanes planned for I-395/95 and the HOV lanes on the Dulles Toll Road and I-66, drivers would realize that piling three people into a car could provide a free rocket ride across the region.
"I don't have any numbers to say that their numbers are too high or too low," Kirby said. "We don't have any experience with a facility like this."
But he said the "network effect" could provide greater incentives to carpool and perhaps trigger much larger carpool payments than state officials estimated. "There is some assumption of risk on the part of the state here."



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PickEmUpAndBringEmHome Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Sep 2008 at 6:31am
And the technology used to determine SOV vs HOV is ???

And without a doubt one of the dumbest quotes of all time ... "In negotiating, we realized there was a conflict between what we wanted and what they wanted," said Barbara Reese, deputy transportation secretary and a key negotiator on the deal.

I can just imagine Jay Leno nailing that during his stand-up segment.



FKA Atlantis.99
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