Principal Investigator: Yafeng Yin, Ph.D.
Project Start Date: April 1, 2010
Title: Enhancing CORSIM for Simulating High Occupancy/Toll Lane Operations
Complementing to an ongoing research project funded by Florida Department of Transportation
(FDOT) on critical issues of improving the operations of high occupancy/toll (HOT) lanes, the
proposed project is to enhance the capability of CORSIM in simulating HOT lane operations and
demonstrate the enhanced tool by simulating the operations of I-95 Express Lanes in Miami.
Congestion pricing has been advocated as an efficient way to reduce congestion for over eighty years.
However, it has been adopted only recently in part due to the advent of electronic tolling and the
pressing need for alternative funding sources to finance transportation projects. In the U.S., a more
prevalent form of congestion pricing is HOT or express toll lanes. These are high-occupancy vehicle
(HOV) facilities that allow vehicles not meeting the occupancy or other requirements to gain access
by paying tolls. Since the first HOT lane was implemented in 1995 on State Route 91 in Orange
County, California, the concept has gained traction throughout the U.S., with at least seven HOT lane
projects operational. In Florida, FDOT plans to deploy a series of connected express lanes on
Interstates 95 and 595 in Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Phase 1A of the 95 Express consists of two
northbound express lanes on Interstate 95 from SR 112/I-195 to the Golden Glades Interchange.
Phase 1A is operational with the express lanes open to traffic on July 11, 2008 and tolling beginning
on December 5, 2008.
To efficiently operate HOT lanes, ideally tolls should vary real-time in response to changes in traffic
conditions. Currently, there are at least three authorities pricing their toll lanes dynamically:
California Department of Transportation on Interstate 15, FDOT on Interstate 95, and Minnesota
Department of Transportation on Interstate 394. Unfortunately, as a trustworthy traffic simulation
tool, CORSIM has a very limited capability of simulating dynamic tolling strategies and the driversí
lane choice behaviors in the presence of tolls. The proposed research will enhance CORSIM and
develop a CORSIM-based simulation platform to evaluate the impacts of a variety of pricing
strategies on freeway traffic operations.
The enhanced CORSIM simulation tool can be of immediate use to engineers for better planning,
designing and operating HOT lanes for congestion mitigation.