Seeking study participants for USF Carpool Study
|Principal Investigator||Sara Hendricks|
|Final Report (DOI)||Available Soon|
|Policy Brief||Available Soon|
|RIP||View RIP entry|
MAP-21’s focus on performance measurement ushered in a shift in emphasis from moving vehicles to moving people, measured as passenger throughput. This recognizes the underutilized capacity of empty seats in buses, vanpools, and single-occupant passenger cars on urban Interstate highways, even as these facilities experience peak period traffic congestion. One approach to optimizing the efficiency and reliability of travel for all transportation system users is to initiate programs to incentivize filling those empty seats, thereby reducing the number of peak period vehicles on the highway. Such programs can now take advantage of emerging vehicle occupancy detection technology. This enables measuring the number of passengers in a vehicle for purposes of high occupancy vehicle (HOV) and high occupancy toll (HOT) lane management and incentivization. This proposal seeks to pilot the use of an innovative biometric vehicle occupancy detection technology for purposes of measuring its occupancy count validation (OCV) accuracy, and delivery of immediate reward notification to carpoolers and vanpools to remove motor vehicles from congested facilities, and restore travel reliability on those facilities. Where HOV/HOT incentivization policies presently exist, particularly on Express Lanes, cheating levels can reach 50% or higher depending on the dynamically adjusted price at the time. It is expected that as policymakers look to deploy congestion pricing and road use charges in the future, accurate vehicle occupant counting will be an increasingly important tool to incentivize carpooling and vanpooling to reduce vehicle congestion. If successful, this technology, paired with relevant and immediate rewards, could help optimize HOV/HOT lane operation.