GA/I-85 Express Lanes (XL) traffic growing strongly in 3rd week

October 20, 2011

Georgia I-85 Express Lanes (GA/I-85XL) traffic is growing strongly in the third week of operations without loss of travel time advantages as compared to the second week. Tuesday toll-paying traffic Oct 18 is reported at 9200 vs 5773 Tues Oct 11 and 3513 Tues Oct 4.

No average toll has been reported by Georgia Tolls for the first four days of operations but Tues Oct 18 the average toll was 71c vs 92c the week before.

Traffic was up 61% Tuesday 2 over Tuesday 1 and this Tuesday 3 it's up another 63%.

We don't have data on the first four days of operations, but so far the strong surge in traffic in the express lanes has been accommodated without any slowing of speeds, and the express lanes (XL) retain  a strong travel time advantage over the general purpose lanes (GPL) - close to 20mph better speeds in the XLs.

Ramp-up of demand plus lower toll rates have been the obvious factors in improving usage of the Express Lanes. The past four days have seen revenue in the $6k to $7k/day range suggesting annual revenue of around $2 million.

There is still no data available from GSRTA (Georgia State Road & Toll Authority) on HOV3 numbers or total usage of the lanes, just the toll paying numbers. But the continued strong speed advantage in the Express Lanes suggests there is still capacity to spare.

The Express Lanes are 15.6 miles long so tolls are very low for now relative to most other dynamically priced lanes. The high toll rates this week have been a mere $1.55 or almost exactly 10c/mile and the average toll this week has been 5.8c/mile and 4.6c/mile.

Of course when they begin to experience denser traffic the pricing will have to rise, perhaps strongly to prevent overload and keep traffic flowing well.

our report on 2nd week:

Our spreadsheet from GSRTA data follows:

TOLLROADSnews 2011-10-19

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