It all depends on one thing: How much are travelers willing to pay for a shorter trip?
In deciding whether to undertake highway expansion projects—which can cost billions of dollars—projected time savings for travelers are often a major consideration. So if travelers aren't willing to pay as much as current wisdom suggests for shorter trips, that would "call into question the rationale for investing public funds in highway projects."
And indeed, after some slightly wonky deliberations, City Observatory's Joe Cortright concludes that "many investments of scarce public resources in additional unpriced road capacity isn’t economically worthwhile for the travelers who use it."
There's a "rule of thumb," Cortright says, that "travelers value their time at something close to half their wage rate." But according to a recent paper that looked at use of high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes, the certainty of arriving at a particular time is actually far more important to most travelers.
A more accurate rule of thumb might be that "the typical user values travel time savings at about $3 per hour, and reliability improvements at about $23 per hour."
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Ending Downtown San Francisco’s ‘Doom Loop’
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Kaua’i County Uses Long-Range Models to Mandate Resiliency Standards
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California Governor Vetoes Autonomous Truck Ban
Gov. Newsom called the new law unnecessary, citing existing efforts by state regulators to develop new rules around autonomous trucking.
Low-Barrier Motel Shelter Is a Success—But Not an Easy One
Many guests at Motels4Now are on their second or third stays—but staff say that's doesn't equal failure, and the numbers bear that out.
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This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.