This report presents the test plan for collecting and analyzing toll data for the National Evaluation of the Minnesota Urban Partnership Agreement (UPA) under the United States Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) UPA program. The toll data will be used in the toll analysis and the cost benefit analysis contained in the Minnesota UPA National Evaluation Plan. The data also support the equity and goods movement analyses. This plan is one of 11 test plans identified in the Minnesota UPA National Evaluation Plan.
The test plan begins with a brief overview of the Minnesota UPA projects, the relationship between the analysis areas and the test plans outlined in the Minnesota UPA National Evaluation Plan, and the use of the tolling data. The test plan presents the sources and the availability of the tolling data needed in the evaluation. Potential risks associated with the data and the data collection activities are discussed, and the data analysis techniques are described. The schedule and responsibility for collecting, analyzing, and reporting on the tolling analysis are also presented.
1.1 The Minnesota UPA
Minnesota was selected by the U.S. DOT as an Urban Partner to implement projects aimed at reducing congestion based on four complementary strategies known as the 4Ts: Tolling, Transit, Telecommuting/Travel Demand Management (TDM), and Technology. Under contract to the U.S. DOT, a national evaluation team led by Battelle is assessing the impacts of the projects in a comprehensive and systematic manner in Minnesota and other sites. The national evaluation will generate information and produce technology transfer materials to support deployment of the strategies in other metropolitan areas. The national evaluation will also generate findings for use in future federal policy and program development related to mobility, congestion, and facility pricing.
The Minnesota UPA partners include the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT), the Twin Cities Metropolitan Council, Metro Transit, the City of Minneapolis, Minnesota Valley Transit Authority (MVTA), and Anoka, Dakota, Ramsey, and Hennepin counties. The Center for Transportation Studies and the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public affairs at the University of Minnesota are also partners in the UPA.
The Minnesota projects are focused on reducing traffic congestion in the I-35W corridor and in downtown Minneapolis. ITS technologies underlie many of the Minnesota UPA projects, including those focused on tolling, real-time traffic and transit information, transit signal priority, and guidance technologies for shoulder-running buses. Figure 1-1 highlights the general location of the various Minnesota UPA projects, which are described below.
- High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes. The HOT lanes on I-35W represent a major component of the Minnesota UPA. This element includes expanding the existing HOV lanes to HOT lanes and constructing new HOT lanes. The HOT lanes will be dynamically priced. The existing HOV lanes on I-35W from Burnsville Parkway to I-494 will be expanded into dynamically priced HOT lanes. A new dynamically priced HOT lane will be added on I-35W from I-494 to 46th Street as part of the reconstruction of the Crosstown Commons Section.
- Priced Dynamic Shoulder Lane (PDSL). The second tolling element of the Minnesota UPA is the implementation of a PDSL on I-35W in the northbound direction from 46nd Street to downtown Minneapolis. The PDSL incorporates active lane management techniques and technologies, including speed harmonization.
- Auxiliary Lanes. An auxiliary lane and collector ramp is being constructed on I-35W in the northbound direction from 90th Street and I-494. An auxiliary lane is being constructed on I-35W in the southbound direction from 106th Street to Highway 13.
- Park-and-Ride Facilities. A total of six new or expanded park-and-ride facilities will be constructed as part of the Minnesota UPA. Two of the park-and-ride facilities are on I-35W north of downtown Minneapolis, one is on I-35W south of downtown Minneapolis, and three are on Cedar Avenue. The following describes the general facility locations and the anticipated number of parking spaces. A new 500-space parking ramp will be constructed adjacent to the existing 1,000-space parking lot at 95th Ave along I-35W North in Blaine. A new 460-space parking ramp will be constructed along I-35W North in Roseville. A new 750-space parking ramp will be constructed along I-35W south in Lakeville. A new 120-space parking lot with an enclosed passenger waiting facility will be constructed along Cedar Ave at Highway 13 in Eagan. A new 200-space parking lot will be constructed along Cedar Avenue at 180th Street in Lakeville. A new 500-space parking ramp, a 250-space surface lot, and a side platform station will be constructed along Cedar Ave at 155th Street in Apple Valley.
- New Buses. A total of 27 new buses will be purchased as part of the Minnesota UPA. These vehicles include a mix of standard, hybrid, and coach buses. The buses will be used to operate new and expanded express bus service.
- Downtown Minneapolis Dual Bus Lanes on Marquette and 2nd Avenues. Double contraflow bus lanes are being constructed on Marquette and 2nd Avenues in downtown Minneapolis. Called the MARQ2 project, the lanes replace existing single contraflow lanes on each avenue. The project also includes construction of wider sidewalks, and improved lighting, landscaping, and passenger waiting areas.
- Transit Advantage Bus Bypass Lane. A “Transit Advantage” bus bypass lane/ramp has been constructed to facilitate the movement of northbound buses at the Highway 77/Highway 62 intersection. A new bus-only left-turn lane has been constructed and new traffic signals have been installed to allow buses to make a left turn from Highway 77 to Highway 62.
- Cedar Avenue Lane Guidance System. A lane guidance system for shoulder-running buses will be developed, implemented, and operated on Cedar Avenue. The system includes lateral guidance assistance, collision avoidance, and AVL technology. Lane assistance feedback will be provided to the bus operator through a “heads up” windshield display, a vibrating seat, and an active steering wheel.
Figure 1-1. General Location of Minnesota UPA Projects
- Real-Time Transit Information and Real-Time Traffic and Transit Information. Real-time transit information, including next bus arrival information, will be provided along the MARQ2 lanes in downtown Minneapolis and park-and-ride facilities. Dynamic message signs along I-35W will display real-time traffic and transit travel times to downtown Minneapolis.
- Transit Signal Priority. Transit signal priority will be implemented along a contiguous stretch of Central Avenue north of downtown Minneapolis, and at selected locations around two park-and-ride facilities.
- Telecommuting. The telecommuting element of the Minnesota UPA focuses on increasing the use of Results Only Work Environment (ROWE), telecommuting, and flexible work arrangements throughout the region, including increasing the number of teleworkers and/or workers on flexible schedules in the I-35W corridor by 500 individuals. ROWE provides employees flexibility in the work location and hours by focusing on performance and results rather than presence at the office during standard work hours. ROWE is used extensively at Best Buy Corporation, headquartered in Minnesota. The UPA telecommuting component seeks to increase its use by other businesses in the region. The telecommuting element is funded entirely with state funds.
The Transit Advantage project became operational in December 2008. The majority of projects will be in operation by December 2009. The I-35W HOT lanes in the Crosstown Commons Section, the Cedar Avenue Lane Guidance System, and the Cedar Avenue Transit Station are scheduled for completion by October 2010.
1.2 Minnesota UPA National Evaluation Plan and the Use of Tolling Data
The Minnesota UPA National Evaluation Plan focuses on the 12 analysis areas outlined in the National Evaluation Framework (NEF)1 and 11 test plans. Table 1-1 presents the relationships among the analysis areas and the test plans. The tolling data test plan provides major input to the tolling and cost benefit analyses. It also supports the evaluation of the equity and goods movement analyses. Table 1-2 presents the tolling data elements and the measures of effectiveness and the hypotheses/questions the tolling data will be used to evaluate.
The remainder of this report is divided into three sections. Chapter 2.0 presents the data sources, data availability, and risks associated with evaluating the tolling elements of the Minnesota UPA. Chapter 3.0 describes the techniques that will be used to test the tolling hypotheses and assess the measures of effectiveness. Chapter 4.0 presents the schedule and responsibilities for completing the tolling analysis.
|Minnesota UPA Test Plans||Congestion Analysis||Tolling Analysis||Transit Analysis||Telecommuting/ TDM Analysis||Technology Analysis||Safety Analysis||Environmental Analysis||Equity Analysis||Goods Movement Analysis||Business Impact Analysis||Non-Technical Success Factors Analysis||Cost Benefit Analysis|
|Traffic System Data Test Plan|
|Tolling Test Plan|
|Transit System Data Test Plan|
|Telecommuting Data Test Plan|
|Safety Test Plan|
|Surveys Test Plan|
|Transportation Modeling Test Plan|
|Environmental Data Test Plan|
|Content Analysis Test Plan|
|Cost Benefit Analysis Test Plan|
|Exogenous Factors Test Plan|
— Major Input — Supporting Input
|Minnesota Tolling Data Element||Minnesota UPA Measure of Effectiveness||Minnesota UPA Hypotheses/Questions*|
1 The document is available online at following website: http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/30000/30700/30764/14446.pdf
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