I remain a supporter of the MoPac managed lanes. However, I did vote against the “Terms and Conditions” document negotiated exclusively by the CTRMA and TxDOT because it did not state a quantifiable goal for the inclusion of transit and High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes.
Best practices on managed lanes projects strongly suggest that balancing goals of generating revenue and providing incentives for HOV lane use should be clarified at the outset. I am gratified that the Terms and Conditions states vanpools and public transportation may access the managed lanes without paying a toll. I am further gratified that the CTRMA has verbally stated a goal of maximizing “people throughput” on the managed lanes rather than “vehicle throughput.” However, the Terms and Conditions relating to transit and HOV are discretionary (the CTRMA Board may adjust the policy at its sole discretion) and restrictive (the free passage is available only to registered vans or buses with a capacity of 16 or more).
I seek a firmer commitment from the CTRMA Board on transit and HOV goals as a percentage of the overall managed lanes capacity. I believe the CTRMA can and is willing to make such a commitment as long as it is balanced against the revenue-generating goals of the project. And I remain committed to working with the CTRMA to memorialize these transit and HOV goals in some document, if not the Terms and Conditions recently approved by the CAMPO Board.