What are Managed Lanes?
Managed lanes are a necessary motor vehicle solution for urban corridors congested with high-intensity traffic.
In some parts of the world, especially in the United States, the presence of motor vehicles is such that new services and solutions are required to help improve their fluidity and reduce transit times.
This type of fast route allows some of the traffic to access additional paid lanes and maintain higher speeds, even during peak transit times. Furthermore, opening these lanes prevents some of the traffic jams that require vehicles to brake and accelerate over long distances, also reducing motor vehicles’ CO2 and NOx emissions.
How do Managed Lanes work?
Managed Lanes use a vehicle identification technology known as fingerprinting that allows identification by license plate of the vehicles that enter from their marked entrances. Drivers do not have to stop to pay at a tollbooth or brake during the trip, again saving energy.
Payment is made using a mobile phone application. Before accessing the Managed Lane, the driver may check the prices—which vary in real time to adjust to demand thanks to tools like the Dynamic Toll Setting Module—and choose whether or not they are interested in taking the fast lane.
Even drivers who do not use these priority lanes benefit from them, since they relieve traffic on the main road and reduce stress related to driving in traffic jams. This technology incorporates cameras and traffic sensors. It keeps prices up-to-date and allows the average speed in the Managed Lane to stay close to 75 mph (120 km/h) at all times or for it not to drop below 50 mph (80 km/h). This technology is called Toll Flow.
Highways where this use has already been demonstrated include the LBJ highway (27 km) in Texas, the NTE (21.4 km) and NTE 35W (16.4) highways in Dallas, I-77 (41.8 km) in North Carolina and I-66 (35) km in Virginia. All of them are designed, constructed and managed by Cintra, a subsidiary of Ferrovial.