Phase 1

Express Travel Choices Study - Phase 1


The SCAG region has some of the most severe congestion and worst air quality in the United States and we don’t have sufficient resources to sustain and preserve our transportation system.

Around the world, there has been success in managing transportation demand, reducing congestion and providing additional choices to travelers through an approach known as value pricing, which led us to conduct the Express Travel Choices Study to evaluate these approaches to see if and how they might work in our region.

The study considered many pricing options and evaluated them in detail, including their mobility, economic and equity impacts, and how they could be implemented. We found three promising ones:

  • A network of express lanes, which connects and expands express lanes already in place or in progress and can accommodate ever-growing inter-county travel
  • Cordons, in areas where there is dense, mixed-use development and transit capacity
  • A mileage-based user fee to establish a structurally sound funding source for taking care of our aging infrastructure and expanding travel options

Findings from this first phase were incorporated into the 2012-2035 RTP/SCS, including a regional network of express lanes and the long-term transition to a mileage-based user fee system.