Adoption of FasTrak on San Francisco Bay Area Bridges: Impact of OR Models in Relieving Congestion

25 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2021

See all articles by Ramesh Bollapragada

Ramesh Bollapragada

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Venoo Kakar

San Francisco State University

John Goodwin

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Andrew Fremier

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: August 18, 2021

Abstract

Bay Area toll bridges are the main transportation link across the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. These bridges experience extreme congestion and become bottlenecks during peak hours, with long backups at the toll plazas. A solution to ensure vehicle throughput at toll plazas is widespread adoption of the electronic toll collection system called FasTrak. However, the FasTrak System has experienced low usage rates since its inception relative to other toll collections systems in the country. We utilized forecasting, marketing, and operations research models to make recommendations and collaborate with transportation authorities to increase FasTrak usage during peak hours (5 am to 10 am and 3 pm to 7 pm) as a way of addressing traffic congestion. After implementing these recommendations, FasTrak usage increased from 40% in 2006 to the long-term target of 70% by 2016. A synthesis of the challenges and the implementation of the FasTrak strategic plan is presented. Further, econometric models that capture the effect on traffic volumes of increased FasTrak usage achieved through congestion pricing are estimated. We estimate productivity gains of approximately $569 million per year due to savings in travel time. Our research contributes to an understanding of the role of effective transportation policies in reducing congestion and improving productivity.

Keywords: Congestion Pricing, FasTrak, Electronic Toll Collection

JEL Classification: R41,H23, D62

Suggested Citation

Bollapragada, Ramesh and Kakar, Venoo and Goodwin, John and Fremier, Andrew, Adoption of FasTrak on San Francisco Bay Area Bridges: Impact of OR Models in Relieving Congestion (August 18, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3945148 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3945148

Ramesh Bollapragada

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Venoo Kakar (Contact Author)

San Francisco State University ( email )

1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132
United States
4154053461 (Phone)
4153381057 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.venookakar.com

John Goodwin

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Andrew Fremier

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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