- The Trans-Texas Corridor, a privately financed mega-corridor system in Texas including toll lanes, truck lanes, high speed rail, and utility pipelines.
- Oregon's Innovative Partnerships Program, encouraging the development of network tolling, HOT lanes, or other toll alternatives on three mega projects of statewide importance.
- Chicago Skyway concession agreement, whereby an investment group receives a 99 year agreement to toll the Chicago Skyway (with annual toll increases) in exchange for a present-term transfer of $1.8B to the City of Chicago.
Despite political opposition, it is clear that these states and others will continue to advance toll projects to address perceived financing shortfalls. The question for TDM professionals is the role we play in these projects. Let's be clear -- this is a big money, big influence environment. Project costs usually are articulated in B's, not M's or T's. TDM does not bring any significant money to the table. What we do bring includes partnerships with developers, chambers, and employers and existing mechanisms for outreach to commuters. What other roles can we play? How do we advance considerations for carpools, vanpools, and buses in toll facilities, when so much pressure will be placed to maximize revenues? Are there appropriate carpool and vanpool considerations that do not involve toll discounts or waivers?
In short, how can we swim in the big pond?