MnPASS Modeling and Pricing Algorithm Enhancement

Persistent link to this item

View Statistics

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


MnPASS Modeling and Pricing Algorithm Enhancement

Published Date



Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota




While High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes have been used for decades as a strategy for mitigating congestion, research has shown that they are not always effective. A 2001 study of the I-394 and I-35W HOV lanes in Minnesota found that the HOV lanes were on average underutilized, moving fewer people than the General-Purpose Lanes (GPL) even with the increased number of passengers per vehicle. To address the issue of underuse, in 2003 the Minnesota Legislature authorized the conversion of the I-394 HOV lanes into High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes, named the MnPASS Express Lanes. The MnPASS lanes operate using a fully dynamic pricing schedule, where pricing is dictated by the level of congestion in the HOT lane. To better understand the nature of HOT lanes and the decisions of their users, this study explored the possibilities for a microscopic traffic simulation-based model of HOT lanes. Based on a series of field studies where the price of the toll was changed while observing changes in demand in the HOT lane, models describing the lane choice behavior of MnPASS users were developed and calibrated. These models interfaced with the traffic simulation software Aimsun through a number of extension modules and tested on the two MnPASS corridors of I-394 and I35W corridors in the west and south suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The integrated HOT simulation tool was also used to develop and test a number of alternative pricing strategies including a more efficient version of the current strategy.


Related to




Series/Report Number

Funding information

Isbn identifier

Doi identifier

Previously Published Citation

Suggested citation

Content distributed via the University Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor. By using these files, users agree to the Terms of Use. Materials in the UDC may contain content that is disturbing and/or harmful. For more information, please see our statement on harmful content in digital repositories.