In order to ease congestion, single HOV lanes (one running north and one running south) were converted to 2 High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes on I-95 between I-595 and the southern tip of Broward County in Miami-Dade County. Use of these tolled lanes is also permitted for transit buses and registered carpools.
Project Type:Limited Access Road Project Mode:Highway Average Annual Daily Traffic:248,000 Length (mi):10.00
Economic Distress:0.78 Population Density (ppl/sq mi):1191 Population Growth Rate (%):1.28
Employment Growth Rate (%):1.60 Market Size:3,788,108 Airport Travel Distance:10.4 Topography:1
Region:Southeast State:FL County:Miami-Dade, Broward, & Palm Beach Counties
City:Miami, North Miami, & North Miami Beach Urban/Class Level:Metro Local Area:City Miami, North Miami, & North Miami Beach
Impact Area:Local Area Transportation System:N/A GIS Lat/Long:25.865525 / -80.208663
Initial Study Date:2007 Post Constr. Study Date:2015
Constr. Start Date:2008 Constr. End Date:2010
Project Year of Expenditure (YOE): 2008 Planned Cost (YOE $):121,500,000
Actual Cost (YOE $):139,000,000 Actual Cost (curr $):154,088,950
NOTE: All pre/post dollar values are in 2013$
Select a region to display the conditions for that region:
NOTE: All impact dollar values are in 2013$
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The 95 Express Lanes Phase 1A and 1B project in the Miami metropolitan area converted a 7-mile segment of High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes to High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes in the northbound direction, and 10 miles of HOV to HOT lanes in the southbound direction. The Phase 1A and 1B project was the first of three Phase of work in the larger 95 Express Project to convert one HOV lane into two HOT lanes along 21 miles of I-95. The project was part of USDOT’s Urban Partnerships and Congestion Reduction Demonstration Program. Phase 1A was completed in December 2008 and Phase 1B in January 2010. Together, Phase 1A and 1B cost $154 million (in 2013 dollars). The primary motivation for the 95 Express project was to ease congestion and improve travel into downtown Miami from nearby Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. As this was already a highly developed corridor, no new jobs are directly attributable to this project.
2.1 Location & Transportation Connections
The Phase 1A and 1B 95 Express project is located in Miami-Dade and Broward counties and runs from just northwest of the City of Miami to immediately west of the city of Fort Lauderdale. I-95 is the primary interstate for the East Coast, stretching from Maine to Florida. It serves many major metropolitan areas, including Jacksonville and Miami in Florida. Other major highways in the vicinity of the project include I-395/SR 836 (Dolphin Expressway), which connects to the Phase 1A and 1B project at its southern terminus; SR 112/I-195, which intersects the project; at the northwest boundary of Wynwood, and I-595, which intersects I-95 just north of the Phase 1A and 1B project limits.
The closest airport to the 95 Express Phase 1A and 1B project is the Miami International Airport, located just six miles to the west. The Miami International Airport is the top U.S. airport for international freight, and the second-busiest airport for international passengers. Annually, the Miami International Airport generates $33.7 billion in business revenue. The 95 Express Bus Service utilizes the 95 Express Lanes and consists of nine bus routes operated by two separate agencies: Miami-Dade Transit and Broward County Transit. The annual district express lanes report published by Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) noted that on a typical weekday in fiscal year 2016 (July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016), approximately 70 express buses utilized the 95 Phase 1A & 1B Express Lanes and approximately 100,000 utilized the 95 Express bus service every month. This transit service was an integral part of the project, with a portion of the federal funding for this project allocated directly to this service.
2.2 Community Character & Project Context
Miami, located in Miami-Dade County, is the second-largest city in Florida. It is a major employment and financial center for the Southeast Florida region, which, with 5.8 million residents in 2015, is the most populous in Florida; the state’s southeast three counties, Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach, account for more than 25% of the population of Florida. In 2007, prior to the construction of the 95 Express Phase 1A & 1B project, the population of Florida was 18,014,927, which increased to 19,645,772 in 2015 (+9%). Over this same period, the combined population of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties increased from 5,404,990 to 5,861,000 (+8%), and the population of Miami, North Miami, and North Miami Beach increased from 456,353 to 530,163 (+16%). During the same time span, the state’s employment increased from 10,557,490 to 11,287,608 (+7%), the employment in the three affected counties increased from 3,299,807 to 3,695,916 (+12%), and local employment increased from 203,817 to 247,850 (+22%). The Miami Metropolitan region is the eighth-largest in the United States, and the region is an international center for trade and finance. Although the Great Recession in 2008 negatively impacted the growth of the region’s economy, it still maintains its important global tourism industry and critical transportation infrastructure, such as the Miami International Airport and Port of Miami. Employment in the transportation and warehousing, and utilities industry increased by 25% in the local area between 2007 and 2015. However in the county and state, this sector decreased by approximately 93%. Similarly, employment in the wholesale and retail trade industries increased by 20% and 53% respectively locally between 2007 and 2015, while both decreased by approximately 90% at the county and state levels. Per capita income also increased over this period, with the state per capita income increasing from $39,788 to $44,487 (+12%), county per capita income increasing from $45,493 to $49,782 (+9%), and local per capita income increasing from $18,525 to $21,814 (+18%). Key industries in the area include tourism, agriculture, financial services, aerospace/aviation, and international trade.
The 95 Express Phase 1A and 1B project was the first of a three-phase 95 Express project pursued as part of USDOT’s Urban Partnerships and Congestion Reduction Demonstration Program. This program provided funding to several demonstration projects throughout the country that focused on 4T’s: tolling, transit, technology, and telecommuting. The project entailed converting an existing High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane into two High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes by narrowing the shoulder, and narrowing travel lanes from 12 feet to 11 feet. Phase 1A was completed in December 2008 and included construction of a seven-mile segment of HOT lanes in the northbound direction. The subsequent phase, Phase 1B, was completed in January 2010, and involved construction of a 10-mile segment of HOT lanes in the southbound direction. Together, Phase 1A and 1B cost $154 million (in 2013 dollars). Most of the funding for this project was federal, specifically USDOT Urban Partnership Agreement funds, which covered $62.9 million and other federal funds covered $62.6 million; state funding paid the remaining $33 million through a state legislative earmark.
A major component of this project was improvements to the area bus service. The HOT lanes incorporate variable pricing, which maintains free-flow conditions and allows for the HOT lanes to be utilized as a bus-rapid transit system. This is subsidized by the toll revenues collected on the roadway. Nineteen million dollars ($19M) of the USDOT Urban Partnership Agreement funds were utilized for the express bus system and existing bus routes. Of the 95 Express Bus Service routes, only three new routes were added as part of the 95 Express Phase 1A & 1B project; the balance was part of the existing Route 95X. Improvements to the existing bus service included schedule adjustments, adding additional buses, and capacity improvements at existing park-and-ride lots; these improvements all took place during Phase 1B.
The primary motivation for the 95 Express project was to ease congestion and improve travel times into downtown Miami from Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. Geometric expansion along the corridor was not a possibility due to lack of right-of-way and other barriers limiting expansion, such as the existing bridge structures. In conjunction with the 95 Express project, other efforts to reduce congestion included the encouragement of telecommuting, flex-time, and employer-sponsored ride-sharing.
4.1 Transportation Impacts
Overall, the 95 Express Lanes positively impacted traffic on both the managed lanes and general-purpose lanes. In 2011, the Federal Transit Administration completed a report evaluating travel on the corridor and found that the level of service on the express lanes improved from F to C, and the level of service on the general-purpose lanes improved from F to D. This report also showed that significant benefits accrued for the 95 Express Bus Service, which saw significant improvements in travel times and travel speeds. Average travel times in the express lanes decreased from 25 minutes in 2008 prior to the completion of the project, to 8 minutes in 2010. Over this same time period, average travel speeds increased from 18 mph to 55 mph. Additionally, ridership on the 95 Express Bus Service increased by 57% over this period.
Prior to the completion of the 95 Express Phase 1A & 1B project, the 95 corridor was a busy roadway and traffic has continued to increase over time. In 2007, AADT on the corridor was 240,760; this increased to 248,000 in 2015 (+3%). Traffic on the express lanes has increased as well. A 2014 report completed by FDOT showed that peak hour traffic in the managed lanes increased by 23% from 2012 to 2014.
This project demonstrated that managed lanes can be successful for congestion mitigation; in large part due to this successful demonstration project, managed lanes have become common practice in Florida.
4.2 Demographic, Economic & Land Use Impacts
Interviewees reported that no land use changes occurred because of this project. Additionally, no new residential or commercial development along the corridor can be attributed to the 95 Express Phase 1A & 1B project. This lack of development and land use impacts due to the fact that the area was already densely developed, and that the project only involved the conversion of one HOV lane to two HOT lanes.
Public acceptance was a major challenge to the implementation of the 95 Express project. The perception prior to the project was that HOT lanes were “Lexus Lanes” and only served the wealthiest citizens. Prior to the implementation of the project, the local MPO had a ban against the so-called “Lexus Lanes”; the State DOT and partners had to persuade the MPO to overturn this ban in order to pursue the project. The utilization of toll revenues to pay for transit was a major selling point that helped to make the 95 Express project a reality. However, negative public perception is still persistent among some groups, with even some interviewees still referring to the HOT lanes as “Lexus Lanes”. The area was also significantly negatively impacted by the Great Recession in 2008, which hampered economic development around the time of the project’s opening.
Organization, Name, Title
Miami-Dade County, Jerry Bell, Assistant Director of Planning
FDOT, Jason Chang, Design Engineer
FDOT, Ken Jeffries, Planner
Miami-Dade County, Alice Bravo, Director, Department of Transportation
Broward County, Economic Development, Jeff Smith, Economic Development Specialist
Case Study Developed by University of Maryland