The key potential benefits of truck-only lanes to trucking firms would be fourfold.
Department of Transportation's (USDOT) Western Uniformity Scenario Analysis: A Regional Truck Size and Weight Scenario Requested by the Western Governors' Association estimated that allowing uniform LCV use throughout a group of Western States could result in a 25-percent reduction in truck travel, but travel reductions on a smaller network of truck-only lanes would not be expected to result in as great a travel reduction.
In general, passenger vehicles could benefit from truck-only lanes in three ways.
Constructing truck-only lanes in a limited number of locations is far more realistic, and although productivity increases would be more modest, substantial benefits are possible on a regional basis.
As noted above, most States that are considering truck-only lanes are assuming those lanes would be paid for at least in part by tolls.
To raise the necessary capital for constructing the truck-only lanes, a State probably would choose to issue revenue bonds, which would be secured mainly by future toll revenues.
General-user charges paid into the road-use tax fund by large trucks would be used for operation and maintenance (O & M) of the truck-only lanes.
Another scenario would require passenger vehicles traveling in the general-traffic lanes to pay tolls, just as large trucks operating in the truck-only lanes would.
In short, the occupants of the passenger vehicles would be offered a higher quality service with the addition of truck-only lanes, and they would be asked to pay a premium for this higher quality service.
As discussed, the cost of truck-only lanes could reasonably be assigned to passenger vehicles and to large trucks based on the relative benefits each group of road users would derive.
If a trucking firm believes that the economic benefits of traveling on a highway with truck-only lanes are not commensurate with the magnitude of the toll for using the facility, the company will search for an alternate route that entails lower overall costs.
Level of the toll for traveling on the truck-only lanes