T3 Webinar Overview

Learning from the Implementation of Dynamic Tolling on I-405 Express Lanes

Date:   Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Time:  1:00 PM – 2:30 PM ET
Cost:  All T3 webinars are free of charge
PDH:  1.5   View PDH Policy

T3 Webinars are brought to you by the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Professional Capacity Building (PCB) Program of the U.S. Department of Transportation's (U.S. DOT) ITS Joint Program Office (JPO). References in this webinar to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the U.S. DOT.


A peer-to-peer workshop was hosted by Washington State DOT (WSDOT) Toll Division, with support from the Volpe National Transportation Center. The workshop focused on the lessons learned from the recent conversion of a 17-mile section of the I-405 HOV lanes in Seattle to dynamically priced express toll lanes. Prior to the conversion, high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes were often as congested as the general purpose lanes and failed to provide a reliable trip for transit and carpools. Additional demand with King County’s population, expected to increase 33 percent by 2040, would have decreased performance further. The I-405 express toll lanes would preserve sustainably reliable speeds for transit and higher-occupancy carpools while providing an option for non-carpools to pay a toll for a more reliable trip. Toll rates are adjusted depending on real-time traffic conditions and the vehicle pays the rate shown to the driver upon entering the lanes.

Data collected by WSDOT indicate that dynamic pricing has streamlined express lane traffic flow, reduced overall travel times during peak periods, and greatly exceeded toll revenue projections. Some shorter general purpose trips were longer than before; therefore, two-person carpools were displaced during peak periods leading to controversy over the first six months of operation.

This webinar will explore all aspects of the I-405 Express Lane project—how WSDOT responded to uneven performance and controversy, and the lessons learned from WSDOT and peer agency participants. Also, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will provide the national context for express lane tolling and a summary of federal managed lanes guidance and resources.


James Coylar will serve as the host. Mr. Coylar will provide an overview of the current state of practice for using express lane tolling to encourage transit or HOV options, reduce congestion, and improve trip reliability.

Rob Fellows will highlight the history and lessons learned from implementing the I-405 dynamically-priced express toll lanes project, the recent evaluation of the express lane performance, and the future planned 40-mile expansion of this system.

Catherine Larson will discuss the I-405 Express Toll Lanes Peer Review workshop purpose and organization.

David Ungemah and Kathleen McCune will highlight the peer-to-peer workshop discussion and recommendations for WSDOT and other agencies planning to move into tolling-based dynamic pricing strategies.

Gregory Jones will provide a summary of current FHWA and National Managed Lanes Guidance and Resources.

Target Audiences

Learning Objectives

Attendees of the webinar will expect to learn about:


James Colyar, P.E., Transportation Specialist in the Office of Operations, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

photo of James Colyar

Mr. Colyar has more than 15 years of experience in traffic engineering, traffic analysis and modeling, and transportation systems management and operations (TSM&O). Previously, he served as ITS/Mobility Engineer in the FHWA Washington Division Office and Highway Research Engineer in the FHWA Office of Operations Research & Development. Mr. Colyar holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Idaho, an M.S. in Civil Engineering from North Carolina State University, and an M.A. in Transportation, Policy, and Logistics from George Mason University.


Rob Fellows, Toll Planning and Policy Manager at Washington State Department of Transportation, Seattle, Washington

photo of Rob Fellows

Mr. Fellows is Manager of Toll Planning and Policy at WSDOT’s Toll Division, where he manages system planning studies, facilitates resolution of toll policy issues, and provides staff support to the Transportation Commission for rate-setting and toll policies. He has more than 30 years of experience in transit and highway planning. Mr. Fellows has managed several transportation planning projects for WSDOT that resulted in funded projects to replace the SR 520 floating bridge, construct freight and goods improvements between Everett and Tacoma, and improve safety, connectivity, and transit access on the Puget Sound region’s HOV system. Mr. Fellows holds a Master’s degree in Transportation Science from MIT and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Washington.

Catherine Larson, Principal Consultant at Jacobs Engineering, Seattle, Washington

photo of Catherine Larson

Ms. Larson is a Principal Consultant with Jacobs Engineering Group and has more than 19 years of public and private sector transportation experience. She has extensive program management experience specializing in toll and transit program strategy, implementation, and continuous improvement. Ms. Larson has spent her career building and growing transportation programs. Since 2005, she has focused on implementing start-up toll programs and has been part of the project team for the launch of five new toll facilities, serving in the role of project manager for three of the deployments. Ms. Larson holds a Master’s degree in Public Affairs from Washington State University, a B.S. in Organizational Communications from Eastern Washington University, and is certified as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt in Quality Management Practices.

David Ungemah, Assistant Vice President, National Managed Lanes Director, Strategic Consulting, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Denver, Colorado

photo of David Ungemah

Mr. Ungemah is the National Director of WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff’s Managed Lanes Practice with 21 years of consulting and research expertise in congestion pricing, priced managed lanes, and freeway management. He has worked directly on over 100 road pricing projects in 21 states. His clients have ranged from state DOTs to regional MPOs and tolling authorities, and local communities. Mr. Ungemah has participated in many Federal Highway Administration and National Cooperative Highway Research Program research activities towards establishing the state of the practice and guidelines for managed lanes and congestion pricing development. He is the current chair of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) standing committee on Congestion Pricing, and helps guide the nation’s research agenda in these topics. Mr. Ungemah holds a Master’s degree in Planning and Public Policy from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Kathleen McCune, Director of Congestion Reduction, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

photo of Kathleen McCune

Ms. McCune has been part of the project team for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (Metro) Express Lanes since 2009, overseeing the planning and implementation of the I-10 and I-110 Express Lanes. She is currently the Deputy Executive Officer within the Congestion Reduction Department and is responsible for managing the operations and maintenance of the I-10 and I-110 Express Lanes, planning of future Express Lanes facilities, and the operation of Metro’s Freeway Service Patrol program. Ms. McCune has over 22 years of planning and project management experience in the public sector working at both the municipal and regional levels. She is a member of TRB’s Managed Lanes and Congestion Pricing committees. Ms. McCune holds Master’s degrees from the University of Southern California and the University of New Brunswick (Fredericton).

Gregory M. Jones, Transportation Operations Specialist, U.S. DOT/Federal Highway Administration Resource Center/HQ Office of Operations, Atlanta, Georgia

photo of Gregory Jones

Mr. Jones has been with the Federal Highway Administration since 1984. He has been a member of the FHWA Resource Center since 1999 and accepted a dual appointment as a member of the FHWA Headquarters’ Office of Operations since 2006. As a member of the Operations Technical Support Team, Mr. Jones provides national technical support in the following areas: Congestion Pricing, Managed Lanes, Active Transportation and Demand Management, Freeway Management, Regional Operations Partnerships, and Intelligent Transportation Systems. He is active in the Transportation Research Board, serving as a member of the High Occupancy Vehicle/Managed Lane Committee and chair of the Freeway Management and Operations Handbook subcommittee. He has also served as the FHWA Lead for the Hurricane Evacuation Liaison Team co-managed by FEMA. Mr. Jones holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Tennessee.