Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Transportation Research Record






High-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes—an increasingly popular solution for congested roadway networks—give drivers the option to access express lanes. The cost of entry often varies with demand, although no standard method of optimizing these price points exists. Using the principles of a Vickrey auction that incentivizes true-value bids, this paper proposes a tolling system that uses vehicle-to-infrastructure technology to optimize toll operator revenue with HOT lane usage. In the scenario, a roadway network consists of a HOT lane and a general-purpose lane, each with identical physical properties. Drivers can access the HOT lane at the start of the facility or at one interim point along the roadway. With the use of a triangular distribution to approximate the distribution of travelers’ value of time (VOT), the model explores the impact of varying the distribution’s mode on revenue earned by the toll operator. Results from the model indicate that when the toll operator maximizes the model’s revenue, the percentage of auction bids accepted for toll road access is robust to changes in the VOT distribution. This percentage equates to approximately 17% of vehicles accessing the facility. Given the difficulty in obtaining actual travelers’ distribution of VOT, this auction tolling mechanism implies that obtaining an exact VOT distribution may not be necessary for this type of tolling analysis.

Original Publication Citation

Collins, A. J., Frydenlund, E., Robinson, R. M., & Cetin, M. (2015). Exploring a toll auction mechanism enabled by vehicle-to-infrastructure technology. Transportation Research Record (2530), 106-113.


0000-0002-8012-2272 (Collins), 0000-0002-7694-7845 (Frydenlund), 0000-0001-5295-930X (Robinson), 0000-0003-2003-9343 (Cetin)