Definitions - Glossary

Glossary of Terms  

You might hear these terms used in connection with the I-77 project. 

Capacity Usually the maximum number of vehicles that a highway can reasonably handle at any given time, under ideal conditions.

Capacity Enhancements Strategies or projects designed to improve a roadway's ability to handle traffic volume.

Design-Build A construction procurement process which combines design, construction and sometimes inspection and engineering services into a single contract as opposed to a process in which each phase of the project is contracted out separately. 

Dynamic Tolling A type of tolling where the rate changes based on certain conditions, such as amount of traffic on highway, or time of day.  It's sometimes called "value pricing."

Fast Lanes  An inclusive term which refers to various types of managed lanes including HOV lanes, HOT lanes, Express Toll Lanes, and Truck only Toll lanes. 

General Purpose Lanes Lanes of a highway open to all motor vehicles regardless of the number of passengers.

HOT Lane High Occupancy Toll Lane; In contrast to a HOV lane, HOT Lanes allow cars carrying just one passenger access to restricted car pool lanes for a fee. Vans, buses and cars with more than two or three passengers may use HOT lanes at no charge.

HOV Lane High Occupancy Vehicle Lane; Sometimes called carpool lanes, HOV lanes can be used only by vehicles carrying more than two or three passengers during peak traffic times.

Managed Lanes Sometimes called "a freeway within a freeway," managed lanes are sets of lanes on a highway which where access may be restricted or controlled.  HOV and HOT lanes are considered managed lanes, as are bus lanes and express lanes.

NEPA National Environmental Policy Act; NEPA establishes the nation's environmental policy and, among other things, requires agencies to undertake an assessment of the environmental effects of their proposed actions prior to making decisions.

Operational Connectivity   Highway segments that are constructed that can be used once they are completed, as opposed to a project that may be built but isn’t operational until the next project or next segment is completed. 

Private Activity Bonds (PABs) Bonds issued by a state or local government to provide special financing for qualified private projects. 

Public Private Partnership (P3) A P3 is usually considered to be a contractual agreement between a public agency and a private sector entity that allows greater private participation in the construction and financing of infrastructure projects, such as highway construction.

Request for Proposal (RFP) Part of the bidding process used for awarding contracts, an RFP is a call for bids that outlines the project, the bidding process and other particulars of the project.

Request for Qualifications (RFQ) An RFQ is a document asking potential bidders to explain how they are qualified to do a proposed project.

Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) A financial term referring to a company created for the express purpose of conducting a specific transaction or series of financial transactions.

TIFIA Transportation Infrastructure Financeand Innovation Act; TIFIA provides federal credit assistance to nationally or regionally significant surface transportation projects, including highway, transit and rail.

Transponder A transponder is a radio frequency identification device about the size of a credit card that emits a signal to readers attached to overhead toll gantries that allows for automatic toll collection using a pre-paid account.

Value pricing The method by which toll rates are set for using HOT lanes. The toll rate varies depending upon the level of congestion in the HOT lanes and is designed to deliver reliable and consistent rates of speed by balancing supply and demand. Interchangeable with the term “congestion pricing.”

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