A new set of tolled lanes has opened parallel to 13km of Highway 1 in Israel between Ben Gurion Airport and downtown Tel Aviv according to the Jerusalem Post. Buses, disabled drivers and high occupancy vehicles are exempt, but other vehicles can pay according to tolls which vary according to demand. It will be dynamic, like some HOT lanes in the US, which prices varying between 7 and 25 NIS (New Israel Shekel) (US$1.98-US$7.06). The target level of service is a minimum 70km/h, with prices highlighted at each end of the lanes so motorists can choose whether they are willing to pay the price. The lane cost 400 million NIS (US$112.9 million), so it will take some time to recover
The private concessionaire responsible for the lanes is called Shafir Engineering, and it has also built park and ride facilities that connect with an express shuttle bus service. The capacity is 1,500 vehicles an hour, although initial reports indicate demand being far below capacity (900 during AM peak). Yet this may simply be a matter of the season and the need to expose motorists to the relative advantages of the new lanes compared to congested existing lanes. As they get used to the concept, demand ought to lift.
Still, it is a form of congestion based pricing operating in Israel, managed by a private company. It will be interesting to monitor progress in the coming months and years.