The TPB has had an active interest in variably priced highway lanes since 2003 when the TPB, in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration and the Maryland, Virginia, and District Departments of Transportation, sponsored a successful one-day conference on value pricing for the region. Following the conference, the TPB created a Task Force on Value Pricing to examine how value pricing could benefit the region.
The task force developed a set of regional goals for a system of variably priced lanes which were adopted by the TPB in 2005. The goals were designed to "help guide the regional development of variably-priced lanes that work together as a multi-modal system, while addressing the special policy and operational issues raised by the multi-jurisdictional nature of this region." As the framing of the regional goals proceeded at the TPB, three major variably-priced highway facilities were being developed through project planning studies for inclusion in the region's financially constrained Long Range Transportation Plan (CLRP): the Inter-County Connector in suburban Maryland, the Northern Virginia Capital Beltway HOT lanes project, and the I-95/395 HOT lanes project.
In order to place these three new projects into a regional context and to assess the potential for a more extensive network of variably priced lanes, the TPB developed and analyzed several different scenarios of variably priced lane networks. The study was conducted under a grant from the Federal Highway Administration's Value Pricing Pilot Program, and was overseen by the TPB's Task Force on Value Pricing.