Multi-prong approach aims to improve traffic flow.
Starting January 6, 2014, METRO will implement major changes to its HOV/HOT Business Rules: expand the HOV-only hours and raise tolls by as much as $2.25 during the peak commuting hours.
"The lanes are first and foremost HOV lanes and we don't want to compromise the benefit of the HOV system for those who ride the bus, vanpool or carpool," said Interim METRO President & CEO Tom Lambert. "HOT lanes were created to fill in the additional capacity and give the public another mobility option, which it will continue to do, but we need to tweak the system to ensure traffic flows smoothly."
HOV/HOT customers have been experiencing reduced speeds in the lanes resulting in longer commute times.
To help ease the flow of traffic, the window for HOV-only vehicles will be extended by a half hour during the peak morning commute as follows:
All corridors (US 290, IH-45 N, IH-45 S, US-59 North and US-59 South) will be open to HOV-only traffic from 6:30 a.m. (previously 7 a.m.) until 8 a.m.
US-290 3+ HOV requirement will start at 6:30 a.m. (previously 6:45 a.m.) until 8 a.m.
Tolls on IH-45 S and US-59 South will increase by $2 to $6.50 during the 6-6:30 a.m. period
Tolls on US 290 and IH-45 N will increase by $2 to $7.00 during the
6-6:30 a.m. period
US-59 North toll fee during 6-6:30am hour will increase to $4.50 from $2.25
The modifications were developed based on studies of traffic patterns, speeds and volumes in the HOV/HOT lanes. The changes go in effect January 6, 2014.