METRO HOT Lanes Are Here
The New METRO has an exciting option to make commuting easier: METRO HOT Lanes.
We enhanced METRO’s High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes (HOV Lanes) to give people driving solo in cars the option to pay a small toll to use the lanes.
HOT Lanes Customer Support 713-462-5263.
Carpools, vanpools and motorcyclists will still ride for free.
How Do METRO HOT Lanes Work?
Current HOV Lane users will see only one significant change: a lane for verification of the number of occupants in the vehicle.
Drivers without passengers are allowed to use the system by paying a toll with an authorized toll tag. This includes a METRO HOT Lanes Toll Tag, Harris County EZ TAG, TxDOT’s TxTAG or the Dallas NTTA Toll Tag.
Traffic monitoring systems will help METRO maintain traffic speeds to ensure optimal travel times for existing HOV Lane users, as well those using the METRO HOT Lanes.
Conversion of the HOV Lanes to make them compatible for METRO HOT Lanes allows for the following improvements:
- Automated remote-controlled gates at entrances and exits to the HOV Lanes allow for quick opening and closing of the lanes
- Camera monitoring systems
- Enforcement monitoring booths
- Traffic flow monitoring systems
METRO HOT Lanes Corridors
Other METRO HOT Lanes corridors will come online throughout the year (completing by winter 2013).
Anticipated opening dates:
IH 45 South – OPEN
US 59 South – OPEN
IH 45 North – OPEN
US 290 – Open on Monday, May 20
59 North – Summer 2013
Tolls for METRO HOT Lanes
Tolls are based on time of day and the congestion level of each of the METRO HOT Lanes corridors. METRO will publish the toll rate for specific corridors prior to opening, and tolls will be prominently displayed along each corridor.
Benefits of METRO HOT Lanes
- Provides new options for commuters
- Increases safety and promotes quick response to accidents and issues in the lanes due to additional camera monitoring
- Improves air quality by reducing traffic congestion
- Better utilizes existing HOV Lanes
- Offers increased enforcement of the HOV Lane system
Fast Facts on METRO HOT Lanes
- Carpools, vanpools and motorcycles are still able to use the HOV Lanes for free
- Travel times will not increase – traffic monitoring systems will be installed as part of the METRO HOT Lanes upgrades
- METRO HOT Lanes users have a choice of using a METRO HOT Lanes Toll Tag, Harris County EZ TAG, TxDOT’s TxTAG or the Dallas NTTA Toll Tag
- Individuals can purchase a METRO HOT Lanes transponder toll tag through METRO’s website and at the METRO Travis RideStore, 1001 Travis
Using the METRO HOT Lanes
- Toll tags only.
There are no cash payments. METRO HOT Lanes users can use a METRO HOT Lanes Toll Tag, Harris County EZ TAG, TxDOT’s TxTAG or the Dallas NTTA Toll Tag.
- Drive the METRO HOT Lanes.
Drivers without passengers enter the METRO HOT Lane via existing HOV Lane entrance points. Entry and exit points vary by corridor. These are outlined on METRO’s website, here.
- Paying the toll.
Drivers without passengers must have a toll tag. Signs at the entrance will post the price for single drivers to use METRO HOT Lanes.
- Verifying METRO HOT Lanes’ status.
Clearly marked in each METRO HOT Lane are verification lanes where drivers must declare whether they have passengers or not. At verification points, the lane will briefly become two lanes – all METRO HOT Lanes users must declare single- occupant status by moving to the lane marked "TOLL ONLY". Vehicles driving through this lane will automatically be charged the METRO HOT Lane toll even if they have multiple passengers.
We will continue to update this portion of the site as improvements are made to the METRO HOT Lanes program.
Find more information on METRO HOT Lanes at IHateHoustonTraffic.com.