Questions & Answers: Riding METRO

On this page, you can get answers to common questions about riding METRO, all in one place.


HOV stands for High Occupancy Vehicle. An HOV lane is a barrier-separated lane that runs down the middle of I-45, Hwy. 59 and Hwy. 290. The lane runs in one direction, but it’s reversible depending on the time of day. In the mornings, vehicles travel in the direction of downtown Houston. In the afternoons, vehicles travel away from downtown Houston.

On I-10, there are "managed lanes" operated by the Harris County Toll Road Authority. These are four barrier-separated express lanes with two lanes running in each direction between I-610 and Hwy. 6.

HOT stands for High Occupancy Toll. It’s the HOV lane on either I-45, Hwy. 59 or Hwy. 290, but with a toll. The toll is paid by single occupant vehicles. And the lane is only open to those single occupant vehicles outside of peak travel times.

I-45, I-69 / US 59 and Hwy. 290 (operated by METRO):

  • Each has a single HOV/HOT lane that operates daily with the exception of certain holidays.
  • Has “managed lanes” (two in each direction) that are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Those lanes are operated by the Harris County Toll Road Authority with HOV hours during weekday mornings and afternoons. 
  • Has the Katy-CBD HOV ramp between Studemont Street and downtown Houston (one lane in each direction) open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. That ramp is operated by METRO.

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