As for how they work, solo drivers with a toll tag can use the HOV lane that runs along the Gulf Freeway from downtown to Dixie Farm Road. The toll can be anywhere from a $1.00 to $4.50 and the amount is based on freeway congestion.
Metro CEO George Greanias says figures show about 450 drivers a day are willing to pay those tolls.
“Which is just about where the projections indicated where we would be at this point. Longer term, over the first 15 months of the program, we expect the use to be around 2,400 vehicles. That would be sometime next May of 2013.”
Greanias says they opened the lanes to toll-paying solo drivers because they’re not used to full capacity as strictly HOV lanes. He says they’re working to let more people know they have the option of using the lanes if they’re driving by themselves and don’t want to deal with freeway backups.
“I think the most important thing is to get people comfortable with using the lanes. And that means the signage needs to be very clear, that people need to be given a lot of information so if they want to use it they know how to get into it, that contrary-wise if they don’t want to use it they don’t get into it.”
Houston’s second HOT lane is opening later this month on U.S. 59 South.