The Gulf Freeway HOV and HOT lane extends about 15 and a half miles, from the downtown area to Dixie Farm road.
Metro Interim CEO Tom Lambert says a pilot program will now allow drivers to use the lane on weekends during the heavy summer travel period. Lambert says the system is already operated remotely, and weekend use will allow drivers to get maximum benefit from an existing resource.
"This is the first time we've had a HOT lane where we're now using the infrastruture in place to manage that corridor. We tested it many years ago, but that was a manual operation. It was much more labor intensive."
Southbound drivers on the Gulf Freeway can now use the lane from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays and holidays. It will be open to northbound traffic from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
On Sunday, the lane is open northbound from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
"If you are an HOV you can use it for free. If you are a HOT vehicle with a single driver you pay a dollar to use it."
And Lambert reminds solo drivers they need a toll tag to access the Gulf Freeway HOT lane.