HOV/HOT lane to speed weekend beach travel

May 17, 2013 1:42:13 PM PDT
Weekend travel time to Galveston should get a little shorter beginning Saturday, May 18 when METRO opens a 15.5 mile stretch of the Gulf Freeway (IH-45 South) for carpool and toll travel on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.

The HOV lane extends from the downtown area to near Dixie Farm Road. This pilot program will end on Monday, September 2, 2013.

Metro Board Chairman Gilbert Garcia said, "Use of the HOV/HOT lane should provide congestion relief and ease transit during peak weekend hours on a very popular route. We want to do everything we can to help improve transit and mobility in the region."

On Saturdays and holidays the HOV/HOT lane opens for southbound drivers from 10am to 1pm. Northbound traffic will use the lane from 2pm to 8pm. On Sundays, when the stream of vehicles returning to Houston is heaviest, northbound vehicles can access the HOV/HOT lane from 10am to 8pm.

The weekend 45 South HOV lane is free for vehicles with two or more occupants. Solo drivers who want to use the lane on the weekend will pay $1 each way. Those drivers must have a toll tag. The pilot program will help METRO determine the usefulness of a carpool and toll lane on IH-45 South during weekends and holidays.

For more information about METRO's HOV and HOT lanes visit www.ridemetro.org.

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