Free weekend rides on I-45 North Freeway HOV Lane coming to an end

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A summer perk for drivers on the north side will come to an end soon.

This is the final weekend that the I-45 North Freeway HOV will be open for inbound traffic on the weekends.

METRO launched a pilot program in May in order to open the inbound HOV lane on Saturdays and Sundays through the summer. The lane opening provided an easier ride into downtown for weekend sports games and events.

By the end of June, METRO says an average of 4,700 drivers a weekend used the HOV lane.

July 28th will be the last day for the free weekend program.

METRO estimates a cost of $2 million a year to operate all five HOV/HOT lanes on the weekends.

The summer program was funded by the Federal Transit Administration. METRO officials say they're now doing more research to find a cost effective way to open the high occupancy lanes on weekends.

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