On Monday, hours of HOT lanes change for three Houston highways

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- If you like to pay the toll to ride the HOT lanes, there are major changes starting Monday.

The changes affect only the drivers who use the HOT lanes on US-290 Northwest Freeway, US-59 Southwest Freeway, and I-45 North Freeway. Currently, the HOT lanes are closed from 5 to 6pm to HOV only -- that's for two or more riders only. Starting Monday, however, those outbound hours will expand. The HOV only hours will be from 4:30 to 6pm.

"The reason we're doing this is those lanes are designed to manage the free-flowing traffic for buses, carpools -- anyone that's sharing a ride. There should be some benefit to those folks using those lanes. So, that's requiring us to minimize the window of time that single occupancy vehicles can manage the lanes," explains METRO Vice President and Senior Press Officer Jerome Gray.

METRO hopes these changes will encourage more people to consider carpooling, ride sharing or bus riding. It will also help free up traffic on the main lanes.
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