July 26, 2007
Metro to discuss HOV/HOT lanes with TxDOT today

TxDOT and Metro are getting together today to talk about the possibility of making HOV lanes available to single-occupancy vehicles for a toll.

The agenda includes discussion of a Metropolitan Transit Authority proposal to convert High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on five freeways to High Occupancy-Toll (HOT) lanes, and the possibility of similar changes statewide.

"We will lay it out in our discussion that it (net revenue) be split 50-50," said Carlos Lopez, director of traffic operations for TxDOT.

But he said that is just "a starting point for negotiations." No vote is scheduled on the matter.

Delvin Dennis, deputy district engineer for TxDOT in Houston, said TxDOT has been talking with Metro for about a year about the conversion, but has not discussed how the proceeds would be handled.

There's a Metro meeting at 1 PM at its usual place, and the TxDOT meeting is at 9 PM in Sugar Land. Drop by if you want to know what's going on with this proposal.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 26, 2007 to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

How does HOT work? It can't be automatic, since EZ Tag can't disintguish whether the car has one or more people in it. Are they adding toll booths to all the HOV on-ramps? (That'll speed things up!)

Posted by: Greg Morrow on July 26, 2007 12:21 PM

The HOV entrances would have two lanes -- one for carpools, one for paying cars. The paying car lane would have an EZ-Tag reader. The other lane would have a booth with tinted windows that an officer could sit inside to spot cheaters. Presumably they;d use a spot check system -- there wouldn't be an officer in that booth all the time, but they would be there often enough (at unpredictable hours) and the fine would be high enough that people wouldn't risk it. That's the plan for the Katy Freeway: pictures at http://www.katyfreeway.org/toll_road.html

Posted by: Christof Spieler on July 26, 2007 3:58 PM