Transportation Planners Are Walking Back Plans for Three-Person HOV Lanes

Categories: Transportation

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Rest easy, DFW. You'll still be able to ride free on HOV lanes with only one life-like dummy riding shotgun.
It was back in July that transportation planners with the North Central Texas of Governments first floated the idea of upping the threshold for vehicles using HOV lanes from two occupants to three. The proposal was then taken to the driving public to see what they thought.

They didn't like it, at least not the ones who actually use the lanes. Even though planners explained that keeping the lanes at two-plus would cause anger and chaos if, say, a vehicle traveling free on LBJ would suddenly find itself in one of the new managed lanes (where only three-occupant vehicles get a discount), they responded with an emphatic "Hell, no."

So the NCTCOG responded by backing off its original proposal, albeit in exceedingly complicated fashion.

Don Lamers, a senior project manager at the Council of Governments, explains that, after public meetings and extensive discussions with the Regional Transportation Council, it was decided that existing HOV lanes should remain free for two-occupant vehicles. Single-occupant vehicles will be able to pay a toll to use the lanes.

To make the system work, NCTCOG will have to put in place some other changes. To make sure HOV lane speeds stay above 50 mph, there will need to be electronic speed monitoring, which will tell the NTTA-operated tolling system in real-time when to raise tolls for single-occupant vehicles.

Also, everyone who wants to use the HOV lanes will need a toll tag. Planners are working to develop an app where drivers can select on a given day or week that they will be traveling with a passenger or paying the toll.

If all this sounds ridiculously complicated, that's because it is. But Lamers said that's the only way it can work. His agency is already implementing a public education campaign to alert drivers to the changes. The RTC will vote on the new proposal November 8.

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ScottsMerkin topcommenter

so they are leaving it up to the driver to report when they will be singular or with an occupant....yeah that will work real well wont it.  They just cant figure this out can they.  HOV lanes are a waste of taxpayer dollars that take up valuable land.  those extra lanes could go for the better use of all drivers using them, especially since we paid for them.   And the I30 Hov from Dallas to Arlington is THE worst in enforcement of the rules.  I rarely see 2 or more people in the car in that lane and i drive that daily


I am still waiting to see when they are going to start cracking down on all the Singular Drivers using the HOV lanes. I sat one day & seemed like every other car or more had a single occupant in it when the freeways were backed up. (Which is one of the ideas/incentives of HOV. I.E> Carpooling)


Is the HOV lane so popular that they have to make it more exclusive?


Upon finding folks disagreed with the idea officials will use the patented wait till they have forgotten and do it anyway.way of doing things


Can we just walk back HOV lanes altogether?


 @unclescrappy Very few people ride together for the sake of carpooling.   Most multiple occupant vehicles you find in the HOV had multiple occupants primarily for another reason.  Riding in the HOV is an unearned bonus.  Or they have their kids with them which doesn't take any cars off the road.  It's a joke.  

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