Metro is set to open its HOV lanes to single occupancy vehicles, but you’ll pay for the privilege if you choose it.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority board Thursday set a range of tolls from $1 to $10, depending on the time of day, for its new high-occupancy toll lanes. The first such lanes are scheduled to open in January in the Gulf Freeway’s existing high-occupancy vehicle lanes between Dixie Farm Road and Dowling Street.
Metro officials said they hadn’t yet worked out a detailed schedule of tolls. They said it was unlikely that tolls would reach the maximum of $10 when the service begins, but the agency reserves the right to charge that much if necessary to manage traffic congestion.
Metro’s maximum tolls will be significantly higher than those charged by the Harris County Toll Road Authority on its Katy Freeway managed lanes, which also charge solo drivers for access. The Katy Freeway tolls range from 30 cents on weekends to $1.60 at certain peak hours.
Only vehicles without passengers will be charged – those that would have qualified for the HOV lanes as before will still get to use them for free. I hope this raises a bunch of money, and I hope that money is then used on transit.