Requiring HOT lane users to be subject to visual inspection systems can help quantify and limit the number of occupancy violators in managed lanes.

Agency experience with a tolling in Houston, Texas.

Date Posted

Managing Transit & Passenger Vehicle Traffic on Managed Lanes (Presentation)

Summary Information

The managed lanes in the Houston, Texas area are a transportation solution for toll paying customers, eligible HOVs, and transit vehicles by maximizing the volume of people through the facility and charging the lowest possible toll for a reliable trip. Houston has two HOT lane operators: the Harris County Toll Road Authority and METRO, Houston's transit operator. HOT lanes became operational in Houston in 2012 and 2013.

It is difficult to know how many occupancy violators are present on HOT lanes; yet, until the problem of the occupancy violator is solved the managed lane concept cannot meet its full potential operationally or financially. Based on the experiment in Houston, a suggested strategy is the requirement of HOV users to have a transponder and enter the facility at a slow speed for visual inspection. The vehicle would only receive the free toll if a sufficient number of occupants were detected.

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