HOUSTON -

METRO OPENS FIRST HOT LANES ON 45 SOUTH
Gulf Freeway drivers have a new commuting option to combat gridlock – METRO’s HOT Lane

The congestion-fighting concept is simple – drivers without passengers will now be able to use the HOV system by paying a toll, on the I-45 South HOT Lanes, prices range from $1 to $4.50, based on the time of day and level of congestion.

The Gulf Freeway is the first corridor in METRO’s 84-mile HOV network to undergo the transformation, with US 59 South, IH-45 North, US 290 and US 59 North to follow. A gradual opening of the HOT Lanes started on Monday, Feb. 13. The grand opening occurs Monday, Feb. 20.

Cash is not accepted in the HOT Lanes but drivers will be able to use any of the following authorized toll tags: Metro HOT Lanes Toll Tag, Harris County EZ Tag, TxDOT’s TxTAG or the Dallas NTTA Toll Tag.

In addition to posting updates regarding METRO’s HOV-HOT Lane conversion on the agency’s website, METRO also launched an educational campaign – I Hate Houston Traffic, which included billboards, radio spots, and print and digital ads. The agency invited the congestion-loathing community to its Facebook and Twitter sites to open up the conversation about the project, educate and answer questions.