High-Occupancy Toll Lanes (Partial Facility Pricing)
High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes involve converting existing high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes into priced lanes, or building new HOT lanes. These projects allow vehicles not meeting established occupancy requirements for an HOV lane to "buy-into" the lane by paying a toll. Electronic tolling provides for toll collection at highway speeds and tolls are set at levels necessary to maintain the lane's speed advantage. HOT lanes provide a reliable, uncongested, time saving alternative for travelers wanting to bypass congested lanes and they can improve the use of capacity on previously underutilized HOV lanes. A HOT lane may also draw enough traffic off the congested lanes to reduce congestion on the regular lanes. One of the earliest concepts tested in the VPPP, HOT lanes have now become part of the mainstream of highway projects and such projects may obtain Federal authority to toll under Section 166 of Title 23 United States Code (U.S.C.), i.e., laws pertaining to HOV lanes.
HOT Lane Examples
- Washington: HOT Lanes on SR 167 in the Puget Sound Region - The State Route (SR) 167 High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes Pilot Project converted the existing HOV lanes on SR 167 within King County/Seattle, Washington to HOT lanes, from Southwest 15th Street in Auburn to I-405 in Renton without expansion of the existing freeway. The project has shown continued success. Monthly revenue and the number of transactions have consistently increased from month to month. In addition, shortened travel times have been reported. Survey results indicate continued support for the project and call for the extension of the system.
- Minnesota: HOT Lanes on I-394 in Minneapolis - Minnesota implemented I-394 MnPASS which converted the existing high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane into the state's first high occupancy toll (HOT) lane. The lanes, which are dynamically priced, remain free to HOVs and motorcyclists during peak hours, and are free to all users in off-peak periods. The first phase of the project opened in May 2005.
- Additional HOT Lane Examples