High Occupancy Vehicle Facilities
High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) facilities serve to increase the total number of people moved through a congested corridor by offering two kinds of travel incentives: a substantial savings in travel time, along with a reliable and predictable travel time. Because HOV lanes carry vehicles with a higher number of occupants, they move significantly more people during congested periods, even if the number of vehicles that use the HOV lane is lower than on the adjoining general purpose lanes. In general, carpoolers, vanpoolers, and bus patrons are the primary beneficiaries of HOV lanes by allowing them to move through congestion.
The HOV FAQs provide a list of questions and answers to questions that FHWA frequently gets about HOV systems.
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United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration