High-occupancy toll lane

high-occupancy toll lane (or HOT lane ) is a type of traffic lane or roadway that is available to high-occupancy vehicles and other exempt vehicles without load; Other vehicles are required to pay a variable fee that is adjusted in response to. Unlike toll roads , drivers have an option to use general purpose lanes, on which a fee is not charged. Express toll lanes , which are not common, operate along similar lines, but do not exempt high-occupancy vehicles.


The concept developed from high-occupancy vehicle lane (HOV) systems in order to increase use of the available capacity. Most implementations are currently in the USA.

The first practical implementation was California ‘s formerly private toll 91 Express Lanes , in Orange County, California , in 1995, followed in 1996 by Interstate 15 north of San Diego . [1] [2] According to the Texas A & MTransportation Institute, by 2012 there were 294 corridor-miles of HOT / Express lanes in operation in the United States and 163 corridor-miles under construction. [3]


An in-vehicle, switchable FasTrak transponder fitted to the dashboard of vehicles for use in Greater Los Angeles, CA , US .

Some systems are reversible, operating in one direction during the morning commute and in the reverse direction during the evening commute. It is typically collected using and electronic toll collection systems, automatic number plate recognition or at manned toll booths . Exempt vehicles, and alternative occupants, those who use alternative fuels, motorcycles, transit vehicles and emergency vehicles. [4]

The fee, qui est prominently displayed at entry point to the lanes, is adjusted in response to demand to Regulate the minimum volume traffic and thereby Provided has guaranteed traffic speed and level of service . [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

The Los Angeles Metro ExpressLanes HOT system requires vehicles to be fitted with manually “switchable” transponders where the driver selects the number of occupants, based on which the appropriate fee is charged. [10] [11] California Highway Patrol officers have in-vehicle devices which display the declared occupancy of a vehicle, which they can verify visually and citesany driver with fewer occupants than declared (and tolled for). [12] The new system proves itself to be highly effective in reducing the rate of lane-use violations, with it falling to 40-50% of the violation rates of other comparable CA highways, from more than 20-25% Out of four or five) to just 10% (one in ten). Other Transportation Officials in California Took notes of this, subsequently leading to the Bay Area Officials of Alameda County to adopt a similar system for the (then) planned Interstate 580 . [13]

Funding and construction

Implementation of these systems can be prohibitively expensive, due to the initial construction required-particularly with regard to providing access to and from the express toll lanes at interchanges. However, the long-term benefits of a down payment can be increased. To offset costs of construction, many transportation agencies lease public roads to a private institution. As a result, construction may be partially or fully funded by the private institution, which receives all of the income from tolling for a specified period of time. [14] [15]


Because HOT lanes and ETLs are often constructed within the existing road space, they are criticized as being an environmental tax or solely beneficial to higher-income individuals (” Lexuslanes”), since one category is charged the same rate regardless of socioeconomic status And the working poor so suffer greater financial burden. [16] Supporters of HOT lanes counter with the fact that they encourage the use of public transit and ride sharing, they reduce demand and provide a benefit for all . They also want to work with a lot of people to help them get the job done. [17]


  • Metro ExpressLanes
  • Virginia HOT lanes

See also

  • Road space rationing
  • Transportation demand management
  • List of toll roads in the United States


  1. Jump up^ Dave Downey (2007-01-07). “The HOT lane hype” . The North County Times . Retrieved 2008-07-15 .
  2. Jump up^ Metropolitan Transportation Commission. “High-Occupancy-Vehicle (HOV) and High-Occupancy / Toll (HOT) Lanes: Frequently Asked Questions” . Archived from the original on 2008-06-03 . Retrieved 2008-03-01 .
  3. Jump up^ Urban Land Institute (ULI) (2013). “When the Road Is Right – Land Use, Tolls, and Congestion Pricing” (PDF) . Urban Land Institute . Retrieved 2013-04-09 . See Figure 2, pp.6
  4. Jump up^ “Exempt Vehicles” .
  5. Jump up^ FAQ – VA I-495 HOT LanesRetrieved October 6, 2009
  6. Jump up^ Brookings Institution economic study on HOT Lanes
  7. Jump up^ MD I-95 Express Toll LanesRetrieved October 6, 2009
  8. Jump up^ “Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance” .
  9. Jump up^ “Golden Gate Bridge for variable toll” .
  10. Jump up^ “FAQs: FasTrak” . Metro ExpressLanes . Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority . Retrieved March 3, 2013 .
  11. Jump up^ “FAQs: Driving Metro ExpressLanes” . Metro ExpressLanes . Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority . Retrieved March 3,2013 .
  12. Jump up^ Metro ExpressLanes: Rules of the Road (YouTube). Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 24, 2012. 2 minutes in.
  13. Jump up^ Richards, Gary (2014-07-11). “Bay Area carpoolers must use FasTrak in express lanes under new law” . San Jose Mercury News . Retrieved 2015-07-05 .
  14. Jump up^ About I-495 HOT LanesRetrieved August 31, 2009
  15. Jump up^ A Guide for HOT Lane Development (FHWA, 2003)
  16. Jump up^ Malone, Kenny (2014-06-23). “Are Lexus Lanes Really Lexus Lanes?”. WLRN . Retrieved 2015-04-28 .
  17. Jump up^ MTC Planning – HOV / HOT Lanes Archived2008-06-03 at theWayback Machine. Retrieved October 6, 2009

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