Driving Progress: Katy Freeway Managed Lanes Help Improve Commute
April 09, 2009
Starting April 18, four new lanes between Highway 6 and Loop 610 become fully operational. These managed lanes include two lanes in each direction that replace the single, reversible HOV lane.
The new lanes offer more reliable travel times for METRO buses and carpoolers, while making any unused lane capacity available to single drivers who pay a toll for the potential travel-time savings.
Managed Lanes Tolling & HOV Scheduling
During regular HOV hours (5 am to 11 am and 2 pm to 8 pm, Monday through Friday, both eastbound and westbound), carpoolers and motorcycles ride free in both directions. For everyone else, and at all other times, a toll is charged via EZ TAG. Solo drivers can use the new lanes during HOV hours by driving through the designated tolling plazas.
Dynamic Toll Pricing
Dynamic tolling, also called "value pricing," means that the toll rate changes based on variables like the amount of traffic on the roadway or the time of day. Tolling will not apply to HOV users during HOV hours. Initially, pricing on the Katy Managed Lanes will follow a set toll schedule that changes at designated times during peak hours. Later, a system may be implemented using real-time technology to monitor activity on the managed lanes, with tolls increasing for single drivers as traffic increases in the lanes.
About the Katy Freeway Managed Lanes Project
This project was a team effort of Harris County, the Texas Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration and METRO. By partnering with the Texas Department of Transportation to leverage its federal funding, HCTRA provided the resources necessary to fast-track the project, cut construction time in half and offer a new commuting option for our region's drivers. HCTRA is charged with operating and maintaining the managed lanes. San Diego, Miami, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City and Denver already use managed lanes. The Katy Managed Lanes are the first of their kind in Texas. For more details and an interactive map, visit the Katy Toll Road Authority Website.