A new I-30 High Occupancy Vehicle Lane opens in Dallas next month but it will only be free for a year. I-30 is the first of 6 North Texas Freeways where a "Managed HOV Toll Lane" is planned. The new segment west from Downtown Dallas joins another HOV lane segment already open between Loop 12 and the Tarrant County Line.
Special equipment on I-30 will record data on traffic speed until late 2010. Then, toll tag equipment will begin collecting fees to use the HOV lane. The price will rise at the busiest times to keep traffic moving in the HOV Lanes, with dynamic message signs to advise motorists of the price, according to DOT Spokesman Tony Hartzel. "To give them the option, give them the choice. Here's the price right now, do I want to get into this lane, is it worth it." Higher occupancy vehicles would enter through a discounted lane with police posted to enforce it.
"This is really about providing a reliable trip all the way from Downtown Dallas to the Tarrant County Line, to the new Cowboys stadium," Hartzel said. "Our goal is to get all this operational in time for that Superbowl in 2011."
At an i-30 gas station Friday, driver Deni Quill said she thought the goal of HOV lanes was carpooling and saving energy. "I don't think we should have to pay for it," Quill said.
But at the same station, Richard Estrada said he would use the tolled HOV lanes. "I guess if it's an advantage to get down the road, pay a toll in the morning or afternoon, Id pay the toll."