High Occupancy Vehicle lane on I-10 is first of three to help keep our community moving

Image: Illustration of HOV lanes

A rendering of the VIA-managed HOV Lanes that will open this fall along I-10 between La Cantera Parkway and Ralph Fair Road.

The region’s first high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes will open this fall, offering drivers with passengers a designated lane to bypass regular traffic.

In partnership with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), VIA will manage HOV lanes on two highways beginning with Interstate 10 between La Cantera Parkway and FM 3351 (Ralph Fair Road) in 2020. HOV lanes on U.S. Highway 281, from Loop 1604 to north of Stone Oak Parkway, are scheduled to open in 2021, and from north of Stone Oak Parkway to Borgfeld Road in 2023.

The VIA-managed HOV lanes are exclusively reserved for vehicles carrying two or more passengers, including buses, carpools, vanpools, emergency response and law enforcement vehicles. They are designed to decrease commute times, reduce highway traffic, alleviate congested areas, and reduce air pollution. Using the HOV lanes will not require sign-ups, special car tags or fees.

“HOV lanes are the next step in VIA’s longtime collaboration with TxDOT and local leaders to address current and future congestion on our roadways with safe, convenient options,” VIA President/CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt said. “Dedicated lanes for VIA buses and multi-passenger vehicles allow us to move more people, faster, cut down on congestion and prepare for future growth in San Antonio and Bexar County.”

By providing an incentive to increasing vehicle occupancy through the use of HOV lanes, we can increase the number of people that can be carried along that corridor and reduce the number of vehicles on the road to help cut down on the extent of exhaust emissions in our environment.

“The opening of HOV lanes is a culmination of several years of community engagement, planning and construction,” TxDOT San Antonio District Engineer Mario Jorge said. “TxDOT is committed to delivering transportation projects that will prepare for our future growth by mitigating congestion, enhancing connectivity, and improving safety across the San Antonio region. “

Upon the completion of Phase II of the US 281 project, there will be 14 miles of HOV Lanes with one lane each way for a total of 28 lane-miles: I-10 W (5 miles); US 281 N – Phase I (3 miles); and US 281 N – Phase II (6 miles).

These projects were funded through TxDOT and other local partnerships including VIA and the Advanced Transportation District.

In Bexar County, TxDOT builds the HOV lanes and VIA Metropolitan Transit will manage them. HOV lane passenger regulations will be enforced by the San Antonio Police Department.

For more details about the Bexar County HOV lanes managed by VIA, including maps highlighting their specific locations, visit VIAinfo.net/HOV.