I-10 eastbound HOV lane is one of three designed to target congestion

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and VIA Metropolitan Transit announced today that the region’s first high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane is set to open next week and will offer drivers with passengers a designated lane to bypass regular traffic. The Interstate 10 eastbound HOV lane will open from Ralph Fair Road to La Cantera Parkway with the westbound lane to open later this fall.

This is the first of three VIA-managed HOV corridors that were built in partnership with TxDOT. The second is expected to open on U.S. Highway 281, from Loop 1604 to north of Stone Oak Parkway in 2021, and a third running from north of Stone Oak Parkway to Borgfeld Road in 2023. They are designed to target high-traffic corridors with an alternative lane for multi-passenger and emergency vehicles.

“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.”

HOV lanes are exclusively reserved for vehicles carrying two or more passengers, including buses, carpools, vanpools, motorcycles, emergency response and law enforcement vehicles. They are designed to encourage ridesharing, decrease commute times, reduce highway traffic, alleviate congested areas, and reduce air pollution—all goals of VIA’s Keep SA Moving Plan designed to improve public transportation options in the region.

“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 multi-passenger vehicles are part of VIA’s long-range plans to improve and enhance transit options in San Antonio and Bexar County.”

Additional benefits for HOV lanes include reducing the traffic burden on highways and reducing the number of vehicles on the road to help cut down on the extent of exhaust emissions in our environment.

Upon the completion of currently planned HOV corridors, 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 funding from Propositions 1 and 7.

Using the HOV lanes will not require sign-ups, special car tags or fees. Signage will be posted with the “HOV 2+ Only” to help commuters identify the HOV lanes. They will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 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 .