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HOT Lanes: Are They Warming Up?

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ATLANTA (WAOK)-When the I-85 Express Lanes were implemented in October, commuters were upset and severely agitated over the new lanes. A lot of commuters complained that these lanes increased traffic, the rates were too high and some were just plain confused. However, after a month of questioning, complaining and town hall meetings regarding the removal of these lanes, they appear to be warming up.

Malika Wilkins, Director of Marketing and Communications for the State Road and Tollway Authority, gives us an update on the express lanes.

Although there is an increased usage of commuters on these express lanes, Wilkins acknowledged that there are still commuters that leave complaints and suggestions for improvements.

In Houston Texas, commuters have a choice between using the METRO HOT (High Occupancy Toll) Lanes which allow drivers without passengers (single-occupant vehicles or SOVs) to use the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane for a toll.

However, that was not always the case, Houston also began as a converted lane before branching off into the separate lanes.

Wilkins explained the reasoning behind the conversion of Georgia’s HOV Lanes, a main issue surrounding the I-85 Express Lanes.

Governor Nathan Deal requested to reduce the number of people per car in order for commuters to use the HOT Lanes for free. However, Wilkins says although there is no final determination on the request they have been monitoring the lanes.

Although the lanes are only six to seven weeks into the project, Wilkins says that the lanes are performing as projected  with the goal of providing reliable travel time .

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