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Highway 75 Changes Open HOV Lanes To Cars With No Passengers

COLLIN COUNTY (CSDFW.COM) - Some good news for drivers in Collin County who commute to and from work and travel along Highway 75. Officials have agreed on a plan that should relieve traffic congestion -- but it could cost you a little.

Local and federal authorities have reached an agreement to open the Highway 75 high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, from Interstate-635 in Dallas all the way to the Sam Rayburn Tollway in McKinney, to everyone -- including single-occupant vehicles.

Anyone with two or more people in the vehicle will continue to ride for free in the HOV lanes. Anyone driving alone in the lanes will have to pay a fee, but only during peak travel times. The exact fee hasn't been set, but officials told CBS 11 News the amount won't be much.

The rapid population growth in Collin County is reflected along its highways. Local officials said they wanted to combat the problem but do it in a way that wouldn't mean adding more toll roads in Collin County.

Federal law prohibits HOV lanes from becoming pure general purpose (no toll, no HOV requirement) lanes. To keep the HOV component, tolls will be charged to single-occupant (SOV) vehicles traveling south during select weekday morning hours and SOV drivers traveling north during selected evening hours during the week.

The HOV lanes in the area will remain open and free to everyone at all other times on weekdays and all day on weekends.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is currently completing an environmental review of the corridor and will be ready to begin transition of the HOV lanes later this year.

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