SAN ANTONIO, Sept. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and VIA Metropolitan Transit in San Antonio, announced the region's first high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane opened September 27, and offers drivers with passengers a designated lane to bypass regular traffic. The Interstate 10 eastbound HOV lane will be followed by a westbound lane to open later this fall.
This is the first of three VIA-managed HOV corridors that was built in partnership with TxDOT and is designed to target high-traffic corridors with an alternative lane for multi-passenger and emergency vehicles.
VIA delivered over 36 million passenger trips in 2019 and serves 14 member cities in Bexar County, including San Antonio—the second-fastest growing U.S. city and the seventh-largest in the nation. The Bexar County population exceeded 2 million in 2020, with another 1.6 million people expected by 2040, making public transit options a key component to prepare for population and economic growth. The Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization projects an 82 percent increase in travel time by the year 2040 if population increases continue as predicted.
Upon completion, currently planned HOV corridors will offer 14 miles of HOV lanes, with one lane each way, for a total of 28 lane-miles in high-traffic areas. HOV lanes 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 as part of the region's transportation network.
"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," VIA President/CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt said, referencing the transit agency's Keep SA Moving plan that focuses on connecting more people to jobs and economic opportunities. "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," Arndt said.
The new HOV lanes will not require sign-ups, special car tags or fees. TxDOT provided funding for lane construction. VIA will manage the lanes and regulations will be enforced by San Antonio Police.
SOURCE VIA Metropolitan Transit