Transportation

TxDOT Proposing Converting More HOV Lanes to Toll Lanes, This Time on 75

In a presentation to the Plano City Council Monday night, the Texas Department of Transportation outlined its plan to convert HOV lanes on U.S. 75 between Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway in Dallas and McDermott Drive in Allen to mixed-use toll lanes.

The plan would allow single-occupant vehicles access to HOV lanes by paying a toll. Drivers hoping to use the lanes for free by bringing passengers along would have to register their trip online at least 15 minutes before departure.

Initially the lanes would be called Express/HOV lanes. Single-occupant cars could pay one rate, no matter the time of day, to use the otherwise HOV lane.

TxDOT's "Ultimate Design Project" for 75 calls for the lanes to eventually transition to what the agency calls "TexPress" lanes, which would require all users to pay a toll. During rush hour, registered HOV users would receive a 50 percent discount. At all other times, all non-commercial traffic would pay the same price.

For the first six months of the "TexPress," tolls would be charged at a fixed rate. Thereafter, tolls would be switched to dynamic pricing, which would allow for adjustments based on demand.

The plan is shepherded by Stephen Endres, a TxDOT engineer. Endres is also part of the team behind a similar planned transition for LBJ HOV lanes in Dallas. The plan, like the LBJ plan, calls for periodic enforcement from officers stationed at toll bridges to make sure that those registered for HOV trips aren't traveling by themselves.

See also: LBJ Toll Lanes Expanding to the East

TxDOT's plan calls for the newly transitioned lanes to be open to public traffic by early 2016.

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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young