BTS Navigation Bar

NTL Menu


Final Report: A Description of High-Occupancy Vehicle Facilities in North America July 1990



Click HERE for graphic.


A Description of
High-Occupancy Vehicle
Facilities in North America

Final Report
July 1990


Prepared by
Katherine F. Turnbull and James W. Hanks
Texas Transportation Institute
The Texas A&M University System
College Station, Texas 77843


Prepared for
Office of Planning
Urban Mass Transportation Administration
Washington, D.C. 20590
and
Texas State Department of Highways
and Public Transportation
Austin, Texas 78701


Distributed in Cooperation with
Technology Sharing Program
U.S. Department of Transportation
Washington, D.C. 20590


DOT-T-91-05



                         TABLE OF CONTENTS
                                                                 Page
I. Introduction ................................................... 1
         Background and Purpose of the 1989 Survey ................ 1
         Report Organization ...................................... 4

II.      High-Occupancy Vehicle Facilities ........................ 5
         The HOV Facility Concept ................................. 5
         Types of HOV Facilities .................................. 8

III.     Survey Process and HOV Projects ......................... 11
         Exclusive HOV Facilities, Separate Right-of-Way ......... 11
         Exclusive HOV Facilities, Freeway Right-of-Way .......... 12
         Concurrent Flow Lanes ................................... 15
         Contraflow Lanes ........................................ 20

IV.      High-Occupancy Vehicle Project Characteristics .......... 39
         Project Description and Operating Characteristics ....... 39
                Design ........................................... 39
                Representative Cross Sections .................... 40
                Hours of Operation ............................... 41
                Vehicles Allowed to Use HOV Facilities and
                Occupancy Requirements ........................... 47
                Bus Operating Characteristics .................... 48
                Use During Non-Restricted Periods ................ 49
                Agency Responsibilities .......................... 50
                Primary Reason for Project Implementation ........ 50
                Capital Costs and Funding Sources ................ 51
                Signing .......................................... 52
         HOV Facility Utilization and Public Reaction ............ 52
                HOV Facilities and Freeway Utilization ........... 52

                                iii

                   TABLE OF CONTENTS (continued)
                                                                 Page
                Desirable HOV Lane Volumes ....................... 52
                Public Reaction to HOV Facilities ................ 53
                Marketing and Public Information ................. 53
         Enforcement Levels and Violation Rates .................. 54
                Enforcement Levels and Responsibilities .......... 54
                Fines ............................................ 55
                Violation Rates .................................. 55
                Safety ........................................... 56

V.       Proposed HOV Projects and Project Extensions ............ 87

VI.      Conclusion .............................................. 91
         Support Facilities ...................................... 91
         Support Services ........................................ 92
         Operations and Enforcement .............................. 92
         Evaluating HOV Facilities ............................... 93
         Design .................................................. 94
         Conclusion .............................................. 94


                                   iv

                             LIST OF FIGURES

                                                                 Page

Figure 1.  HOV Facilities in North America ........................ 3
Figure 2.  Miles of Operating HOV Lanes by Year ................... 4
Figure 3.  Examples of High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Facilities ... 10
Figure 4.  Ottawa Transitway System .............................. 21
Figure 5.  Pittsburgh South and East Busways and I-279 HOV Lanes . 22
Figure 6.  Hartford I-84 HOV Lanes ............................... 23
Figure 7.  Houston Transitways ................................... 24
Figure 8.  Los Angeles/Orange County HOV Lanes ................... 25
Figure 9.  Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Area, I-394
             HOV Lanes ........................................... 26
Figure 10. San Diego I-15 HOV Lanes .............................. 27
Figure 11. Washington D.C./Northern Virginia HOV Lanes ........... 28
Figure 12. Denver US 36 (Boulder Turnpike) Bus Lane .............. 29
Figure 13. New York City/New Jersey HOV Facilities ............... 30
Figure 14. Honolulu HOV Facilities ............................... 31
Figure 15. Miami I-95 HOV Lanes .................................. 32
Figure 16. Orlando I-4 HOV Lanes ................................. 33
Figure 17. Phoenix I-10 HOV Lanes ................................ 34
Figure 18. San Francisco/Oakland HOV Lanes ....................... 35
Figure 19. San Jose/Santa Clara County HOV Lanes ................. 36
Figure 20. Seattle HOV Lanes ..................................... 37
Figure 21. Vancouver, British Columbia H-99 HOV Lanes ............ 38
Figure 22. Typical Cross Section for Two-Way Busway .............. 42
Figure 23. Typical Cross Section for Two-Lane, Reversible
             HOV Facilities ...................................... 42

                                    v

                     LIST OF FIGURES (Continued)

                                                                 Page

Figure 24. Typical Cross Section for One-Lane, Reversible
             HOV Facilities ...................................... 43
Figure 25. Typical Cross Section for Two-Lane, Two-Way
             HOV Facilities ...................................... 43
Figure 26. Typical Cross Section for Two-Lane, Two-Way
             HOV Facilities With Buffer Separating
             HOV Flow ............................................ 44
Figure 27. Typical Cross Section for Concurrent Flow HOV
             Facilities With a Buffer Separating HOV and
             General Purpose Traffic Lanes ....................... 44
Figure 28. Typical Cross Section for Concurrent Flow HOV
             Facilities Without a Buffer Separating HOV and
             General Purpose Lanes ............................... 45
Figure 29. Typical Cross Section for Concurrent Flow HOV
             Facilities Located on the Right Side
             (outside) of Freeway Mainlanes ...................... 45
Figure 30. Typical Cross Section for Contraflow HOV Facilities ... 46


                                   vi

                             LIST OF TABLES

                                                                 Page

Table 1.  General Characteristics of Operating High-Occupancy
             Vehicle Projects .................................... 57
Table 2.  Vehicles Allowed to Use High-Occupancy Vehicle
             Facilities .......................................... 61
Table 3.  Agencies with Primary Responsibility for Developing
             and Operating HOV Facilities ........................ 64
Table 4.  Primary Reason for High-Occupancy Vehicle Project
             Implementation ...................................... 67
Table 5.  Estimated Capital Costs for High-Occupancy Vehicle
             Projects ............................................ 69
Table 6.  High-Occupancy Vehicle Facility Signing ................. 71
Table 7.  Morning Peak Direction Bus, Vanpool, and Carpool
             Ridership and Vehicle Volume ........................ 73
Table 8.  Peak Direction, Peak-Hour Freeway and High-Occupancy
             Vehicle Facility Volume Per Lane .................... 76
Table 9.  Peak Direction, Peak-Period Freeway and High-Occupancy
             Vehicle Facility Volume Per Lane .................... 79
Table 10. Enforcement of High-Occupancy Vehicle Facilities ....... 82
Table 11. Violation Levels, Penalties, and Enforcement Methods ... 84
Table 12. Listing of Proposed HOV Facilities ..................... 88


                                   vii


                             1. INTRODUCTION

The Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), a part of The
Texas A&M University System, is conducting an assessment of
high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane projects located either on
freeways or in separate rights-of-way in North America.  The
three year research study is being funded by the Urban Mass
Transportation Administration through the Texas State Department
of Highways and Public Transportation (SDHPT).  One of the major
elements of this assessment is a survey intended to describe the
operating characteristics of exclusive HOV facilities.  A survey
of all HOV facilities in operation either on freeways or in
separate rights-of-way has been completed; this updates the 1985
survey conducted by a technical committee of the Institute of
Transportation Engineers (ITE).  The results of this effort,
which are contained in this report, provide up-to-date
information on the design, operations, enforcement
characteristics, and current utilization rates of HOV facilities
in the United States and Canada.

                Background and Purpose of the 1989 Survey

Since the opening of the Shirley Highway exclusive bus lanes
in Washington, D.C. in 1969, numerous metropolitan areas have
developed priority facilities for high-occupancy vehicles.  A
variety of treatments have been designed and implemented as one
approach to dealing with increasing urban congestion problems. 
These facilities are referred to by a variety of names,
including busways, transitways, high-occupancy vehicle (HOV)
lanes, diamond lanes, commuter lanes, and authorized vehicle
lanes.  These names often refer to different types of
facilities, both in terms of design and operating
characteristics.  However, the terms are often used
interchangeably.  In some metropolitan areas, one term is used
for all types of facilities, while in others different terms are
used for different types of facilities.

In 1985, a technical committee of the Institute of Transportation
Engineers (ITE) conducted a survey of operating HOV lanes located
either on freeways or in separate rights-

                                    1


of-way in North America.  The survey results, which were
published in 19881, provided detailed documentation of the
design and operating characteristics of HOV lanes.  A total of
20 facilities were surveyed in 12 metropolitan areas.  Since
1985, a number of new HOV facilities have opened.  As a result,
in order to update and expand on the 1985 work, a survey was
conducted of operating HOV projects in 1989.

The results of the 1989 surveys are presented in this
report.  Like the 1985 ITE survey, the 1989 survey focused on
HOV facilities operating either within freeways or on separate
rights-of-way.  In 1989, a total of 40 HOV facilities were
surveyed in 20 metropolitan areas.  Figure 1 shows the
metropolitan areas in North America with operating HOV
facilities.  The increase in the number of miles of HOV lanes
either on freeways or within separate rights-of-way is shown in
Figure 2. The number of miles of operating HOV lanes has
increased from some 180 miles in 1985 to approximately 300 miles
in 1989.  By April 1990, 332 miles of HOV lanes were in
operation.

                           Report Organization

A description of the different types of HOV facilities and
their advantages is presented in the next section.  This is
followed in Chapter 3 by a discussion of the survey process,
including a brief description of the HOV facilities included in
the survey.  Chapter 4 presents the summary of the survey
results, including tables containing a variety of information on
each project.  Chapter 5 provides an outline of proposed HOV
projects and extensions to existing facilities.  Chapter 6
concludes the report by identifying issues which appear to
warrant further research and other areas of concern.


1 Institute of Transportation Engineers, "The Effectiveness of
High-Occupancy Vehicle Facilities," 1988.

                                    2


Click HERE for graphic.

Click HERE for graphic.


                  II. HIGH-OCCUPANCY VEHICLE FACILITIES


                        The HOV Facility Concept

The priority measures for high-occupancy vehicles
implemented throughout North America, while often differing in
design and operation, all have similar purposes.  In general,
HOV facilities are intended to help maximize the person-carrying
capacity of the roadway.  This is done by altering the design
and/or the operation of the facility in order to provide
priority treatment for high-occupancy vehicles (HOVs).  HOVs are
defined as buses, vanpools, and carpools.

A primary concept behind these priority facilities is to
provide HOVs with both travel time savings and more predictable
travel times.  These two benefits serve as incentives for
individuals to choose a higher occupancy mode.  This, in turn,
can increase the person-movement capacity of the roadway by
carrying more people in fewer vehicles.  In some areas,
additional incentives, such as reduced parking charges or
preferential parking for carpools and vanpools, have been used
to further encourage individuals to change their commuting
habits.  The intent is not to force individuals into making
changes against their will.  Rather, the intent is to provide a
cost-effective travel alternative that a significant volume of
commuters will find attractive.

High-occupancy vehicle facilities have most commonly been
used in roadway corridors that are either at, or near, capacity,
and where the physical and/or financial feasibility of expanding
the roadway is limited.  The continued interest in HOV
facilities, and the increasing number of operating facilities,
can be traced to a number of factors.  First, many metropolitan
areas continue to experience significant increases in traffic
congestion.  In most of these areas, the projected travel
demands are beyond what can reasonably be served at current
vehicle occupancy rates.  Attempting to address these mobility
problems in a time of limited financial resources and right-of-way
availability has led many areas to consider pursuing a wide
spectrum of potential solutions.  Some of these approaches focus
on increasing the person-movement capacity of roadway facilities
through

                                    5

the use of priority treatments for HOVs.  Thus, HOV facilities
are becoming more accepted as both a viable transit and a viable
highway alternative.

When properly planned and implemented, HOV facilities can
offer a number of advantages.  However, HOV facilities are not
appropriate in all situations, nor does their implementation
eliminate the need to also pursue other complementary
strategies.  The potential use of HOV facilities should be
examined thoroughly before any such improvements are made.  Some
of the advantages of high-occupancy vehicle projects that should
be considered in the planning process include the following.

Costs.  While actual implementation costs depend on the type
of facility and the site, when compared to other fixed-guideway
transit alternatives or the addition of multiple general purpose
lanes, HOV priority treatments often represent the low end of
the cost scale.  This is especially true when the HOV treatment
is developed within existing freeway rights-of-way.

Implementation Time.  HOV facilities can be planned and
implemented within reasonably short time periods.  While the
exact timing depends on the type of facility and site, major HOV
lanes have been planned, designed, and constructed within a 3-
to 8-year time period.

Staged Implementation.  HOV facilities allow for the
staging of construction, and can be opened for use as the
individual segments of the overall project are completed.

Lower Risk.  Compared to other fixed transit improvements,
HOV facilities often represent a lower risk option.  Should the
HOV lane not be sufficiently utilized, it may be converted to
other uses, such as mixed-flow operation or emergency shoulders.

Multi-Agency Funding.  HOV facilities are often eligible for
funding from a variety of sources.  Federal highway and transit
funds can be used for HOV projects, and state and local
transportation funds have often been used.

                                    6

Multiple User Groups.  Most HOV facilities are used by not
only transit vehicles but also by carpools and vanpools.  Thus,
multiple user groups have access to the facility, providing a
wider base of support.  Also, carpools are served at low
marginal costs and can offer an effective means of serving
suburban travel patterns that are sometimes difficult to serve
with conventional transit.

Operating Speeds.  Bus services operating on HOV lanes are
usually express or limited-express.  As a result, the line-haul
travel speeds are usually fairly high, with many operating at or
above 50 mph.

Flexibility.  Buses, carpools, and vanpools can use the
existing street system for the collection and distribution
portion of the trip.  This can provide a good deal of
flexibility in service orientation, especially in matching
service needs to changing demands.  Parkand-ride lots and other
support facilities need not always be located directly adjacent
to the HOV lane, allowing for the ability to utilize less
expensive land remote from the facility.

Time Adjustable Operation.  Some priority facilities operate
only in the peak periods and are used for other purposes at
other times.  In addition, the occupancy requirements on the
facility may be different during different times of the day. 
This provides for the ability to increase the person carrying
capacity of the facility in the future without needing to expand
the vehicular capacity.

Even with these numerous potential advantages, it should be
recognized that HOV facilities are not appropriate in all
situations, and they represent only one of a number of potential
transit and highway improvements.  High-occupancy vehicle
facilities, like other transit and highway alternatives, should
be examined thoroughly during the planning stage to ensure that
the planned improvements represent an effective and efficient
alternative.

                                    7

                         Types of HOV Facilities

This report focuses on HOV facilities operated in either
freeways or in separate rights-of-way.  It does not include HOV
lanes on arterial streets or the use of HOV bypass lanes at
metered freeway entrance ramps.  HOV facilities on freeways or
in separate rights-of-way can be generally classified into 4
categories.  These are described below and illustrated in Figure 3.

Exclusive HOV Facility, Separate Right-of-Way.  A roadway or
lane(s) developed in a separate right-of-way and designated for
the exclusive use by high-occupancy vehicles.  Most facilities
of this type are designed and utilized by buses only.  Most are
two-lane, two-direction facilities.  Examples of this type of
HOV treatment are the South and East Busways in Pittsburgh and
the Ottawa transitway system in Canada.

Exclusive HOV Facility, Freeway Right-of-Way.  A lane(s)
constructed within the freeway right-of-way that is physically
separated from the general purpose freeway lanes and used
exclusively by HOVs for all, or a portion of, the day.  Most
exclusive HOV facilities are physically separated from the
general purpose freeway lanes through the use of a concrete
barrier.  However, a few exclusive facilities are separated from
the general purpose lanes by a wide painted buffer.  An example
of this type of treatment is the I-84 HOV lanes in Hartford that
utilize a 15-foot painted buffer to separate the HOV and mixed
traffic lanes.  Facilities of this type are usually open to all
types of HOVs -- buses, vanpools, and carpools.  Examples of
this type of HOV treatment include the Houston transitways and
the Shirley Highway HOV lanes in the northern
Virginia/Washington, D.C. area.

Concurrent Flow Lane.  A freeway lane in the peak direction
of travel, not physically separated from the general-purpose
traffic lanes, designated for the exclusive use by HOVs for all
or a portion of the day.  Concurrent flow lanes are usually,
although not always, located on the inside lane or shoulder. 
Paint striping is a common means used to delineate these lanes. 
HOV facilities of this type are usually open to buses, vanpools,
and carpools.

                                    8

Examples of concurrent flow lanes are SR 520,I-5 and I-405 in
Seattle, Route 55 in Orange County, and Route 101 in San Jose,
California.

Contraflow Lane.  A freeway lane in the off-peak direction
of travel, commonly the inside lane, designated for exclusive
use by HOVs traveling in the peak direction.  The lane is
typically separated from the off-peak direction general-purpose
travel lanes by some type of changeable treatment, such as
plastic posts or pylons that can be inserted into holes drilled
in the pavement.  Contraflow lanes are usually operated during
the peak-periods only; many operate only during the a.m. peak-
period and then revert back to normal use in non-peak periods. 
Examples of this type of facility include the approach to the
Lincoln Tunnel on Route 495, the Long Island Expressway, and the
Gowanus Expressway; all of these are located in the New York/New
Jersey area.

                                    9


Click HERE for graphic.


                                   10


                  III. SURVEY PROCESS AND HOV PROJECTS

The 1985 survey instrument utilized by the Institute of
Transportation Engineers technical committee served as the basis
for the 1989 survey.  However, the number of questions was
expanded to cover a wider variety of topics.  In an attempt to
match the types of questions and the information desired with
the appropriate agencies, three separate questionnaires were
used.  One survey focused on HOV lane design and operating
characteristics.  This survey was usually completed by personnel
from the state department of transportation or state highway
department.  The second survey -- which included specific
questions relating to bus service, ridesharing programs and
marketing efforts, in addition to general HOV lane operating
characteristics -- was usually completed by representatives from
the local transit agency.  The third survey focused on
enforcement and safety issues and was usually completed by the
state patrol or other enforcement agency.  Surveys were sent
to the appropriate agencies, and follow-up calls for
clarification of data and missing information were made as
needed to provide as complete a listing of data as possible.

Information on the following HOV projects was obtained
through the surveys.  For each project, a brief description of
the characteristics of the facility is provided along with a
listing of the agencies responding to the surveys.  More
detailed information on each project is provided in summary
tables in the next chapter.

Exclusive HOV Facilities, Separate Right-of-Way

Ottawa, Canada. Currently, approximately 15 miles of a 2-lane,
2-direction transitway system is in operation in Ottawa
(Figure 4).  This is part of a 19-mile, 26-station, Phase 1
system.  A second phase, including an additional 19 miles, is
planned for the future.  The transitway system, which is
restricted to bus use only, represents the fixed-guideway
component of the transit system in Ottawa.  The operating
concept for the transitway system includes buses that operate
exclusively on the transitway, and buses that provide local
service and then access the transitway for a major portion of
the trip.  The 15-mile system


                                   11


includes approximately 1.5 miles of reserved bus lanes in the
downtown area and 2.4 miles where buses operate in mixed-traffic
lanes on the Ottawa River Parkway.

Responding Agency: Ottawa-Carleton Regional Transit Commission.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Two, 2-lane, bus-only facilities
are in operation in Pittsburgh (Figure 5).  The East Busway is
approximately 7 miles long, and the South Busway is 4 miles in
length.  Service on the South Busway, which shares right-of-way
with light rail transit vehicles for a portion of its length, is
oriented primarily to buses operating in express fashion, after
collection in the local neighborhoods.  Service is focused
mainly on downtown Pittsburgh.  Service on the East Busway
functions similar to traditional rapid transit lines, with buses
operating exclusively on the facility, although there are also
local and express routes which access the facility.

Responding Agency.  Port Authority of Allegheny County.

             Exclusive HOV Facilities, Freeway Right-of-Way

Hartford, Connecticut. A 10-mile, 2-way HOV lane opened
on I-84 in Hartford in the fall of 1989 (Figure 6).  The
facility, which includes one lane operating in each direction,
is separated from the mixed-traffic lanes by a painted 15-foot
buffer.  A 3 + vehicle occupancy requirement exists on the
facility.  The facility is reserved for HOV use on a 24-hour
basis.

Responding Agency: Connecticut Department of Transportation.

Houston, Texas. Four transitways are in operation on
freeways in Houston: I-45 North (North Transitway); I-45 South
(Gulf Transitway); I-10 (Katy Transitway); and U.S. 290
(Northwest Transitway) (Figure 7).  These facilities are
primarily one-lane, reversible facilities located in the median
of the freeway.  A short 2-lane, two-directional segment is in
operation on the southern portion of the Northwest Transitway. 
The lanes are separated

                                   12


from the general traffic lanes by concrete median barriers.  As
of April 1990, 46.5 miles out of a total 96 miles of planned
transitway are in operation.  Transitways are also under
construction and in design on the Southwest and Eastex Freeways,
respectively.  The North Transitway is currently restricted to
buses and vanpools only, although it is scheduled to be opened
to 2 + carpools in June 1990.  The other transitways are open to
buses, vanpools, and carpools.  A 2 + carpool occupancy
requirement is used on these facilities, except on the Katy
Transitway, which has a 3 + carpool requirement from 6:45 a.m.
to 8:15 a.m.

Responding Agencies: Metropolitan Transit Authority of
Harris County, Texas State Department of Highways and Public
Transportation, and the Texas Transportation Institute.

Los Angeles, California.  The San Bernardino Freeway (I-10)
Busway operates from downtown Los Angeles to El Monte (Figure
8).  A one-mile extension into the downtown area was completed
in 1989.  The two-way facility includes both a 5-mile barrier-
separated segment and a 7-mile segment with a 13-foot paint
striped buffer.  Buses, vanpools, and carpools with 3 or more
occupants are allowed to use the facility.

Responding Agencies: California Department of Transportation
(Caltrans) and the California Highway Patrol.

Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Currently, an interim HOV lane is
in operation in the Highway 12/I-394 corridor (Figure 9).  The
interim facility includes 3 miles of a reversible, barrier-
separated HOV lane located in the median of the highway. 
Additional concurrent flow diamond lanes are also in operation
in different segments of the corridor to help manage traffic
during construction.  The final design of I-394, which is
scheduled to open in 1993, includes 3 miles of two-lane,
reversible, barrier-separated HOV lanes and eight miles of
diamond lanes.  The 3-mile, reversible, interim HOV lane is the
facility included in this report.  The facility is open to
buses, vanpools, and carpools with two or more occupants.


                                   13

Responding Agencies: Minnesota Department of Transportation
(MN/DOT) and Minnesota State Patrol.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  A 4-mile, two-lane, reversible,
barrier-separated HOV facility was opened on the I-279 Freeway
in August of 1989 (Figure 5).  The facility includes two short,
one-lane segments on the southern end, providing access to Three
Rivers Stadium via I-579 and the downtown area via I-279.  The
facility is open to buses, vanpools, and carpools with 3 or more
persons during the morning and afternoon.  From 8:00 p.m. to
3:00 a.m. the lanes are open to general traffic.

Responding Agency: Pennsylvania Department of
Transportation.

San Diego, California.  An eight-mile, two-lane, reversible
HOV facility has been open on the I-15 Freeway since October
1988 (Figure 10).  The HOV lanes are located in the median of
the freeway and are separated from the mixed-traffic lanes by
concrete barriers.  The facility is open to buses, vanpools and
carpools with 2 or more persons during the morning and afternoon
peak periods.

Responding Agencies: California Department of Transportation
(Caltrans) and California Highway Patrol (CHP).

Washington, D.C/Northern Virginia Two exclusive HOV
facilities are in operation in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan
area (Figure 11).  These are located on the Shirley Highway (I-395)
and on I-66.  The HOV lanes on the Shirley Highway are
located in the median of the freeway and are separated from the
general-traffic lanes by concrete barriers.  The facility
includes two reversible lanes that operate inbound in the
morning and outbound in the afternoon.  HOV usage is restricted
to the peak periods.  General traffic is allowed to use the
lanes outside of the peak period.  In addition, concurrent flow
diamond lanes, utilizing the inside traffic lane, are located on
I-95 leading up to the Shirley Highway.  I-66 is a four-lane
freeway.  During the peak periods, the two lanes in the peak
direction are


                                   14


reserved for HOVs only.  A 3 + occupancy requirement is
currently used on all three facilities.

Responding Agencies: Virginia Department of Transportation
and Virginia State Police.

Concurrent Flow Lanes

Denver, Colorado. A four-mile, bus-only concurrent flow lane
is in operation in the peak direction during the a.m. peak
period on a portion of U.S. 36 (Boulder Turnpike) in the Denver
area (Figure 12).  The lane is separated from the general-
purpose lanes by a solid white paint stripe.

Responding Agency: Denver Regional Transit District (RTD).

Fort Lee, New Jersey/New York City. A 1-mile HOV lane is
operated in the morning peak period on the approach to the
George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, New Jersey, in the New
York metropolitan area (Figure 13).  The lane allows high-
occupancy vehicles to by-pass the traffic queue and access the
toll facility.  The width of the lane varies from 12 feet to 20
feet and the exact configuration varies over the one-mile
segment.  The lane is separated from the general-purpose lanes
by paint striping.  The lane is open to buses, vanpools, and
carpools with 3 or more occupants.

Responding Agencies: New Jersey Department of Transportation
and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Honolulu, Hawaii. Two HOV facilities are in operation in
Honolulu (Figure 14).  The inside lane on a 2.5 mile segment of
the Moanalua Freeway is reserved for HOVs in the eastbound
direction during the morning peak period.  During other times of
the day, the lane reverts to use by mixed-flow traffic.  Seven
miles of concurrent flow HOV lanes are in operation on H-1.  The
lanes are reserved for HOVs during the morning and

                                   15


afternoon peak periods, and are used by general traffic at other
times.  A 2+ carpool occupancy requirement is used on both
facilities.

Responding Agencies: Honolulu Police Department and Federal
Highway Administration.

Los Angeles, and Orange County, California.  Concurrent flow
HOV lanes have been in operation on Route 55 and Route 91 for a
number of years, and on I-405 since 1988 (Figure 8).  Called
Commuter Lanes, these facilities are located on the inside lane
and/or shoulder.  The facilities are open to buses, vanpools,
and carpools with 2+ occupants, and are separated from the
general traffic lanes by a 4-foot or less painted buffer.

Responding Agencies: California Department of Transportation
(Caltrans) and California Highway Patrol (CHP).

Miami, Florida.  The inside freeway lanes on a 14-mile
segment of I-95 in Miami operate as concurrent flow HOV lanes
during the morning and evening peak periods (Figure 15).  The
lanes are separated from the general purpose lanes by white
paint striping.  A 2+ carpool occupancy requirement is used.  At
other times the lanes are used as mixed-traffic lanes.

Responding Agencies: Florida Department of Transportation
and Metro-Dade Transit Agency.

Orlando, Florida.  The inside lane in each direction on a
30-mile segment of I-4 in the Orlando area is reserved for HOVs
during the morning and evening peak periods (Figure 16).  At
other times, the lanes are used as mixed-traffic lanes.  The
lanes are marked with the diamond symbol, and are separated from
the mixed-traffic lanes by paint striping.  A 2 + carpool
occupancy requirement is used.

Responding Agency: East Central Florida Regional Planning
Council.
                                   16

Phoenix, Arizona.  Concurrent flow HOV lanes are in
operation on a 7-mile segment of I-10 in Phoenix, Arizona
(Figure 17).  The lanes are separated from the general-purpose
lanes by a 4-foot painted median.  The lanes are operated 24
hours a day and are open to buses, vanpools, and carpools with
2 or more persons and motorcycles.  An additional 10 miles of
HOV lanes opened on I-10 in January, 1990, and further
extensions are under construction.

Responding Agency: Arizona Department of Transportation.

San Francisco, California.  Three concurrent flow HOV
facilities are in operation in the San Francisco area (Figure
18).  These facilities are the Oakland Bay Bridge approach, US
101 in Marin County, and I-280.  Four westbound lanes on the
approach to the toll plaza on the Oakland Bay Bridge are
reserved for HOVs during the morning and afternoon peak periods. 
The facility is open to buses, vanpools, and carpools with 3 or
more occupants.  On US 101, the inside freeway lane on two
segments, totaling 7 miles, is designated as a concurrent flow
HOV lane in the morning and afternoon peak periods.  The lane is
separated from the mixed-traffic lanes by paint striping.  The
facility is open to buses, vanpools, and carpools.  A 3 +
occupancy requirement was used on the facility until September
1989, when an 18 monthly demonstration was initiated lowering
the occupancy requirement to 2+.  One and six-tenths miles of
concurrent flow lanes are operated on I-280.  The lanes are
separated from the mixed-traffic lanes by an 8-foot painted
buffer and are operated as HOV lanes on a 24-hour basis. 
The I-280 facility has been closed since the earthquake in the
fall of 1989.  It is anticipated that it will reopen in
September of 1990.


Responding Agencies: California Department of Transportation
(Caltrans) and the California Highway Patrol (CHP).

San Jose, California.  HOV lanes are in operation on 3 expressways
and 1 freeway in the San Jose area (Figure 19).  The outside
shoulders are used on a 4-mile section of Route 237, a signalized
expressway, to provide a peak-direction only HOV lane.  The

                                   17


outside lane on a 5-mile segment of the Montague Expressway, a
signalized expressway, is operated as an HOV lane during peak
periods.  On both of these facilities, in the morning the
inbound lane is reserved for HOVs, and in the afternoon the
outbound lane is used.  At other times the lane is open to
general traffic.  The lanes are separated from the mixed traffic
lanes by a four-inch paint stripe.  On Route 101, approximately
11 miles of the inside freeway lane in each direction are
reserved for HOVs during the peak periods.  These lanes, which
are separated by normal paint striping, revert back to general
purpose lanes during the off-peak periods.  The San Tomas
Expressway, a signalized expressway, includes 11 miles of
concurrent flow HOV lanes utilizing the outside lane and
shoulder.  The lanes are operated in the peak direction only
during the peak periods.  Normal paint striping is used to
delineate the lanes.  During non-peak periods, the lanes revert
to general-purpose lanes and shoulders.  The occupancy
requirement on all these facilities is 2+.

Responding Agencies: California Department of Transportation
(Caltrans), California Highway Patrol (CHP) and Santa Clara
County Transportation Agency.

Seattle, Washington.  Four concurrent flow HOV lanes are in
operation in the Seattle area on I-5, I-90, I-405 and SR 520
(Figure 20).

o   I-5.  To the north of the downtown area, a 2.8-mile HOV
lane operates in the express lanes in the southbound
direction.  This facility is in operation only when the
express lanes are open in the southbound direction.  A 2+
occupancy requirement is used in this facility.  Farther to
the north, HOV lanes are located in both the express lanes
and the mainlanes on a 6-mile segment of I-5.  On the
mainlanes, the inside lane in each direction operates as an
HOV lane with a 3 + occupancy requirement on a 24-hour
basis.

o   I-90.  A five-mile, concurrent flow, interim HOV lane
operates westbound on I-90. A 3 + occupancy requirement is
used on this facility, which is open on a 24-hour basis. 
The final design for I-90, which is scheduled to open in
1991, includes


                                   18

approximately 10 miles of a 2-lane, reversible HOV facility
located in the freeway median.

o   SR-520.  A 3-mile HOV lane operates only in the westbound
direction on SR-520 on a 24-hour basis.  The facility is
separated by paint striping.  A vehicle occupancy requirement
of 3 + is used on SR-520

o   I-405. Six miles of HOV lanes are operated on a 24-hour
basis on I-405.  These are located on the outside lanes and
operate in both directions.  The occupancy requirement on I-405
is 2 or more persons.

Responding Agencies: Washington State Department of
Transportation and Seattle Metro.

Vancouver, Canada.  Bus only, concurrent flow lanes are in
operation on H-99 in Vancouver, Canada (Figure 21).  A 4-mile,
bus-only lane is provided on H-99 in the southbound direction
before the Massey Tunnel, and a 1-mile bus-only lane is provided
in the northbound direction before the tunnel.  Both lanes are
located on the outside shoulder and are separated from the
general-purpose lanes by paint striping.  The lanes operate on
a 24-hour basis, allowing buses to by-pass the queue that often
forms in the general purpose lanes on the approach to the
tunnel.

Responding Agencies.  British-Columbia Transit and British
Columbia Provincial Ministry of Highways.

Washington, D.C./Northern Virginia.  Concurrent flow HOV
lanes are located on a 7-mile segment of I-95 leading to the
Shirley Highway (Figure 11).  The HOV lanes utilize the inside
general-purpose lane during the peak period and are separated
from the mixed traffic lanes by paint striping.  The lanes
revert to general-purpose lanes outside the restricted periods. 
When the HOV lane is in operation the outside shoulder lane is
used as a general purpose lane, providing 3 mixed-traffic lanes
and the HOV lane for use during

                                   19

the peak period in the peak direction.  Outside of this period
the outside shoulder reverts back to use as an emergency
shoulder.  A 3+ occupancy requirement is used.

Responding Agencies.- Virginia Department of Transportation
and Virginia State Patrol.

Contraflow Lanes

New York City. Three contraflow lanes are in operation in
the New Jersey/New York City area (Figure 13).  During the
morning peak period, a 2.5-mile contraflow lane operates on New
Jersey Route 495 (formerly I-495) on the approach to the Lincoln
Tunnel.  The bus-only lane is separated from the mixed-traffic
lanes by drop-in cones.  A 2.2-mile contraflow lane operates
westbound on the Long Island Expressway, from the Brooklyn-
Queens Expressway into the Queens-Midtown Tunnel.  The lane
operates only in the morning peak period and is open to buses,
vanpools and taxis.  The lane is separated from the general-
purpose lanes by drop-in cones.  A 0.9-mile contraflow lane
operates on the Gowanus Expressway, northbound from the Prospect
Expressway into the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel.  The facility is
also operated only in the morning peak period and is open to
buses, vanpools and taxis.  The lane is separated from the
general-purpose lanes by drop-in cones.

Responding Agencies: Port Authority of New York and New
Jersey, New Jersey Transit, New York City Department of
Transportation, and New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

                                   20

Click HERE for graphic.

Click HERE for graphic.

Click HERE for graphic.

Click HERE for graphic.

Click HERE for graphic.

Click HERE for graphic.

Click HERE for graphic.

Click HERE for graphic.

Click HERE for graphic.

Click HERE for graphic.

Click HERE for graphic.

Click HERE for graphic.

Click HERE for graphic.

Click HERE for graphic.

Click HERE for graphic.

Click HERE for graphic.

Click HERE for graphic.

Click HERE for graphic.


         IV. HIGH-OCCUPANCY VEHICLE PROJECT CHARACTERISTICS

This section presents a summary of the design and operating
characteristics of the HOV facilities covered in the survey. 
Information is presented in 3 general categories: 1) project
descriptions and operating characteristics; 2) utilization
levels and public reactions; and 3) enforcement data and
violation rates.  A series of tables provide information on each
project.  HOV facilities are listed in the tables by type of
project and by city.

Project Descriptions and Operating Characteristics

Design

The four general types of HOV facilities operated on
freeways and in separate rights-of-way were described
previously.  As shown in Table 1, the majority of HOV projects
are either exclusive facilities or concurrent flow lanes located
within freeway rights-of-way.  Exclusive facilities on separate
rights-of-way are in operation in only two cities.  These are
the two busways in Pittsburgh and the transitway system in
Ottawa.  Similarly, only three contraflow lanes are in
operation; all of these are in the New Jersey/New York City
area.

Although the exclusive and concurrent flow lanes represent
the largest number of HOV facilities, differences exist between
projects, especially the concurrent flow lane projects.  Most of
the exclusive facilities are reversible lanes, operating inbound
toward the central business district (CBD) in the morning and
outbound in the evening.  Only the San Bernardino Freeway Busway
in Los Angeles and I-84 in Hartford are two-direction
facilities.  Most exclusive HOV facilities are separated from
the general-traffic lanes by concrete barriers.  Some type of
daily set up is usually required with the reversible facilities. 
This involves opening and closing the lanes, as well as
reversing the direction of operation.  These tasks usually
require at least some manual operation, except on I-5 in San
Diego, where the gates are opened and closed electronically. 
With the exception of two early projects, the Shirley Highway in
1969 and the San Bernardino Freeway in 1973, all of the
exclusive HOV facilities were implemented during the 1980's.

                                   39

The concurrent flow HOV facilities include a variety of
designs and treatments.  Concurrent flow lanes are operated on
both the inside and outside lanes and/or shoulders.  Some of
these operate only during the peak periods, and some only in the
peak direction.  Concurrent flow lanes are separated from the
mixed-traffic lanes by paint striping or, in a few cases, by
special striping or an extra buffer zone.  No daily set-up is
needed with these types of facilities.  A few concurrent flow
lanes were implemented in the 1970's, with most opening during
the 1980's.

Representative Cross Sections

A wide range of design treatments have been used in the
development of HOV facilities.  Figures 22 through 30 identify
some of the general design standards and cross sections that
have been used with different types of HOV facilities.  Given
the fact that many HOV lanes have been added to existing
freeways where available right-of-way is often limited,
reduction or modifications in the widths of existing lanes or
shoulders sometimes occurs.

Figure 22 shows the typical cross section used for the two-
direction, bus-only facilities in Ottawa and Pittsburgh.  The
lanes are separated by normal paint striping.  A variety of on-
line and off-line station treatments are used in the two cities.

Figure 23 illustrates a common design for two-lane
reversible HOV lanes.  The typical cross section includes two,
12-foot traffic lanes, shoulders on both sides, and concrete
barriers separating the lanes from the general-traffic lanes. 
The width of the shoulders varies between projects, and some,
like I-279 in Pittsburgh, use one wide shoulder and one narrow
shoulder.

A typical design for one-lane reversible HOV facilities, such as
those used with the Houston transitways, is shown in Figure 24.
The cross section typically includes one 12-foot lane and 4-foot
shoulders on each side of the lane.  The facility is separated from
the

                                   40

Figure 25 identifies a design commonly used with two-lane,
two-direction HOV lanes, such as I-84 in Hartford and the San
Bernardino Freeway Busway in Los Angeles.  The HOV lanes are
separated from the mixed-flow lanes by 10- to 16-foot painted
buffers.  Figure 26 shows the design used on the two-lane, two-
direction section of the Northwest transitway (US 290) in
Houston.  This elevated 2-mile section includes 3 feet of
lateral clearance on both sides, and two 12-foot HOV lanes
separated by an 8-foot buffer.

Figures 27 and 28 show typical cross sections for two
different types of concurrent flow HOV lanes; these are HOV
facilities separated from the mixed-traffic lanes by a buffer
and HOV facilities with no separation.  In both cases, an inside
shoulder is usually provided, although in some instances it may
be narrow.  The HOV lane is either separated from the general-
purpose traffic lane by a narrow buffer, usually 1- to 4-feet in
width, or by normal paint striping.

A common design used with concurrent HOV lanes located on
the outside freeway lane is shown in Figure 29.  This is the
design used with some of the HOV facilities in Santa Clara
County and Seattle.  A paint stripe is the normal method of
separation from the mixed-traffic lanes, and, since many use the
outside shoulder, there may be either no shoulder or a very
narrow one.

The last cross section, shown in Figure 30, is used with the
contraflow facilities in the New Jersey/New York City area.  In
these cases, one of the off-peak direction lanes, separated from
the off-peak direction traffic by drop-in traffic cones, is used
as an HOV lane for vehicles traveling in the peak direction.
Hours of Operation

The operating hours of HOV facilities can be characterized by
three different scenarios: 1) 24-hour operation; 2) morning and
afternoon/evening operation; and 3) peak-period only operation.
No one specific operating scenario necessarily equates to a
certain type of facility.  However, the exclusive facilities
on separate rights-of-way in

                                   41

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   42

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   43

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   44

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   45

Click HERE for graphic.


Pittsburgh and Ottawa operate on a 24-hour basis, and all three
contraflow lanes operate only in the inbound direction in the
morning peak period.

Operating hours for the exclusive and concurrent flow lanes
vary.  In two urban areas, Seattle and Los Angeles/Orange
County, the HOV lanes are operated on a 24-hour basis.  In other
areas, the HOV lanes open in the morning and operate inbound
until midday.  After a period for reversing the operation,
during which the lanes are usually closed for an hour, the
facility is open in the outbound direction until the evening. 
Operation during only the peak periods is characteristic of most
of the concurrent flow lanes, except those in Seattle and Los
Angeles/Orange County.  The exact time these facilities operate
with the HOV restriction varies.  Most operate from
approximately 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. in the morning and 3 p.m. to 6 or
7 p.m. in the evening.

                                   46


Vehicles Allowed to Use HOV Facilities and Occupancy
Requirements

As shown in Table 2, the types of vehicles allowed to use
the different HOV facilities are fairly similar.  The Ottawa
Transitway system, the two Pittsburgh Busways, the U.S. 36 bus
lane in Denver, the HOV lanes on H-99 in Vancouver, British
Columbia, and the contraflow lane on Route 495 on the approach
to the Lincoln Tunnel in New Jersey/New York City are open only
to buses.  The remainder of the facilities, except the North
Transitway in Houston, allow use by buses, vanpools and
carpools.  Most facilities also allow use by taxis meeting the
occupancy requirements, and allow police and emergency vehicles
to use the lanes without meeting the occupancy requirements. 
Motorcycle use of HOV lanes is less common.  Only 3 of the
exclusive facilities allow motorcycles, while ten of the
concurrent flow lanes allow use by motorcycles.

The carpool vehicle occupancy requirements for existing HOV
facilities vary between 2 + and 3 + persons per vehicle.  No
facilities currently use a 4 + requirement, although for many
years the Shirley Highway HOV lanes operated with a 4+ carpool
occupancy requirement.  Sixteen HOV lanes utilize a 3+ occupancy
requirement, while sixteen also utilize a 2+ requirement.  Some
areas with multiple HOV facilities, such as San Jose, utilize
the same occupancy requirements on all HOV lanes.  Other areas,
such as Seattle and Los Angeles, have different requirements on
different HOV facilities.

The Katy Transitway in Houston is the only HOV facility
that changes occupancy requirements over the course of the day. 
A 2+ occupancy requirement is utilized during all operating
periods except between 6:45 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. , when a 3 +
requirement is in effect.  This change was implemented in
October 1999 in response to declining travel speeds on the
transitway resulting from increased use of the facility.  At the
time, vehicle volumes on the transitway were exceeding 1,500
vehicles per hour (vph) during the a.m. peak-hour.  This caused
considerable delay, diminishing the travel time savings users of
the facility were accustomed to.  The change represented the
first time vehicle occupancy requirements had been increased on
an HOV facility and the first use of variable occupancy
requirements.  The change was implemented with very little
public controversy and has worked acceptably in the field.

                                   47

Analysis conducted by TTI indicates that initially peak-hour
vehicle volumes dropped by approximately 64%, immediately
eliminating the travel time delays.  While the initial vehicle
volumes declined, the use of 3+ carpools and bus ridership
increased.  Thus, it is apparent that some individuals changed
to a higher occupancy mode of travel to continue to use the
transitway.  The vehicle volumes have been steadily increasing,
and are currently averaging between 1,000 to 1,200 vehicles in
the morning peak-hour.  Thus, the increase in occupancy
requirements utilized on the Katy Transitway appears to be one
viable approach to managing demand in an HOV facility.

Bus Operating Characteristics

The orientation of bus service and the number of buses
utilizing the different HOV facilities varies.  The number of
peak-hour and peak-period buses utilizing each HOV facility is
provided in Table 7. Obviously, the exclusive bus-only
facilities in Pittsburgh and Ottawa are oriented specifically
toward bus operations and provide high levels of bus service. 
In both areas, service is provided by buses operating
exclusively on the facility, similar to traditional rapid
transit lines, and buses that access the facility after
collection in the local neighborhoods. in this regard, the
exclusive HOV facilities on separate rights-of-way allow for
great flexibility in the orientation and level of bus service
provided.

Bus service on most of the exclusive HOV facilities within
freeway rights-of-way is oriented primarily to express service. 
In most cases, the express service originates at park-and-ride
lots, although some may provide limited local collection in
neighborhood areas.  In some cases, direct access is provided
from the park-and-ride lot to the HOV facility.  In other cases,
buses access the HOV lane from the local streets and freeway. 
The actual level of service differs greatly between facilities. 
The highest levels of bus service are found on the Shirley
Highway HOV lanes in Washington, D.C./northern Virginia, the San
Bernardino Freeway Busway in Los Angeles, and the North
Transitway in Houston.

Bus service on the concurrent flow HOV facilities is also oriented
primarily to express service, although local service is provided in
some areas.  In most instances, buses access the

                                   48


facility from park-and-ride lots or limited local collection. 
In a few cases, such as some of the Seattle facilities, bus
stops may be provided along the HOV lane.  Some of the
concurrent flow HOV lanes, such as those on US 36-Boulder
Turnpike in Denver and H-99 in Vancouver, British Columbia, are
open to buses only, allowing buses to by-pass traffic queues
that form due to congestion.  Other concurrent flow HOV lanes,
such as those in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Jose, Orlando,
Miami, and Phoenix are oriented primarily to carpools, with
little bus service provided.

The three contraflow HOV facilities located in the New York
City area are oriented primarily to buses.  Only buses are
allowed on the Route 495 facility, while buses and vanpools are
allowed on the Long Island and Gowanus Expressway facilities. 
In all three cases, the HOV lanes allow buses to by-pass the
traffic queues formed at major congestion points.

Use During Non-Restricted Periods

As noted previously, HOV facilities are usually
characterized by one of 3 operating scenarios: 1) 24-hour
operation; 2) morning and afternoon/evening operation; and 3)
peak-period only operation.  Obviously, HOV facilities in the
first category are open for use by eligible vehicles on a 24-
hour basis.  HOV lanes in the last two categories are utilized
for different functions during the non-restricted periods.  Some
are closed, while others revert to general purpose lanes or
shoulders.

Of the 11 exclusive facilities, two, I-84 in Hartford,
Connecticut and the San Bernardino Freeway Busway in Los
Angeles, operate as HOV lanes on a 24-hour basis.  Three of the
four Houston transitways are open as HOV lanes over an extended
portion of the day (4 a.m. to 10 p.m.) and closed at other
times.  The I-394 and I-15 HOV lanes are open during the peak
periods and closed during the remainder of the day.  I-279 in
Pittsburgh and I-395, I-95 and I-66 in the Washington,
D.C./northern Virginia area are open to general traffic during
the nonrestricted periods.

                                   49


Of the 23 concurrent flow lanes, 10 are used as HOV
facilities on a 24-hour basis.  These include the Seattle and
Los Angeles/Orange County facilities, I-280 in San Francisco, H-99
in Vancouver, British Columbia, and I-10 in Phoenix.  The
concurrent flow HOV lanes in other areas revert to either
general-purpose lanes or shoulders during the non-restricted
periods.  The 3 contraflow HOV lanes also revert back to
general-purpose lanes during non-restricted times.

Agency Responsibilities

Table 3 identifies the agencies responsible for the
different activities associated with planning, implementing, and
operating HOV lanes.  In almost all cases, the state department
of transportation has been the lead agency in planning,
designing, and constructing the facilities.  Exceptions to this
include the bus-only facilities in Ottawa and Pittsburgh, the
HOV lanes on county facilities in Santa Clara County, and the
Long Island Expressway and Gowanus Expressway in New York City. 
The agencies with the lead responsibilities for these projects
are the Ottawa-Carlton Regional Transit Authority and the
Municipality of Ottawa-Carlton, the Port Authority of Allegany
County, Santa Clara County, and the New York City Department of
Transportation.  Operation and maintenance are usually the
responsibility of either the transit agency or the state
department of transportation.  The state police or state patrol
are most often responsible for enforcement activities, although
enforcement on the Houston transitways, the Pittsburgh busways,
and the Ottawa transitway system is the responsibility of the
transit agency.

Primary Reason for Project Implementation

As identified in Table 4, increasing the capacity of the
roadway was the primary reason cited for implementing most HOV
facilities.  Reducing vehicle-miles of travel (VMT), energy and
air quality concerns, and increasing the efficiency of bus
operations were also noted as important considerations.  In a
few cases, funding or legislative requirements were mentioned as
significant reasons.


                                   50


Capital Costs and Funding Sources

Table 5 provides a listing of the estimated capital costs
and the funding sources for the HOV facilities.  In many cases,
it is difficult to identify the costs associated with only the
HOV lane, as construction of the HOV lane(s) is often part of a
major freeway project.  The following capital costs serve as
general "rules-of-thumb" for the different types of HOV lanes.

Exclusive HOV facility in separate right-of-way; greater
than $8 million per mile.  Exclusive HOV facility in
freeway right-of-way; greater than $4 million per mile. 
Concurrent flow freeway HOV lane; between $30,000 and $2
million per mile.  Contraflow freeway HOV lane; between
$30,000 and $500,000 per mile.

A few examples of the capital costs associated with
operating HOV facilities indicate that these estimates provide
realistic ranges.  Examples of the average capital costs per
mile of the different types of HOV facilities include the
following: Ottawa Transitway System, $17 million per mile;
Pittsburgh South Busway, $7 million per mile; Pittsburgh East
Busway, $16 million per mile; initial Katy Transitway in
Houston, $3 million per mile; initial Route 9.1 concurrent flow
lane in Orange County, $340,000 per mile; SR 520 concurrent flow
lane in Seattle, $670,000 per mile; and the Gowanus Expressway
contraflow lane in New York City, $400,000 per mile.

Most HOV facilities have been constructed using a mixture of
funding sources.  Federal funding, through either the Federal
Highway Administration (FHWA) or the Urban Mass Transportation
Administration (UMTA), usually comprises the largest share. 
Local funding, from either a state highway department, transit
authority, or other local agency, is commonly used to match the
federal funds.


                                   51

Signing

The types of signing used varies between the different HOV
facilities.  As shown in Table 6, most projects utilize ground-
mounted or overhead static signing.  The use of overhead lane
assignment arrows and overhead variable message signs is more
common with reversible facilities than with concurrent flow
lanes.  Concurrent flow lanes are more likely to use a
combination of overhead static signs and diamond pavement
markings.

Four areas responded that signing has been a problem from
either a user or enforcement perspective.  Concerns raised
included standardizing signing among HOV facilities within the
same metropolitan area, the reliability of changeable message
signs, and initial confusion by users over signing.

            HOV Facility Utilization and Public Reaction

HOV Facilities and Freeway Utilization

Tables 7 through 9 provide information on the peak-direction
utilization rates associated with the different HOV projects. 
Table 7 identifies the morning peak-hour and peak-period volumes
for the HOV lane(s) and the mixed-traffic freeway lanes.  Tables
8 and 9 provide total vehicle and passenger volumes for the HOV
facility, and the volumes per lane for the HOV and freeway
facilities.  The exact times for the peak hour and peak period
were defined by each locality.  The length of time associated
with the peak period is shown in Table 7.

Desirable HOV Lane Volumes

Respondents were asked to identify the preferred maximum
volume of traffic to provide the desirable speed and level-of-
service on the HOV facility.  Individuals indicated a range
between 200 to 1,600 vehicles per hour per lane as the maximum
volume.  The lower volumes were generally identified with the
interim facilities, concurrent flow lanes utilizing shoulders,
and the contraflow lanes.  A range of 1,200 to 1,600 vehicles
per hour per lane were identified

                                   52


as a desirable maximum volume for exclusive facilities and
concurrent flow lanes utilizing regular traffic lanes.

Public Reaction to HOV Facilities

Representatives from agencies surveyed were asked two
questions relating to the general perception among the public
toward the HOV facility.  First, respondents were asked if the
public reaction to the HOV lane had been positive, negative, or
neutral.  A majority of respondents indicated that the general
reaction had been positive.  Three areas identified that there
had been some negative public reaction, while four indicated it
had been neutral.  Objections from drivers in the general-
traffic lanes who are unable to use the HOV lane were the most
commonly reported negative reaction.  Even in those areas where
the public perception was positive, many respondents indicated
that non-users had raised objections about not being able to use
the facility.

Second, respondents were asked if the current volumes
resulted in the facility appearing to be underutilized or if it
was so well utilized that the level-of-service on the lane had
deteriorated.  Most individuals responded that the current
volumes were not causing a problem in either of these extremes. 
Only four facilities were noted as being underutilized.  Three
facilities, I-95 in the Washington, D.C./northern Virginia area,
Route 495 in New York, and I-4 in Orlando, Florida, were
identified as being at or near capacity.

Marketing and Public Information

The survey respondents were asked to identify the types of
marketing and public information activities conducted to promote
the use of the HOV facility.  AR areas reported that some type
of marketing or public information program had been used to
introduce the HOV lane, and most indicated that some type of
ongoing marketing programs were in use.  The nature of these
programs, and the associated costs, varies greatly.  The types
of activities used included press releases, opening ceremonies,
initial marketing activities, special advertisements and
incentives, and ongoing promotional campaigns.  Not enough
information was provided to

                                   53


identify the most effective marketing strategies or to determine
any relationships between utilization rates and marketing
expenditures.

               Enforcement Levels and Violation Rates

Enforcement Levels and Responsibilities

Table 10 presents the level of enforcement associated with
the different HOV projects.  The number of personnel and
vehicles assigned to each facility during the HOV operating
period is identified, as is the responsible agency.  The level
and nature of enforcement activities varies between projects. 
Almost all HOV facilities utilize some enforcement.  However,
this varies from full-time, dedicated personnel to monitoring by
patrols that simply cover the geographical area in which the
lane is located.

Approximately half of the projects utilize enforcement
personnel whose primary responsibility is to monitor the lane. 
In other areas, monitoring the HOV facility is only one of many
responsibilities of the patrol, and is usually not the top
priority.  Respondents from most areas indicated that they felt
the current levels of enforcement were adequate.

The state patrol or state police is the most common agency
responsible for enforcement of HOV facilities.  Exceptions to
this are the bus-only facilities in Ottawa and Pittsburgh, the
transitways in Houston, and the HOV lanes in New York and New
Jersey.  In these cases, the transit police or other local
agency has the lead responsibility for enforcement activities.

Table 11 identifies the enforcement methods used with the
different HOV projects.  Specially designed vehicle pullover
areas and diverting violators from the HOV lane are the most
commonly used enforcement mechanisms.  Both the Seattle area and
the Washington, D.C./Northern Virginia area utilize "HERO"
programs.  These programs encourage individuals to report
violators.  Follow-up letters are then sent to the violators
indicating that the vehicle was observed violating the lane
requirements.  No fine is levied, but information on the proper
use of the facility and on rideshare programs and bus service is
usually provided.  Only the

                                   54


Washington, D.C./Northern Virginia area reported using a ticket
by mail program based on the state police recording the license
plates of violators in the lane.  This program, which was
authorized by the Virginia Legislature in 1989, has been in
operation for almost a year.  Currently, the Virginia State
Patrol is stopping vehicles that violate the HOV lane occupancy
requirements to record information on the driver.  The citation
is then sent through the mail.  A number of areas reported that
the use of cameras and other innovative approaches to HOV lane
enforcement are under consideration.

Fines

The fines for violation of the HOV occupancy requirements or
other misuse of the facilities are also shown in Table 11.  The
fines for first time violators are usually in the $50-$80 range. 
However, some are as high as $100 to $250.  Fines for repeat
offenses often increase significantly.  In addition to the fine,
some areas also assess points leading toward revocation of the
violator's drivers license.

Violation Rates

The violation rate for an HOV facility refers to the
percentage of vehicles using the HOV lane that do not meet the
minimum occupancy requirement and therefore are in violation of
the usage regulations.  Most areas estimate violation rates
based on periodic surveys and by ongoing enforcement activities. 
As identified in Table 11, the estimated peak-hour violation
rates range from a low of 1 % to a high of 75 %. The violation
rates appear to correspond to the type of facility and
enforcement level.  Those with the higher violation rates tend
to be the concurrent flow facilities with low enforcement
levels.  The Katy Transitway also experiences higher violation
rates during the morning peak period when the 3 + occupancy
requirement is in effect.  Barrier-separated facilities, and
those with full time dedicated enforcement personnel, usually
have lower violation rates.


                                   55


Safety

Little safety or accident data are available relating to
the different HOV facilities.  The limited information made
available seems to indicate that accident rates for the HOV
lanes are generally either lower, or the same, as those reported
on the general-traffic lanes.  For example, the evaluations done
on the four Houston transitways and one freeway without a
transitway, indicate that compared to pre-transitway conditions,
freeway mainlane accident rates have generally changed very
little; the transitway accident rates are lower than the freeway
mainlane accident rates.

A variety of incident management techniques are used on the
different HOV facilities.  Tow trucks are used on seven
facilities to help deal with accidents or breakdowns.  Other
areas reported using other methods for monitoring the
facilities.  These included the use of bus radios, roving
transit monitors or police, and, in a few cases, camera
surveillance and monitoring equipment.  In most cases, the
agency responsible for enforcement was also identified as the
agency responsible for handling emergencies.


                                   56

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   57

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   58

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   59

Table 1. General Characteristics of operating High-occupancy
Vehicle Projects (continued)


5. A portion of the South busway includes a shared right-of-way
with a light rail transit Line.

6. The Hartford I-84 NOV lane is Listed as an exclusive HOV
facility. It is separated from the mixed traffic Lanes by a 15-17 
foot painted buffer. 

7. An additional 5 miles of the North Transitway are scheduled to 
open in mid-1990.  The final 5.6 mite segment is scheduled to
open in two phases; 2.9 miles in 1994 and 2.7 miles in 1997.

8. An additional 4.4 mite segment of the North Transitway opened
in two stages in Late 1989 and April, 1990.  This brings the total 
Length of the facility to 13.5 miles.

9. Between 1979 and 1984 a contraflow lane was operated on I-45N.
The current exclusive facility was opened in 1985.

10. An additional 9 miles of the Gulf Transitway are scheduled to 
open in three phases by 1993.

11. The 1.5 mite eastern extension of the Katy Transitway was
opened in January, 1990.  This brings the total Length of the 
facility to 13 miles.

12. The final 4 miles of the Northwest Transitway were opened in 
February, 1990.  This brings the total length of the facility to 
13.5 miles.

13. Approximately 2-miles of 2-lane, 2-direction HOV Lanes are
in operation on the Northwest Transitway at the connection to the 
Northwest Transit Center. 

14. The San Bernardino Freeway Busway includes 5 miles of barrier
separated lanes and 7 miles with a 13 foot painted buffer.

15. The 1-394 HOV Lane is currently an interim facility operating
on a signalized arterial street. The final facility includes a 
combination of reversible barrier separated HOV Lanes and concurrent
flow diamond Lanes.

16. The two Lane reversible I-279 HOV facility splits into two
short, one Lane segments at the southern end.  One segment connects
to Three Rivers Stadium and one provides access into the downtown.

17. The I-95 concurrent flow Lanes in Northern Virginia connect
to the exclusive HOV Lanes on I-395 (Shirley Highway).

18. I-66 is a 4-Lane freeway, with 2 Lanes in each direction. 
The 2 Lanes operating in the peak direction are restricted to HOVs 
during the morning and afternoon peak periods.

19. An additional 10 miles of the I-405 HOV Lanes are scheduled
to open in April, 1990, bringing the total Length of the HOV Lanes 
to 24 miles.

20. An additional 10 mile segment of the I-10 HOV lanes in
Phoenix opened in January, 1990.  This segment is to the west of 
the HOV Lane reported in this survey.  The two facilities are 
separated by a short segment currently under construction.

21. The HOV Lanes on US 101 in Marin County include two segments,
3 miles and 4 miles in length, separated by approximately 1 mile of 
mixed traffic Lanes. 

22. The HOV Lanes on the Montague Expressway operate only in the 
peak direction.  The outside Lane is used as the NOV Lane during 
the restricted period and is open to general traffic at other
times.  The Montague Expressway is a signalized expressway.

23. The San Tomas Expressway HOV lanes operate only in the peak 
direction.  The outside lane and shoulder are used for the HOV 
Lane during the restricted period and revert to general purpose
lanes and shoulders during other times.  The San Tomas Expressway
is a signalized expressway.

24. The Rt. 237 HOV lanes operate only in the peak direction.
The outside shoulder is used for the HOV Lane.  The section of 
Rt. 237 where the NOV lanes are Located is a signalized
expressway.

25. The I-90 HOV Lane included in this survey is an interim
facility. It is a contiguous concurrent flow facility on the 
outside lane. Currently only 5.8 miles are open in the westbound 
direction.  The completed I-90 facility will include a 10 mile 
2-Lane reversible HOV facility Located in the freeway median.

26. The SR 520 HOV lane is Located on the outside shoulder and 
operates only in the westbound direction.

27. Different segments of HOV lanes are operated along I-5.  The 
segment included in this survey is the 6-mile segment north of 
downtown with HOV Lanes operating in both directions on the
inside Lane.

28. The I-95 concurrent flow lanes connect to the exclusive HOV 
Lanes on I-395 (Shirley Highway).  The Lanes are Located on the
inside Lane and revert back to general-purpose Lanes when not in
use as HOV Lanes.

29. The exact closing time for the Route 495 contraflow Lane 
depends on the volume of traffic.  White 10:00 a.m. is usually
the time the lane is closed, it may be kept open Later or closed
earlier depending upon the daily demand.

                                   60

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   61

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   62

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   63

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   64

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   65

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   66

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   67

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   68

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   69

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   70

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   71

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   72

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   73

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   74

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   75

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   76

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   77

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   78

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   79

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   80

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   81

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   82

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   83

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   84

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   85

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   86


            V. PROPOSED HOV PROJECTS AND PROJECT EXTENSIONS

New HOV projects and extensions to existing facilities are
being planned, designed, and implemented in many metropolitan
areas.  A summary of some of these projects, including a general
description and the anticipated completion date, is provided in
Table 12.  This listing is not intended to be all inclusive; it
represents some of the projects which have been identified as
reasonably committed with the potential to be operational by the
year 2000.  Obviously, the projects are subject to change.

Implementation of all the projects listed in Table 12 will
result in approximately 528 additional miles of HOV lanes by the
year 2000.  This represents a significant increase from the 332
miles of HOV lanes in operation as of April, 1990.  If all the
projects listed are completed, some 860 miles of HOV facilities
will be in operation in North America by the year 2000.


                                   87

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   88

Click HERE for graphic.

                                   89


                             VI. CONCLUSION

This report provides a summary of available information on
the design, operating, and enforcement characteristics, and
current utilization rates of HOV facilities in the United States
and Canada.  The continued increase in the number of operating
high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes throughout North America
indicates that these types of facilities have become a more
accepted method of addressing congestion issues in many
metropolitan areas.  A consensus appears to exist that, in the
proper environment, HOV lanes can be an effective means of
increasing the person-movement capacity within a corridor. 
However, HOV facilities are not appropriate for all situations,
nor does their implementation eliminate the need to also pursue
other strategies.

As the number of HOV facilities continues to increase, the
understanding of issues associated with the planning, design,
implementation, and operation of HOV projects has also increased
dramatically.  However, even with this increased understanding,
there are still a number of issues where experience is lacking
or where there is not agreement over the most appropriate
approach.  Some of the areas where additional experience or
research are needed are discussed in this section.

                           Support Facilities

Data from the different HOV projects seem to indicate that
the presence of park-and-ride lots, transit transfer centers,
direct access ramps, and other support facilities enhance the
performance of the HOV facility.  Park-and-ride lots provide
convenient collection areas for both bus riders and carpool and
vanpool users.  The number and size of park-and-ride facilities
varies among the different HOV projects.  Parking lots of less
than 300 spaces appear to be most common, although a number of
exclusive HOV lanes are served by park-and-ride lots with over
1,000 spaces.  Although a number of techniques exist, estimating
the demand for park-and-ride facilities remains an inexact
science.


                                   91


                            Support Services

Recent experience with HOV projects seems to indicate that
the types and levels of support services provided can influence
utilization of the facility.  Thus, it appears that simply
providing the HOV lane is not enough to insure maximum use. 
Supporting programs focusing on improved bus service,
ridesharing programs, and travel demand management (TDM)
programs have all been used in different areas to promote and
encourage use of the HOV facility.  A number of areas are
continuing to experiment with a variety of TDM programs,
primarily those focusing on providing additional incentives to
individuals who use a high-occupancy mode.  These include the
guaranteed-ride home program, preferential parking and/or
reduced parking charges for carpools and vanpools, monetary
incentives or additional vacation time for using alternative
commute modes, providing access to midday shuttle services, and
providing on-site services at the work place.  The ongoing
monitoring and evaluation of these programs should provide
additional experience on the most appropriate types of support
services to use with HOV facilities.

                       Operations and Enforcement

The understanding of the major operational and enforcement
issues associated with HOV projects has improved significantly
in the past few years.  The importance of addressing operational
and enforcement concerns in the planning and design stage has
been identified as an important consideration.  Early
consideration of these issues is critical to ensuring that the
facility operates in the intended manner and can be easily
enforced.

Many areas are continuing to examine the use of different
enforcement techniques.  The "HERO" program has been implemented
in both the Seattle and the Washington, D.C./Northern Virginia
areas as one approach to encouraging compliance with the
occupancy requirements of the HOV facilities.  The program
appears to be effective in lowering violation rates and
providing an educational tool to promote the use of higher
occupancy modes.  The ticket by mail program implemented in
Virginia in 1989 also appears to be an effective approach to
enforcing occupancy requirements.  This type of

                                   92


program, which may require legislative changes, is being
examined by other areas for possible implementation.

The use of surveillance, communication, and control
facilities to assist with the supervision of HOV lane operation
and enforcement activities has been implemented in a few areas,
and is under consideration in a number of other areas.  The use
of these techniques is viewed as having a positive impact on
operations and enforcement activities of HOV facilities.

The potential use of HOV lanes for the testing of
Intelligent Vehicle-Highway Systems (IVHS) has also been raised
in many areas.  It is felt that the controlled environment
provided by exclusive HOV lanes provides an ideal situation for
the testing of many of the IVHS concepts.  In addition, many of
the IVHS technologies may be appropriate for utilization in
providing improved communications and information systems that
may greatly enhance the use of HOV facilities.  This is an area
that will continue to be explored over the coming years.

                     Evaluating HOV Facilities

Evaluating the impact of HOV facilities continues to be a
topic of considerable interest and discussion.  To date, most
evaluation efforts have utilized very general evaluation
criteria and, given the nature of the facilities and limited
funding, before-and-after studies have often been limited.  One
of the most comprehensive evaluations of HOV facilities has
occurred in Houston, Texas.  The ongoing evaluation has been
sponsored by the Texas State Department of Highways and Public
Transportation (SDHPT) and conducted by the Texas Transportation
Institute (TTI).  While there is agreement that HOV projects
need to be evaluated, a consensus does not appear to exist among
transportation professionals regarding the most appropriate
measures to be used to evaluate HOV project effectiveness, nor
is there agreement on the threshold performance levels that
should be used with these measures.  A number of different
activities, including one element of this UMTA sponsored study
being conducted by Texas Transportation Institute, are currently

                                   93


addressing these concerns.  The outcome of these efforts is
anticipated to be the development of a recommended set of evaluation
measures, criteria, thresholds, and data collection methodologies.

                                 Design

It appears that many HOV projects continue to be designed
as "special case" facilities.  Even within the same urban area,
HOV facilities have been designed and operated differently. 
However, it appears that, both within and among metropolitan
areas, design standards for HOV projects are becoming more
standardized.  This is important to help insure that safe and
efficient facilities are designed and operated.  Currently, the
American Association of State Highway and Transportation
Officials (AASHTO) is revising its guidelines on the design of
HOV facilities and park-and-ride lots.  A technical committee of
the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) is also
preparing a report on the design features of HOV facilities.  In
addition, the Texas State Department of Highways and Public
Transportation (SDHPT) has completed a set of HOV planning and
design guidelines and the California Department of
Transportation (Caltrans) is currently completing HOV guidelines
for use within the state.  All of these documents will provide
improved guidelines on the design of HOV lanes and supporting
facilities.

                               Conclusion

This report provides a review of available information on
the design, operation, enforcement characteristics, and current
utilization rates of HOV facilities in freeways or within
separate rights-of-way in North America.  In the proper
environment, HOV facilities can be an effective means of
increasing the person-movement capacity within a corridor. 
High-occupancy vehicle lanes, implemented in conjunction with
other support facilities and services, can play a role in
helping to address urban congestion problems.


                                   94


NOTICE
This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S.
Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange.
The United States Government assumes no liability for its contents or
use thereof.

The United States Government does not endorse manufacturers or
products. Trade names appear in the document only because they are
essential to the content of the report.

This report is being distributed through the U.S. Department of
Transportation's Technology Sharing Program.

DOT-T-91-05

DOT-T-91-05

Click HERE for graphic.




(DHOVFN.html)
Jump To Top