All METRO high-occupancy vehicle and high-occupancy toll lanes to reopen May 11

High occupancy vehicle and high occupancy toll lanes will reopen May 11, including the reversible lane on Hwy. 290. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
High occupancy vehicle and high occupancy toll lanes will reopen May 11, including the reversible lane on Hwy. 290. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)

High occupancy vehicle and high occupancy toll lanes will reopen May 11, including the reversible lane on Hwy. 290. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)

After being closed for more than a month, all high-occupancy vehicle and high-occupancy toll lanes are reopening May 11 on Houston's highways, including lanes on Hwy. 290, I-45 and Hwy. 59.

The HOT/HOV lanes, which are operated by the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, were originally closed down March 30. Beginning 5 a.m. May 11, commuters can once again take their normal routes and pay standard toll rates.


The lanes are available to drivers with toll tags, with some exceptions, during which they are only available to vehicles with at least two and sometimes three riders. Vehicles with at least two riders are allowed to access HOV lanes without paying a toll. More details on how each HOV/HOT lane operates can be found on METRO's website.

Service from Park & Ride facilities remains suspended, with the exception of the following routes to the Texas Medical Center.

  • 170/171: Missouri City Express / Fort Bend Town Center

  • 292: West Bellfort / Westwood / Texas Medical Center

  • 297: South Point / Monroe / Texas Medical Center

  • 298: Kingsland / Addicks / Northwest Transit Center / Texas Medical Center

  • 291: Conroe Park & Ride (reduced to 6:30 a.m. inbound and 4:30 p.m. outbound trips)


Local bus routes will continue to operate on a modified Saturday schedule with additional buses on higher-trafficked routes.

While toll collections will resume on HOT/HOV lanes, all fares remain temporarily suspended on METRO's rail and buses. Data for the month of March showed ridership numbers are down 25% as compared to March 2019.
By Shawn Arrajj
Shawn Arrajj serves as the editor of the Cy-Fair edition of Community Impact Newspaper where he covers the Cy-Fair and Jersey Village communities. He mainly writes about development, transportation and issues in Harris County.