Managed Lanes

What are managed lanes?

According to the Federal Highway Administration, managed lanes are highway lanes where operational strategies are proactively implemented and managed in response to changing conditions.

What are the different types of managed lanes?

Managed lane strategies fall into three main categories:

  • Access control – Express lanes, reversible lanes
  • Vehicle eligibility – High-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, truck lane restrictions, off-peak use of HOV lanes by non-HOV vehicles
  • Pricing – Value-priced lanes, toll lanes
Are managed lanes toll roads?

There is a growing assumption that any form of a managed lane is synonymous with a tolling operation. While this is sometimes true, it is not a given. Lane management encompasses a wide variety of strategies, including but not limited to:

  • High-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes
  • Express lanes (through-traffic lanes with fewer exits)
  • Restricted lanes (e.g., trucks or buses only)
  • Reversible lanes

Alone or combined, all of these lane types are under the umbrella of a comprehensive managed lane strategy.

Why do we use managed lanes?

Managed lanes are vital for reducing congestion and offering drivers more reliable timeframes for getting to their destinations. By actively managing the flow of traffic in a lane, transportation agencies are able to adjust lane strategies as needed to maximize roadway efficiency, improving traffic flow on both the managed and general-purpose lanes.

How do managed lanes benefit drivers?
  • Travel options and choices
  • Greater travel time reliability
  • Safer roadways
  • More efficient use of system capacity
  • Flexible use in emergency situations
  • Improved traffic flow on both managed and general-purpose lanes
Why not just add more general-purpose lanes?

Strategic management of lanes on existing and proposed roadways is critical to achieving improved travel times for everyone.

Who operates the managed lanes?

TxDOT, or in some cases project developers, manage the lanes and entities such as a toll road authority may provide billing, either by mail or electronically, with reduced rates for vehicles equipped with any Texas transponder (such as TxTag, TollTag or EZ Tag).