Governor seeks waiver on HOV rules, works on access points
In coordination with the State Road and Tollway Authority, Gov. Nathan Deal will implement changes to improve usage of the new High Occupancy Toll lanes on I-85.
"Looking at what we've learned from our first four work days with the HOT lanes, I've asked SRTA to improve utilization of the express lanes," Deal said. "In the short term, the toll rate will lower -- starting with Thursday afternoon's commute -- but the effective rate will continue to change to regulate speed and volume.
"Even before the lanes opened, we knew we needed to improve the access and exit points in the southbound direction. SRTA and the Georgia Department of Transportation are working together and I've directed them to prioritize this action.
"Lastly, I-85 has long required two passengers for the express lanes. Federal regulations in effect with the HOT lanes increased the requirement to three passengers. I will pursue a federal waiver to move the requirement back to two.
"All of these actions are intended to increase the volume in the express lanes while maintaining its steady pace, relieve congestion in the all-access lanes, and encourage carpooling and use of the Peach Pass.
"As governor, I'm committed to finding transportation solutions that help Georgians get to work and back home to their families. I will continue to monitor the situation as drivers become more accustomed to this new system."
SRTA continues to issue, on average, 1,700 Peach Passes a day. As of today, there are 75,000 passes in circulation. The state is well on its way to reaching its target of 175,000 Peach Passes in use.