Maryland Department of Transportation
State Highway Administration
HOV lanes along I-270
you travel along 1-270, you will notice the "HOV-2" signs, special striping and
diamond markings along the north and southbound left lanes in Montgomery County.
But do you know these lanes can save time, fuel and money?
The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) opened
its first High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane along the northbound 1-270 east spur
in Montgomery County in September 1993. In July 1994, SHA opened an HOV lane
along the southbound 1-270 east spur. Effective fall 1996 / early 1997, SHA will
provide a 19-mile continuous HOV lane along the left lane of north and
southbound 1-270 from 1-495 to MD 121.
High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes are not new to the
Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. They have been used successfully in other
states, carrying more than twice as many people during peak rush hour periods as
adjacent general use lanes.
What are HOV lanes?
lanes are reserved for carpools, vanpools, buses and motorcycles during
designated time periods. They are also known as carpool, commuter and express
lanes. HOV lanes move more people because of their higher auto occupancies.
Who can use the HOV lanes?
1-270 HOV lanes are designated as HOV-2, meaning motorists, other
than motorcyclists, must carpool with at least one other person to use the
What times can I use the HOV lanes?
The 1-270 HOV lanes are operational along southbound 1-270 during
morning rush hours, 6 to 9 a.m., and along northbound 1-270 during evening rush
hours, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Hours for HOV use are clearly posted on signs along the
highway. General traffic may use these lanes all other times.
What about HOV enforcement?
Maryland State Police will enforce HOV lane use along 1-270.
Drivers failing to obey the HOV designation will be fined $50 and one point on
their driving record. Additionally, if the driver's failure to obey the
designation leads to an accident, the driver will be subject to three points.
How can I join a carpool?
There are many
programs and options available to commuters. If you don't have access to bus or
rail transit, here are a few organizations specializing in car and
(301) 77O-POOL (766S) - In
Montgomery County, there are several public and private ridesharing programs.
Call this number to register with a ridesharing program in your area. A list of
potential poolmates will be sent within 24 hours.
(301) 694-2O65- TransIT
Services of Frederick County offers carpool and vanpool matching assistance.
TransIT is also planning a vanpool incentive program to assist new partially
filled vanpools during the first few months of operation.
l-8OO-745-RIDE (7433) -
COMMUTER CONNECTIONS, of the Metropolitan Washington Council of
Governments, helps commuters who work in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area
utilize carpools, vanpools and mass transit options.
Carpool and Vanpool Parking
County parking facilities in Silver Spring and
Bethesda offer reduced rates for carpools and vanpools. Check with the attendant
Several Private, for-profit car and vanpool
organizations serve the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Check with your
employer about these services and other ridesharing programs and incentives.
MORE ABOUT HOV LANES
Why implement HOV lanes?
States are no longer able to address congestion by adding more
lanes. We must make the most efficient use of our existing highway system, while
seeking ways to reduce congestion. HOV lanes are a practical alternative toward
reaching this goal.
How can I benefit from HOV lanes?
HOV commuter benefits include less use of personal vehicles, less
fuel consumption, reduced total travel time and improved trip time. Motorists
who carpool only a few days per week will benefit.
Other benefits from using HOV lane
HOV lanes move more people in fewer vehicles, reducing the demand
for new highways.
HOV lanes increase the efficiency of existing
HOV lanes reduce the use of personal resources such as
time, fuel and money.
HOV lanes benefit drivers of single occupant vehicles by
taking car-poolers out of general use lanes.
All drivers can utilize HOV lanes during off-peak traffic