No more solo free ride for Houston-area toll lane

HOUSTON,TX. (AP) - Houston-area drivers on the road alone will have to start paying to use a new high-occupancy toll lane after a week of free rides.

The Houston Chronicle reports Interstate 45 South is the first of five corridors to open as part of the Metropolitan Transit Authority's 84 miles of high-occupancy toll lanes. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was scheduled Monday.

Metro spokeswoman Carolina Mendoza says the goals are to give solo drivers another commuter option and increase use of high-occupancy vehicle lanes.

Single-occupancy vehicles use the same lanes as high-occupancy vehicles, but solo drivers must follow a path marked "all other vehicles" for tolling.

Drivers pay between $1 and $4.50, using a toll tag, depending on time of day.

Lone drivers were allowed to test the lane for free last week.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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