Following outcry, Deal lowers HOT lane rates

ATLANTA — Some like it HOT. Some don’t.

Following widespread criticism of the rates for the new HOT lanes, Gov. Nathan Deal on Thursday lowered the rates for the lanes.

Deal released the following statement on Thursday:

“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. 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.”

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