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C207
Potential Impact of Exempt Vehicles on HOV Lanes

Vincent D. Reynolds, MBA, PE

High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes are used by many carpools, buses, etc. in order to make the flow of traffic more efficient. Buses were the first vehicles to travel on the HOV lanes, later 2 people and 3 people carpools were added as the minimum occupancy of vehicles that can operate in the HOV lanes. Maximizing the occupancy of vehicles would in turn minimize the numbers of vehicles operating on the highway at a given time resulting in lower vehicle emissions.

There are however exempt vehicles that can operate in the HOV lanes without meeting the minimum occupancy requirements. Those vehicles would include, Inherently Low-Emission Vehicles (ILEV), law enforcement vehicles, emergency vehicles, environmentally friendly vehicles, and designated public transportation vehicles.

This 3 hour course will examine the use of HOV lanes by exempt vehicles. It will provide useful information to ascertain the impact of exempt vehicles on the efficiency of HOV lanes, which are meant mainly to be used by high occupancy vehicles.

This course is to read by anyone with an interest in HOV lanes, traffic engineering transportation engineering, air pollution, environmental engineering or anyone wanting to know a brief history of HOV lanes and how they operate. After reading this course the student will know which exempt vehicles can be operated in the HOV lane with only one occupant. This information may be essential to future vehicles purchases by the reader.

The course materials are based solely on the technical report “Potential Impact of Exempt Vehicles on HOV Lanes” as found on the website of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of course materials.


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