HOV / HOT (Express) Lanes – U.S. 290 Northwest Freeway

 

Common Questions

The acronyms HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) and HOT (High Occupancy Toll) refer to a barrier-separated lane that runs down the middle of a freeway in one direction, depending on the time of day. It allows drivers to travel faster and avoid congestion on weekdays.

The lane is reversible.

On weekday mornings, it’s open in the eastbound direction (inbound) towards downtown.

On weekday afternoons, it’s open in the westbound direction (outbound) for traffic leaving downtown and headed home.

The lane runs from I-10 (east of I-610) to the Highway 99 area, just east of Mason Road – as shown on the map below.


US 290 HOV / HOT lane overall access ramp map

U.S. 290 East (inbound) towards I-10 (east of I-610): Weekdays, 5-11:00 a.m.

U.S. 290 West (outbound) towards Highway 99: Weekdays, 1-8:00 p.m.

There’s no cost if you have at least two people in the vehicle.

If you have only one person in the vehicle, you can only use the lane during certain hours and there’s a small toll. This is shown in the tables below.

INBOUND (U.S. 290 East towards I-10 (east of I-610)
Time Cost for one-person vehicle
5-6:00 a.m. $2.50
6-6:30 a.m. $7.00
6:30-8:00 a.m. Must have at least three people riding
8-9:00 a.m. $5.00
9-10:00 a.m. $2.50
10-11:00 a.m. $1.00

OUTBOUND (U.S. 290 West towards Highway 99)
Time Cost for one-person vehicle
1-3:00 p.m. $1.00
3-4:00 p.m. $2.50
4-4:30 p.m. $5.00
4:30-6:00 p.m. Must have at least two people riding
6-7:00 p.m. $5.00
7-8:00 p.m. $2.50

 

Where to Enter and Exit the Lanes

Access to the express lane is available in two different locations near Northwest Transit Center, as shown in the images below.

This map is to and from I-10.

US 290 HOV lane access ramp 1 map

The exit ramp from the express lane on U.S. 290 East towards I-10 (east of I-610) (inbound) is open weekdays, 5-11:00 a.m.

See exit ramp location >>

 

The entrance ramp to the express lane on U.S. 290 West towards Highway 99 (outbound) is open weekdays, 1-8:00 p.m. Access is available from the left lane of I-10 Westbound, just east of I-610.

See entrance ramp location >>

This map is to and from Northwest Transit Center.

US 290 HOV lane access ramp 2 map

The exit ramp from the express lane on U.S. 290 East towards I-10 (east of I-610) (inbound) is open weekdays, 5-11:00 a.m.

See exit ramp location >>

 

The entrance ramp to the express lane on U.S. 290 West towards Highway 99 (outbound) is open weekdays, 1-8:00 p.m. Access is available from Old Katy Road east of North Post Oak.

See entrance ramp location >>

Access to the express lane is available in two different locations near the West Little York Park & Ride:

US 290 HOV lane access ramp 3 map

U.S. 290 frontage road Inbound (east of Beltway 8) and Hempstead Highway between Beltway 8 and W. Little York Road

This functions from 5-11:00 a.m. as:

An exit ramp from the express lane on U.S. 290 east towards I-10 (east of I-610) open weekdays.

An entrance ramp to the express lane on U.S. 290 east towards I-10 (east of I-610) open weekdays.

 

This functions from 1-8:00 p.m. as:

An exit ramp from the express lane on U.S. 290 west towards Highway 99 (outbound), open weekdays.

An entrance ramp to the express lane on U.S. 290 west towards Highway 99 (outbound), open weekdays.

See entrance and exit ramp location >>

US 290 HOV lane  ramp 3A map

Hempstead Highway (near I-610)

This functions as:

An exit ramp from the express lane on U.S. 290 East towards I-10 (east of I-610) (inbound), open weekdays, 5-11:00 a.m.

See exit ramp location >>

Access to the express lane is available in two different locations near the Northwest Station Park & Ride:

US 290 HOV lane access ramp map 4

U.S. 290 frontage road outbound (west of Jones Road)
Castlebridge Drive (east of West Road)

Both access points function as:

An entrance ramp to the express lane on U.S. 290 East towards I-10 (east of I-610) (inbound), open weekdays, 5-11:00 a.m.

An exit ramp from the express lane on U.S. 290 West towards Highway 99 (outbound), open weekdays, 1-8:00 p.m.

See entrance and exit ramp location >>

US 290 HOV lane access ramp map 5

This functions as:

An entrance ramp to the express lane on U.S. 290 East towards I-10 (east of I-610) (inbound), open weekdays, 5-11:00 a.m.

An exit ramp from the express lane on U.S. 290 West towards Highway 99 (outbound), open weekdays, 1-8:00 p.m.

See entrance and exit ramp location >>

US 290 HOV lane access ramp map 6

This functions as:

An entrance ramp to the express lane on U.S. 290 East towards I-10 (east of I-610) (inbound), open weekdays, 5-11:00 a.m.

An exit ramp from the express lane on U.S. 290 West towards Highway 99 (outbound), open weekdays, 1-8:00 p.m.

See entrance and exit ramp location >>

 

Additional HOV Lane

To further reduce traffic congestion, the far left lane in both directions between W. 34th St. (west of Loop 610) and Barker Cypress Road is now an HOV lane on weekdays as well.

Vehicles with at least two passengers can now travel in that lane during these hours:

U.S. 290 West towards Barker Cypress Road: Weekdays, 6-9:00 a.m.

U.S. 290 East towards W. 34th Street: Weekdays, 3:30-7:00 p.m.