It blows my mind that it has taken this long for Atlanta to implement High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes on I-85 in Gwinnett County. Many people have no idea this is happening, but will soon realize that if you are leaving or entering the city at peak times on I-85, you can jump into this toll lane and zoom through traffic effortlessly. Places such as Sweden, the U.K., China and many others have implemented these types of tolls for decades now with great success. Not only do these countries have HOT lanes, but they actually toll you for entering a certain part of the city. These fees can be quite high, such as $16 to enter the city center in London at 7am.
This type of toll would be hard to push in the Atlanta area but it is completely needed. Imagine getting on I-285 and paying $2.00 each time, or once you hit the city limit of Atlanta, you are charged $5 instantly. Of course there would be breaks for emergency vehicles, cabs (there are no cabs in Atlanta by the way), and low-emission vehicles. A major benefit of this is that most of the revenues in these countries go directly toward public transport costs and development. Not only would this drastically decrease congestion, but it would also cut emissions and also bring in a hefty amount of revenue considering the major upfront cost of these projects. People may call me crazy, but this is the only way congestion can be tackled in the metro Atlanta area in the next 5 years…not 30 years.
To read more about the new HOT lanes in Atlanta CLICK HERE