11/19/10 12:26pm

HOUSTON EV INCENTIVES: FREE JOLT FOR YOUR VOLT, TOLL RELIEF FOR YOUR LEAF At the unveiling yesterday of plans for the 150-station electric-vehicle charging network NRG Energy will be building in Houston, Mayor Parker announced a few additional perks for local EV owners: Electric vehicles that can drive fast enough will be allowed on Metro-operated HOV lanes for free, and the city will negotiate reduced rates for them on area toll roads. Owners of the new Chevy Volt will be able to get home charging stations installed for free; they’ll also be available at a reduced cost for Nissan Leaf buyers. The city will also be adding to its own small network of charging stations around the city, with 45 new additional juice dispensers for public use. [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Video: eVgo

10/27/09 6:17pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTHS OF I-10 “Ahe yes, the technology of the HOT lane. I had the opportunity to reverse communte I10 last week all week and every day I was the only car to correctly stay in the toll lane as I went past the toll gate rather than seamlessly merging into the high occupancy lane [and then] merging back out after skipping the toll. It looked like a peloton of single occupant cars as we sped along. Do they actuially intend to enforce the high occupancy part of this system somehow at some point[?]” [Jimbo, commenting on Paying Tolls on I-45, 290, and 59]

10/26/09 3:16pm

PAYING TOLLS ON I-45, 290, AND 59 “At its October meeting, the Metro board gave the go-ahead for the future conversion of highway HOV lanes to so-called “HOT” lanes (high-occupancy toll) like the ones operating on the Katy Freeway. A HOT lane has electronic scanning equipment that allows a solo driver to pay a toll to use a segregated carpool lane during rush hours. . . . The conversion of HOV lanes will occur on five freeway segments in the Metro service area: I-45 North and South, U.S. 290, and U.S. 59 north and south. Board documents indicate the cost of installing toll readers and automated gates would be about $48 million. Operating and maintaining the system for five years would cost an additional $42 million. Four-fifths of the total will come from federal grants. Metro will release more information when the final contract is signed, [Metro spokeswoman Raequel] Roberts said. But she said the HOV conversions could be completed in about two years.” [Houston Chronicle, via BlogHouston]