FAQs: HOV Lanes
What is an HOV Lane?
An HOV lane is one specifically designed for use by High Occupancy Vehicles (in our region this means vehicles occupied by 2 or more passengers).
Who can travel the HOV Lanes?
Any vehicle with 2 or more riders. These vehicles can include carpools, vanpools, as well as buses.
What is the cost to ride the HOV Lanes?
There is no cost to travel on the HOV Lanes - - because only some of the vehicles traveling on the roadway will be eligible to drive on the HOV Lane, there may even be a big time savings because of not having to wait in traffic.
Are the HOV Lanes open all the time?
Generally the HOV lanes are open in the morning rush hour in-bound toward downtown Pittsburgh and outbound during the afternoon rush. Please be sure to pay attention to the signage - - the lane directions are clearly marked when they are “open” to travelers.
Which bus routes serve the HOV Lanes?
Check the list of the Port Authority of Allegheny County Website for the bus routes traveling the I-279 HOV Lane. Currently no buses are traveling through the Wabash Tunnel.
FAQs: Wabash HOV
THE PORT AUTHORITY OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY ANSWERS THE MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE WABASH HOV:
Will buses use the Wabash HOV?
Buses are not scheduled to use the Wabash HOV for regular service at this time. However, if there is a temporary shut down or detour of the Mt. Washington Transit Tunnel, West Busway or Fort Pitt Bridge, buses may utilize the Wabash HOV as a viable transit option into and out of Downtown Pittsburgh. Port Authority may also use the facility during special events or for special service.
When can I use the Wabash HOV?
The Wabash HOV will be open to the public starting December 27, 2004 and be available for use 22 hours a day, seven days a week. Please review the Hours of Operation for specific information.
How would it operate?
As with any high occupancy vehicle facility, two or more people must be in vehicles using the Wabash HOV. During the morning rush hour (6-10 a.m.), HOV traffic using the tunnel and ramps will be inbound only to Downtown Pittsburgh. After the morning rush hour, all vehicles – including single-occupied vehicles - may use the facility inbound only. From 3-7 p.m., traffic using the tunnel and ramps will be outbound only. After the afternoon rush hour, all vehicles may use it outbound only.
During weekends, the facility will operate outbound only from Downtown and it will be open to all traffic with no HOV restrictions. Click on Hours of Operation for specific times, directions of travel and restrictions.
How can I access the Wabash HOV Parking Lot?
You can conveniently access the 160-space parking lot via the Wabash HOV. There is also an entrance to the lot located just off of Carson at the intersection of Commerce Drive, directly across from Station Square. The section of the parking lot to the left of the West Carson Street entrance will accommodate 17 vehicles with six spaces designated for persons with disabilities. The lot on the right contains 143 spaces. There are steps from the lot to a newly constructed sidewalk along West Carson Street. Also, an ADA-accessible walkway/ramp to the Monongahela Incline and West Carson Street has been constructed.
If I don’t use the Wabash Tunnel, can I still park in the lot?
Yes. You can access the parking lot via West Carson Street. However, direct access to the facility is provided by way of the Wabash HOV. Signs are posted on the ramps directing you to the lot.
How much will it cost to park in the lots?
Open to the public 24 hours a day; seven days a week
Monday – Friday: $4.50 to $6.00
Saturday – Sunday: $5.00 to $6.00
Special Events: $12.00
What are the Wabash HOV tunnel restrictions?
There are a few restrictions that every motorist must follow. During the morning and afternoon rush hours (6-10 a.m. and 3-7 p.m.) two or more people must be in the vehicle in order to use the Wabash HOV. Port Authority Police will patrol the facility.
Trucks with a height of 13’-1” or more or a weight of more than 26,000 pounds are not permitted to use this facility. These restrictions are usually associated with larger trucks that require a commercial driver’s license to operate.
Can I transfer to public transportation from the parking lot?
Yes. If you use the Wabash HOV parking lot, a ramp from the lot will take you directly to the Monongahela Incline, bus service and the T. This ramp is ADA-accessible. Also, a stairway will lead you to a newly-constructed sidewalk along West Carson Street. From there, you can connect to public transportation or walk across the Smithfield Street Bridge to Downtown Pittsburgh. Use the online Port Authority Interactive Scheduler or contact Port Authority Customer Service for schedules and routing information.
How do I access the tunnel from Route 51?
You can access the tunnel from Woodruff Street. Woodruff Street is located off Saw Mill Run Boulevard (Route 51) between the Liberty and Fort Pitt tunnels. See the map for more information. Signs are posted along Route 51 and West Carson Street regarding access to the Wabash HOV and its availability (see Hours of Operation).
What happens if there is a fire or accident in the tunnel?
In the unlikely event of a fire or major accident, the tunnel will be closed immediately to traffic and reopened when deemed safe for operations. For minor accidents such as flat tires, pull off to one side and call 911. If you do not have a cell phone, use one of the stainless steel emergency telephones installed along the tunnel for your convenience. These telephones give you a direct connection to the Wabash Traffic Operations Center and Port Authority Police Department. Also, with the safety features in place and frequent patrols by the Port Authority Police, help is only minutes away.
What other safety features are in the tunnel?
The Wabash HOV is equipped with several safety features, including emergency telephones every 300 feet, fire extinguishers, a fire detection and sprinkler system, and C0/C02 detection equipment for emissions testing and monitoring.
For more efficient tunnel operations, cameras located inside the tunnel will be monitored on-site.
What’s the benefit of this project?
- Improves mobility, eases congestion and provides a reliable transportation option.
- Diminishes traffic congestion on the Liberty Bridge and Tunnel, West End Bridge and Ft. Pitt Bridge and Tunnel.
- Helps reduce travel times.
- Provides improved pedestrian connections along West Carson Street.
- Improves HOV access to Downtown.
- Promotes regional commute and rideshare programs.
- Transforms an historic railroad tunnel into a modern transportation facility.
- Helps conserve energy and reduce air pollution.
- Provides convenient connections to other Port Authority services and facilities, including the Monongahela Incline, Light Rail Transit System (T) and bus service.
- Provides additional parking to serve Station Square and Downtown Pittsburgh.
- Provides fast and efficient alternative to exiting Downtown Pittsburgh after major events.
This information was provided by the Port Authority of Allegheny County. For more information, please contact them directly at 412-442-2000.
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