This paper reviews the history of the high occupancy vehicle (HOV) concept and explores the assumptions underlying the expansion of HOV facilities. Some in highway and transit agencies argue that the construction of HOV lanes is a revolutionary new direction that will improve transportation efficiency, provide incentives for higher occupancies, promote transit, and reduce car trips, vehicle miles traveled, and air pollution. The authors of this paper question these claims and suggest that new HOV lane construction, as now being planned and implemented, is simply increasing the roadway space devoted to the automobile. They state that "A car with two occupants is a low occupancy vehicle, not high occupancy: a date is not a carpool." They find that, in the long run, HOV lanes may worsen air quality, reduce transit mode share, and increase vehicle trips and the miles driven. Constructing HOV lanes on long stretches of freeway encourages urban sprawl and diverts resources from needed improvements in transit within cities.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Institute for Transportation and the Environment

    85 East Roanoke Street
    Seattle, WA  United States  98102

    Chesapeake Bay Foundation

    162 Prince George Street
    Annapolis, MD  United States  21401
  • Authors:
    • Leman, C K
    • Schiller, P L
    • Pauly, K
  • Publication Date: 1994-8-1


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: 34 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00798931
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: NTL, TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 14 2000 12:00AM