Arkansas may add part-time toll lanes on highways in the area of Little Rock.
The Arkansas Highway Commission is studying high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes in other metro areas around the U.S. and may implement such lanes in its own state to help reduce traffic and expand mass transit, according to The Sentinel-Record.
Metroplan, which has partnered with the highway commission, said commuters would pay a toll in the morning and afternoon to use the HOT lanes, while approved busses would not.
“You can basically guarantee anybody that is in the hot lane is going to make pretty good time,” explained Jim McKenzie, executive director for Metroplan.
HOT lanes are being considered for a portion of Interstate 30 between south Little Rock and Benton.
The study, which may take six months to a year, will look at possible toll prices for the HOT lanes and determine access during non-peak hours.
The state’s current plan to widen roughly seven miles of I-30 through downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock is being challenged by residents and politicians alike who believe that the highway expansion will have a negative impact on downtown development.