High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Systems
HOV - Hampton Roads: How to Use
1. Share a ride.
During HOV restricted periods, HOV-2 lanes require a minimum of two people per passenger vehicle. Some vehicles also qualify as exemptions. During all other times, HOV lanes are open to all passenger vehicles, except when the reversible lanes are closed. Many travelers already have enough passengers, making the HOV lanes an easy way to speed up the trip. If you're a commuter and need to find a rideshare partner, contact TRAFFIX. They have a rideshare database that can help match you with riders with similar commutes. By ridesharing, you will not only save time, but money. Find out how much you can save on your commute.
2. Plan your trip to Virginia.
If you've never taken HOV lanes before, it's easy to plan your trip. Be sure to check the HOV operating hours for Hampton Roads.
3. Look for the HOV Symbols.
HOV lanes are always marked with the restricted lane symbol. Many lanes also have large electronic message signs which display the required occupancy for using the lanes, the hours that HOV restrictions are in effect, and where to enter and exit. Some HOV lanes are barrier-separated lanes, while other HOV lanes are simply in the left lane. Message signs will advise you if the lanes are open or closed.
VDOT closes all entrances to barrier-separated HOV lanes for a short time between reverses to ensure that all vehicles have completed their trip out of the lanes before opening them to traffic in the opposite direction. Then, VDOT drives the lanes to make sure no cars are left behind. HOV lanes also have emergency shoulders which are monitored by Virginia State Police and VDOT's incident response team.