Starting this weekend your drive to Galveston should be a bit easier.

Metro will open up a 15 mile stretch of hot lanes on i-45 the gulf freeway. The lanes go from downtown Houston to near Dixie Farm Road. If you have made the trip to and from the beach, you know the freeway traffic can be difficult on busy summer weekends.

The lanes will be open at peak island driving times to ease congestion. 

Metro Board Chairman Gilbert Garcia said, “Use of the HOV/HOT lane should provide congestion relief and ease transit during peak weekend hours on a very popular route.  We want to do everything we can to help improve transit and mobility in the region.”        

On Saturdays and holidays the lane will be open for southbound drivers from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Northbound traffic will use the lane from 2p.m. to 8 p.m.

On Sundays, when traffic returning from the island is normally at its heaviest, northbound vehicles can access the HOV/HOT lane from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Just as with weekday travel the hot lanes will be free to vehicles with more than one person and one dollar for solo drivers with an E-Z Tag. The hot lanes will be open on weekends and holidays through Labor Day.

For more information about METRO’s HOV and HOT lanes visit