Lawmaker wants to nix HOT lanes as they reach record-breaking prices

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GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga.,None —

As the HOT lanes on Interstate 85 continue to break price records, one lawmaker wants to do away with any future HOT lane projects.

According to the State Roadway and Toll Authority, in January, the daily fare for the HOT lanes averaged $1.26 in January. More than 11,000 drivers traveled the lane daily, bringing in more than $236,000 last month.

In the four months since the HOT lanes opened, the toll authority has collected more than $757,000 from drivers opting to use the toll lanes.

Some drivers said they are not impressed by the HOT lanes.

“So, you’re paying $4 to be stuck in traffic still when you could just drive in the regular lanes and you’re going to be stuck in traffic anyway,” driver Kimberly Young said.

“I understand the state needs money, but to pay to drive, it seems ridiculous,” driver Brandon LeBlanc said.

State Sen. Curt Thompson from Tucker introduced a bill that would put a moratorium on future HOT lane projects.

“I do think the I-85 HOT lanes have been a failure. Period,” Thompson said.

Thompson called the lanes a failure because he still sees traffic back-ups on them.

“I have seven bridges in my district that cross I-85. You can stand on I-85 at rush hour and watch it’s not working,” Thompson said.

On Tuesday, drivers paid a record $4.75 to use the lane.

Officials said the sliding toll scale could go as high as 90-cents a mile as traffic increases, meaning it could cost drivers nearly $15 to travel the 16-mile HOT lane.