One year later, drivers still mixed about HOT lanes

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GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. —

Drivers on Interstate 85 are taking advantage of the HOT lanes exactly one year after they opened.

The lanes were put in place to help relieve traffic. One year later, Channel 2 Action News has found the prices are higher than ever.

The HOT lanes allow solo drivers, or drivers with one passenger, to get a Peach Pass and pay a toll to ride in HOV lanes.

Some drivers who use I-85 in Gwinnett County told Channel 2's Rachel Stockman they are not convinced the lanes are working.

"It just doesn't. There (are) so many people that live in Atlanta, that's not going help," driver Gary Finley said. "I don't think no one should pay to get out of traffic."

According to the latest data from the Georgia State, Road and Tollway Authority, in the last year, the HOT lanes collected about $3 million in toll fees, from about 200,000 different Peach Pass users.

Some drivers said it's worthit if it means speeding through morning traffic.

"Time is money. It costs very little, if it will help you out and get you where you need to go quicker than that is what we should have," Finley said.

Truck driver Paul Jones believes the lanes are just too expensive:

"I cannot afford it," Jones said.

The tolls go up and down depending on traffic volume. The average daily toll in August was $1.35.

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