HOV history: how much do you know?

Content provided by NAPA

Take this quiz to brush up on how the HOV lane came to be and why it still helps out drivers and the environment.

Question 1 of 7

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What is the primary purpose of the HOV lane?

In general, carpoolers and single-occupant users paying to use HOV and HOT (high occupancy toll) lanes are the direct beneficiaries of these lanes. People in other lanes benefit indirectly due to the reduction of vehicles in those lanes.

Question 2 of 7

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When the HOV lane was rolled out, what were the two reasons given to encourage people to use it?

Experience with HOV lanes from around the country has shown a positive relationship between ridership and travel time savings, suggesting that, as congestion grows, the travelers' willingness to carpool or ride on a bus that uses an HOV lane also grows.

Question 3 of 7

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Which of these restrictions were common on early HOV projects?

Many of the initial HOV lanes were bus-only. Carpools became the dominant use group during the 1970s and 1980s. Many lanes originally required three or more occupants, but most lanes today require only two.

Question 4 of 7

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How many single-occupancy cars can buses potentially take off the road?

One bus can carry 45 people.

Question 5 of 7

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What international crisis influenced legislation that let states use federal funding for HOV projects?

HOV lanes trace back to the Arab Oil Embargo of the early 1970s, when gas shortages were widespread.

Question 6 of 7

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What did the enactment of a maximum speed limit of 55 mph in the early 1970s have to do with HOV lanes?

President Nixon issued an executive order mandating a 55 mph national maximum speed limit in 1973 to conserve fuel. The move was later applauded as a safety measure. But its effects on fuel consumption and highway fatalities were lower than expected.

Question 7 of 7

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Since 1980, the number of miles we travel has increased more than our miles of road. How much has it increased?

Although the number of miles of urban roads has increased 60 percent since 1980, our roads still can’t handle the demand without HOV lanes. That’s because the number of miles we travel has increased by an even greater percentage than the miles of road.

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