RALEIGH — State leaders are trying to figure out ways to help motorists get around town more easily. One possible solution? High occupancy vehicle lanes.
Some think putting more people in one car is one way to keep things moving. HOV, or high occupancy vehicle lanes, are being used in some cities, including Washington, D.C.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation is studying if they would work here to solve traffic problems on Interstate 40.
"It's a different way to commute," said DOT's William Gilmore. "There are advantages and disadvantages, and whatever we have out there, we actually have to have people in those lanes."
In Washington, D.C., HOV lanes are restricted to cars with three or more passengers. Some motorists there think that requirement is too high.
It also may be too high for the Triangle.
"You rarely see more than two people in a car," says motorist Joyce Hopper. "It may be too many..."
But if the special lanes only required two passengers, motorists interviewed said they would be willing to hitch a ride at least a few times a week.
"If I knew I was coming to work and going back home, carpooling would be fine," said driver Abraham Lin.
Motorists Ann Bobbitt added: "Number one, you save on money; and number two, you save on your car as far as wear and tear."
The time of day that HOV lanes are used also influences how successful they are. DOT says their initial study on HOV lanes on I-40 should be completed in six to eight months.