For those of us who usually drive alone, HOV lanes may be annoying, but at least they have the feeling of a good cause. They’re meant to promote carpooling, to reduce the number of cars on the road and ultimately to save the planet. They may in fact accomplish none of these noble goals, but the thought counts for something.
The new HOT lanes, on the other hand, serve one – and only one – obvious and transparent goal: They let rich people drive faster – for a price.
For $2 or $4 – or, in Virginia, as much as $20 – a trip, you can commute to work in style. A few thousand dollars a year on the EZ Pass is a small price to pay to avoid the riff-raff. If you think a few thousand dollars a year is a lot of money, the HOT lanes aren’t for you.