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Pan Am/Parapan Am HOV lanes: 5 things you need to know

The temporary HOV lanes designed for the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games will be in use as of Monday. Here are 5 things you need to know to get you moving and avoid fines.

Temporary HOV lanes will be in use starting Monday

Pan Am Games' transportation plan includes 235 kilometres of HOV lanes on major provincial highways and roads. (Pan Am/Parapan Am Games)

As we enter the homestretch of the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games, the transportation plan aimed at reducing traffic congestion during the Games is unfolding across the Golden Horseshoe region.

One of the most visible traffic measures, the temporary high-occupancy vehicle lanes, will kick in Monday, about two weeks before the Games officially begin.

Commuters can take advantage of 235 kilometres of HOV lanes on parts of Highway 401, Highway 404, the DVP, Lake Shore Boulevard, the Gardiner Expressway and the QEW.

HOV lanes have been a standard feature in multi-sport games — such as the 2012 London Olympics and the 2010 Vancouver Olympics — for many years, according to the Games' organizers. However, unlike in London and Vancouver where the lanes were reserved for athletes and game officials only, the lanes for the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games are open to the public.

Here are five things you need to know about these temporary HOV lanes to get you moving and avoid fines.

When are the lanes active?

The temporary lanes will kick in on June 29 and remain in effect until Aug. 18. The lanes will be active from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

Who can use the lanes?

  • Accredited games vehicles used to transport athletes, media and officials.
  • Motor vehicles with three or more occupants between June 29 to July 27.
  • Motor vehicles with two or more occupants between July 28 to August 18.
  • Emergency vehicles.
  • Public transit.
  • Licensed taxis.
  • Electric vehicles with green licence plates (on provincial highways).
  • Motorcycles (on Toronto and York Region roadways).

What do the lanes look like?

Workers are currently installing the HOV lanes across the region. When completed, the lanes will be clearly marked with pavement markings and signs.

However, because the lanes are only temporary, they will look different from the regular, permanent HOV lanes.

The temporary HOV lanes will be clearly indicated with signs and pavement markings. (Pan Am/Parapan Am Games)

How will the usage be enforced?

The Games' Integrated Security unit has developed an HOV lanes enforcement strategy. The OPP will actively enforce the compliance of the temporary HOV lanes as of June 29.

What are the fines?

The fine for incorrect use of the HOV lane is $85, plus a victim's surcharge of $25, for a total of $110 and three demerit points.

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