NCTCOG, Partners to Introduce Latest Way to Earn HOV Discount at Virtual News Conference
Arlington, Texas – Throughout the pandemic, many North Texans have been working from home and may not have thought much about carpooling. But with offices reopening across the region and commuting resuming, sharing a ride may once again be a good way to get to work safely and reliably.
If commuters choose to ride with coworkers, family or friends, they could save on more than just gas on some roadways across Dallas-Fort Worth. TEXpress Lanes are managed lanes found on eight major corridors throughout the region. Regional Transportation Council policies provide a toll discount for people riding together in these lanes during weekday peak periods (6:30-9 a.m. and 3-6:30 p.m.)
A virtual news conference is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sept. 22 to introduce the GoCarma app, which is now being used to qualify for these HOV discounts. The news conference will feature a demonstration of the app, messages from project partners and a question-and-answer session. The press event will be held live via Zoom and is open to all media. You must register for this event in order to attend. To register, visit https://nctcog.zoom.us/j/86077832545. Once registered, you will receive a unique link to the meeting. A recording of the news conference will be posted here and here.
GoCarma is a smartphone app developed by Carma Technology Corporation that uses Bluetooth and GPS to automatically verify two or more people are riding together in a vehicle. As long as at least two people in the car have the GoCarma app they will be eligible for the HOV 50% toll discount. (An optional non-trackable, Bluetooth occupant pass is available for non-smartphone users.) Once the app is installed, users never need to open the app again. It’s that easy.
Here are helpful materials, including videos explaining the GoCarma app and how it can help carpoolers save money on their commutes. Before attending the virtual press conference, members of the media are encouraged to watch the videos and review the educational materials provided.
o LBJ Express/NTE
o TEXpress Lanes
“Dallas-Fort Worth is one of the fastest-growing regions in the country, adding more than 1 million new residents every eight years,” NCTCOG Director of Transportation Michael Morris, P.E., said. “To accommodate this growth, the transportation system needs to be flexible and innovative. Our TEXpress Lanes System gives us that flexibility by providing drivers increased reliability in some of the region’s busiest corridors.
“Additionally, the GoCarma app gives North Texans who travel these managed lanes a safe and efficient way of qualifying for HOV discounts. The Council of Governments and the Regional Transportation Council thank our public- and private-sector partners for continuing to embrace innovative solutions.”
The TEXpress Lane System was established to enable users of some of the region’s most highly traveled roadways to reach their destinations more reliably. On these roadways, drivers can either choose to pay a variable toll to travel on the TEXpress Lanes (with traffic managed to allow speeds of at least 50 mph), or they can use the general-purpose lanes for no additional charge.
“Thanks to the vision of the North Central Texas Council of Governments and the tens of thousands of people who use GoCarma each day, we’ve been able to eliminate HOV violations and reduce traffic congestion by rewarding people for choosing to travel together instead of driving alone,” said Lawrence Mulligan, CEO of Carma Technology Corporation.
To date, the GoCarma app has been used by more than 40,000 daily commuters in Dallas-Fort Worth and verified more than 1.5 million HOV transactions. GoCarma is available for FREE in the App Store and on Google Play. For more information, visit www.gocarma.com/dfw.
About the North Central Texas Council of Governments:
NCTCOG is a voluntary association of local governments established in 1966 to assist local governments in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit and coordinating for sound regional development. NCTCOG's purpose is to strengthen both the individual and collective power of local governments and to help them recognize regional opportunities, eliminate unnecessary duplication and make joint decisions.
NCTCOG serves a 16-county region of North Central Texas, which is centered in the two urban centers of Dallas and Fort Worth. Currently, NCTCOG has 238 member governments including 16 counties, 169 cities, 22 school districts and 31 special districts. For more information on the NCTCOG Transportation Department, visit www.nctcog.org/trans.
About Carma Technology Corporation:
Carma Technology Corporation (Carma) is the provider of GoCarma, a smartphone app that automatically verifies vehicle occupancy. For more than a decade, Carma has been a trusted partner of government agencies in fighting traffic congestion by rewarding high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) travel. From launching the first ridesharing smartphone app in 2008, to verifying millions of passenger trips, Carma’s patented and proven technology helps people to save time and money on their commute. The GoCarma app automatically verifies HOV status, enabling commuters to qualify for HOV toll discounts without needing to activate or set their status manually.
About TEXpress Lanes:
The TEXpress Lanes system is all about choice, predictable travel speeds and congestion relief. Currently, there are more than 100 miles of TEXpress Lanes that form a network within the North Texas region. Managed to reduce congestion and keep traffic flowing, these toll express lanes use variable pricing in which tolls fluctuate based on real-time traffic conditions in the lanes. They offer drivers more choice in their daily commutes, located across eight major Dallas-Fort Worth corridors including I-635, I-35E, Loop 820 and SH 121/183, I-35W, I-30, SH 114, SH 183 and Loop 12. For more info about the TEXpress Lanes, visit https://www.texpresslanes.com.