High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV)
A High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) is defined in Calgary as a bus; a motor vehicle with two or more occupants, including taxis; or a bicycle. HOV lanes can take many forms including travel lanes restricted for use by carpoolers, transit-only lanes, bus-only shoulders and queue jumps.
The Calgary Transportation Plan outlines a Primary HOV Network that effectively connects major destinations throughout the city. Further evaluation is needed to choose the best form of HOV lane (e.g., transit only or transit plus carpool only) for each road identified in the Primary HOV Network. Case-by-case, The City will also study and decide how they can be implemented with existing roads (e.g., widening, lane reversal, lane conversion).
Why HOV lanes?
Providing HOV lanes discourages commuters to rely on single-occupant vehicles and helps make public transit better by improving transit travel speeds and service reliability. It creates priority along Primary Transit corridors.
HOV lanes can also encourage more people in one vehicle to reduce the number of vehicles on the road. Fewer vehicles on the road help improve air quality, reduce energy demands and greenhouse gas emissions, and support more land use intensification by linking Activity Centres and Corridors, as defined by the Municipal Development Plan.
For more information on HOV lanes, see Section 3.5 of the Calgary Transportation Plan.
Where are HOV lanes in Calgary?
- Centre Street N - two or more people vehicles, bicyclists, Calgary Transit. The Centre Street HOV lanes also include the Traffic Signal Priority (TSP) system to provide smoother and faster trips for transit customers.
- Crowchild Trail S - Calgary Transit
- Northbound shoulder lane: 33 Avenue to Bow Trail
- Southbound shoulder lane: 17 Avenue to 33 Avenue
Right turns into and out of the HOV lane
Single Occupant Vehicles (SOVs) may use the HOV lane to make right turns provided they do not travel more than one block (or a reasonable distance depending on traffic) in the HOV lane before or after their turn.
Note 1: SOVs may only enter the HOV lane in the block from where they will make a right turn.
Note 2: SOVs turning right enter the HOV lane to complete the turn and move out of the HOV lane before the start of the next block.