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GWINNETT | Senate Democrats propose moratorium on future HOT lanes | News

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GWINNETT | Senate Democrats propose moratorium on future HOT lanes

ATLANTA - Democratic leaders in Georgia's Senate are calling for a three year moratorium on the implementation of new High Occupancy Toll lanes in the state, 11Alive's Paul Crawley reported Tuesday.

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The Senate Democrats aren't convinced that the HOT lanes on I-85 have been successful.  Their proposal would only apply to future HOT lane projects.

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Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal told Crawley that he does not support the moratorium proposal.

So-called Express Lanes went into effect on I-85 in Gwinnett and DeKalb counties on October 1, 2011.  The lanes, the farthest left on the Interstate, employ a floating toll rate based on traffic conditions.  For instance, during peak travel times, toll rates for the lanes are higher, while during off-peak hours the toll rate is lower.

Commuters riding with three or more people in their vehicle may drive in the lanes for free.

RELATED | Feds deny Gov. Deal's HOT lane waiver

Any commuter who wishes to drive in the Express Lanes must have a Georgia Peach Pass for automatic toll payments.

Georgia's State Road and Tollway Authority has issued more than 100,000 Peach Passes.

RELATED | 100,000th Peach Pass issued

Critics have blasted the HOT lanes saying they are too costly for average commuters and cause worse traffic conditions in the non-toll lanes.