An HOV lane sign denotes that the lane is "open to all" as part of a pilot transporta ...

The first change in the round-the-clock enforcement of the Las Vegas Valley’s high occupancy lanes since Project Neon was completed kicked in Monday.

The 24/7 enforcement of the HOV lanes has been a hot topic among Southern Nevada motorists since a new stretch of the carpool lanes opened on Interstate 15 in 2019 with the completion of the $1 billion Project Neon. But starting Monday, the 22 miles of lanes are open to all motorists during overnight hours.

At least for an 18-month period.

The carpool lanes on I-15 and U.S. Highway 95, open to vehicles with two axles and two or more occupants during the majority of the day, will shift to being open to all motorists between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. seven days a week.

Motorcycles, Regional Transportation Commission buses and emergency vehicles are also allowed to utilize the carpool lanes during restricted hours.

The new regulation hours are part of an 18-month pilot program that will study the best use of the carpool lanes.

Temporary HOV regulations

With the $305 million I-15/Tropicana Interchange project well underway, the Nevada Department of Transportation opened up a stretch of the carpool lanes on the busy highway to help mitigate the road work’s impact.

Originally NDOT opened the HOV lanes to all between Silverado Ranch Boulevard and Spring Mountain Road. However, the HOV lane striping with the double white lines remained in place, confusing some motorists about where they could enter and exit the lanes if they were being used as general purpose lanes.

That is set to change in the coming weeks.

“NDOT will suspend the HOV lanes from Flamingo south for both north- and southbound drivers,” said Justin Hopkins, NDOT spokesman. “Essentially, that means the southern terminus of the HOV system temporarily ends at Flamingo. All drivers will be able to use those lanes for general-purpose traffic for the duration of the I-15/Tropicana project.”

To help eliminate confusion, the new boundary set will see the HOV lanes in the area restriped to make them appear as general-purpose lanes.

“That means there will be no double white lines and no entry/exit points in that section,” Hopkins said. “That work is scheduled to be completed before Thanksgiving. We understand there has been confusion among drivers. We heard those concerns and are confident this change will give much-needed relief during the I-15/Tropicana project.”

Old regulations not in play

A frequent question from readers is why the HOV lanes can’t go back to the same regulations used when only U.S. 95 had the lanes.

The small stretch of U.S. 95 HOV lanes in use prior to Project Neon were regulated only during morning and evening rush hours on weekdays and open to all at other times, including weekends.

With traffic patterns changing since those were in place, Hopkins said the decision to open the lanes overnight to all drivers was driven by data.

“The data shows Las Vegas does not see pronounced declines in HOV usage compared to general purpose lanes during mid-day and weekend hours, unlike some other major metropolitan areas we have studied,” Hopkins said.

Contact Mick Akers at or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter. Send questions and comments to

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Mike McNamara

Mike McNamara

A Las Vegas Realtor since 2008. Mike has a wide range of knowledge around all things Las Vegas.

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