HERO Program

After 37 years, WSDOT has discontinued the HERO program, which helped educate travelers are the proper use of high occupancy vehicle and ferry lanes.

The program began in 1984 when HOV lanes were relatively new in the state. The program’s goal was to encourage travelers to self-enforce HOV lane rules in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. Over the years, the program was expanded to include toll lanes the ferry lanes.

Travelers were encouraged to call the HERO number to report HOV lane violators and ferry lane cutters. WSDOT then mailed educational materials to the registered owner of the vehicle.

The program has served its purpose because most travelers are familiar with how HOV lanes and ferry queuing operates. Enforcement of violations is a function of the Washington State Patrol. Violators reported to the HERO hotline did not receive traffic tickets, only educational materials. WSP will continue to issue tickets for lane violations and ferry line cutting.

Funding for the program will be reallocated for traffic operations and safety improvements.