In order to improve traffic flow, the City designates some driving lanes for High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV). Most HOV lanes require a minimum of two or three people per vehicle and are only in effect during certain periods of the day.

These lanes are restricted to the following:

  • Passenger vehicles
  • Motorcycles
  • Buses
  • Emergency vehicles
  • Access-A-Ride vehicles
  • Ambulettes
  • Wheelchair accessible vans
  • Taxis and other for-hire vehicles with passengers 

The exact regulations vary depending on the location. Drivers must refer to the posted signs. HOV signs are designated by a diamond symbol.

Learn more about the City's HOV lanes.

HOV Lanes on the following New York City highways and bridges are maintained by the New York City Department of Transportation:

  • Gowanus Expressway 
  • Long Island Expressway within Queens 
  • Manhattan Bridge 
  • Queensboro Bridge

Central Park West Drive (HOV-2)

The West Drive of Central Park from the Lenox Avenue entrance to the 7th Avenue exit is an HOV lane from 7 AM to 10 AM on weekdays.  

It is restricted to vehicles with two or more people.

Gowanus Expressway (HOV-3)

Manhattan-bound on the Gowanus Expressway from the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel is an HOV lane from 6 AM to 10 AM on weekdays.

It is restricted to passenger vehicles with three or more people, buses, emergency vehicles, or taxis and for-hire vehicles with at least two passengers. Vehicles must have E-Z Pass.

Long Island Expressway (HOV-3) and Clean Pass

Manhattan-bound on the Long Island Expressway from Calvary Cemetery to the Queens-Midtown Tunnel is an HOV lane from 7 AM to 10 AM on weekdays. It is restricted to passenger vehicles with three or more people, buses, emergency vehicles, or taxis and for-hire vehicles with at least two passengers.

For Long Island Expressway's HOV lanes outside City jurisdiction, the New York State Department of Transportation's Region 10 Office has information for Nassau and Suffolk counties. 

The Clean Pass sticker is effective in Nassau and Suffolk counties only. Owners of eligible vehicles can apply to the State Department of Motor Vehicles for a Clean Pass. Learn more about the New York State Clean Pass Program.

Manhattan Bridge (HOV-2)

The Manhattan-bound upper roadway of the Manhattan Bridge is an HOV lane from 6 AM to 10 AM on weekdays. The lane can be accessed from the BQE eastbound Exit 29A, from Flatbush Avenue, or from the BQE westbound Exit 29 then turn right onto Gold Street or proceed straight onto Flatbush Avenue.

It is restricted to passenger vehicles with two or more passengers and buses. 

Queensboro Bridge (HOV-2)

The Manhattan-bound south upper roadway of the Queensboro Bridge starting from Thomson Avenue or 21st Street at 43rd Avenue in Queens is an HOV lane from 6 AM to 10 AM on weekdays.

It is restricted to passenger vehicles with two or more people, emergency vehicles, or taxis and for-hire vehicles with at least one passenger.

Staten Island Expressway (HOV-2)

The Staten Island Expressway's New Jersey-bound bus lane is open to all vehicles with two or more occupants from 3 PM to 7 PM on weekdays. The Brooklyn-bound bus lane is open to all vehicles with two or more occupants from 6 AM to 10 AM on weekdays. At all other times, these lanes are restricted to bus use.

This expressway is under the jurisdiction of the New York State Department of Transportation. Visit the NYS Department of Transportation website.