Earlier this week the Factor reported members of the Metro Police Union were angry with a member of Metro’s board of directors.

They accused that member of throwing her weight around after being ticketed for improperly using the HOV lane on the North Freeway last week.

The union took to social media saying  the lane had to be temporarily shut down.

Lisa Castaneda,  who is also the deputy director of the Harris County Toll Road Authority, says she never violated the rules or used her influence during the encounter.

Apparently,  Metro agrees and issued the county exec an apology and has ordered a review of protocol on the HOV /HOT lanes.

Here’s the statement issued by Metro:

METRO Board Member Helps Correct Ticketing Error at HOV/HOT Lane

METRO Board Member Lisa Castañeda helped to correct a ticketing error at the North Freeway HOT/HOV Lane after she was erroneously issued a warning citation by METRO Police monitoring the lane.

On Thursday, July 16, 2015, Ms.Castañeda entered the lane prior to the cut off time for single occupant vehicles, but was cited for violating the HOV occupancy requirement.  Ms. Castañeda reached out to METRO to inform management that something was wrong.

After Ms. Castañeda notified management, METRO Police instructed officers to turn over the tickets that were issued during that time frame for review, and then the officers returned to patrol the lanes.

This is an unfortunate mistake and we apologize to Ms. Castañeda and the other drivers. We appreciate Ms. Castañeda bringing this issue to our attention and  we are reviewing procedures to make sure that the signage and enforcement efforts are all in sync.          


  1. MV FONTAINE SR July 24, 2015 3:31 pm 

    Has a thorough investigation taken place? If she is found to have used her position to get out of a citation…off the board with her post haste!!! If not let it die!!! I will say politics rules METRO and the Police Department has been under the political thumb of the city and county too long!!!

  2. Patrick July 24, 2015 11:28 pm 

    This actually has happened to me also a few months ago. I literally had to sit for almost half an hour and explain to the office that I entered before the cut off time for single occupants, but a stalled vehicle was Causing about a 15 to 20 minute slowdown. So not only did taking the lane prove useless, (i know METRO cannot control stalled vehicles) I also lost the valuable time I was pulled over. Would have been better off in the mainlanes. These geniuses can’t figure to have a grace period after the single occupant time period cuts off. It’s common sense.

  3. Ralph July 28, 2015 4:36 pm 

    Metro admitted the next day that Ms. Castenada and 3 other motorists who were stopped by police had legally entered the lane before it was closed to single occupant vehicles. The video on Metro’s website shows that she entered the lane almost a minute before it closed. However, the fact that she was falsely accused will probably force Metro to take a new look at its procedures and will help other drivers avoid being improperly stopped in the future.

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