What is Tow and Go™?
The Gulf Coast Regional Tow and Go Program was developed to keep motorists safe and traffic moving through no-cost, quick clearance of vehicle breakdowns on camera-monitored sections of the freeway. Each tow is authorized by law enforcement and is provided by Tow and Go responders who are required to meet strict performance standards.
Why it is Important
Traffic incidents and congested freeways are problems all too common in large metropolitan areas like Houston and Harris County. While there are many contributing factors, vehicle breakdowns from flat tires, overheated engines or other mechanical failures are a major cause of incidents. Quick clearance of these vehicles by tow operators contracted to serve specific segments of the freeway can make a big difference in keeping freeways moving.
Of the approximately 3,600 vehicles towed in May 2018 within the Tow and Go service area, more than half qualified for no-cost tows. Even better, the clearance time for those tows were five minutes less than the average clearance time before the program was initiated.
Because so many people travel regularly to Houston from outside the city limits, the Gulf Coast Regional Tow and Go Program is expected to expand to not only Harris County but neighboring counties as well, replacing existing clearance programs like SafeClear.
The Motorist Guidelines below provide important details of when vehicles are eligible for no-cost towing and the services provided. These guidelines are also given to motorists by Tow and Go operators at the scene of an incident. Remember, if your vehicle is involved in a crash and is still operational, Texas state law requires you move it completely off the freeway to a safe location.
Safety is at the center of the Tow and Go Program. Each tow operator contracted to perform the quick clearance service has not only met strict selection standards, they also have completed roadway safety and traffic incident management training. Law enforcement officers authorize every response to calls received by the Tow and Go dispatch desk. Freeway monitoring cameras allow them to view incidents in real time from their location in the Houston TranStar traffic center. Law enforcement officers are also responsible for monitoring the program’s tow operators, who are required to drive trucks and wear identification branded with the official Tow and Go logo.
Operations & Funding
The Houston-Galveston Area Council manages the Gulf Coast Regional Tow and Go Program through funding provided by the Federal Highway Administration and the Texas Department of Transportation. Initial participants in the program include the City of Houston, Harris County, and representatives from the towing industry that operate out of Houston TranStar.