Close-up shot of Tow and Go truck

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Tow and Go? Expand

What is the purpose of this program?

The Gulf Coast Regional Tow and Go Program provides safe, quick clearance, at no cost, of vehicles that have broken down on area freeways from mechanical failure, reducing traffic congestion and the chance of dangerous secondary incidents that put lives at risk.


What do you mean by “mechanical failure”?

Vehicle breakdowns from mechanical failure include running out of gas, overheating, a flat tire, or other system failure that prevents a vehicle from operating. (Abandoned vehicles or vehicles involved in a crash or incident requiring law enforcement are not eligible for no-cost tows.)


How is Tow and Go able to provide no-cost towing?

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.

How Does Tow and Go Work? Expand

What are the Tow and Go hours of operation?

Tow and Go operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays.


If the nearest exit off the freeway from my breakdown is more than a mile will I be charged extra?

No. The Tow and Go operator will remove you and your vehicle off the freeway, at no cost, and take you to a safe location at the nearest exit, even if it is more than a mile away.


What if I am involved in a collision?

If you have been in a crash with no apparent injuries and your vehicle can be safely driven, Texas law requires that you move it off the freeway, including ramps and shoulders, to a safe location to exchange information.

If you have been in a crash and are injured, call 9-1-1 for medical assistance. 

If the vehicle will not operate and you are not injured, remain in your vehicle with seatbelt buckled.


Will the tow operator change my tire?

Yes. If your breakdown is caused by a flat tire and you have the necessary equipment along with a working spare, the Tow and Go operator will change the tire, at no cost, once the vehicle has been moved to a safe location off the freeway.


Will Tow and Go move my flooded vehicle?

Flooded vehicles are not eligible for no cost tows through the Tow and Go program. Standard towing rates, regulated by the City of Houston, will apply and should not be more than $167.


Does Tow and Go apply to motorcycles, RVs, or vehicles towing boat trailers?

Motorcycles are included in the program. If a large RV or trailer is too heavy to be towed by responding operators, other arrangements not included in the program may need to be made.


Am I able to speak to a police officer before my vehicle is towed?

You may talk to a law enforcement officer responsible for authorizing Tow and Go quick clearance of vehicles at any time by calling 713-881-3333.


What if I've called my insurance or auto club for towing?

If you call for your own tow truck, it must arrive before law enforcement monitoring the freeway have authorized Tow and Go or it must meet you at the safe location where you have been cleared.


What if I want my stalled vehicle taken directly to my home or mechanic?

If you want your vehicle towed beyond the no-cost drop location, you may arrange for  the Tow and Go operator, or another towing service, to move your vehicle, but you are responsible for related charges. 

Where is Tow and Go Available? Expand

What freeways are in the Tow and Go service area?

Currently, Tow and Go is available only on camera-monitored freeways within the City of Houston. The regional quick clearance program will expand next to all of Harris County and eventually to freeways in neighboring counties where camera coverage is available and as funding is allocated. View the coverage map here.


Will Tow and Go clear vehicle breakdowns on tollways like Sam Houston or the Westpark Tollway?

No. Tow and Go is only available on camera-monitored freeways. Tollways like Sam Houston and Westpark are part of the Harris County Toll Road Authority (HCTRA) system and have their own incident response team. For breakdowns on HCTRA tollways, call 281-584-7500 for assistance. View the HCTRA tollway map here.

Please note that SH 99 Grand Parkway is managed by TxDOT and does not provide an incident management service like the HCTRA. Motorists stranded on SH 99 Grand Parkway will not be able to receive service from the HCTRA and are responsible for arranging their own towing service.


What if my breakdown occurs outside the Tow and Go coverage area?

If your vehicle breaks down on a freeway not currently served by Tow and Go you are responsible for arranging your own tow and for any associated costs. Click here for links to towing regulations for neighboring counties.

Who is Responsible for Tow and Go? Expand

What tow operators are selected for the Tow and Go Program?

Tow and Go only contracts with tow operators who are specially licensed, pass federal background checks, and meet strict operations requirements. In addition to attending safety and incident management training, contracted operators are regularly monitored by local law enforcement.


Who manages the Tow and Go program?

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.

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