The program provides free tows to motorists on Houston freeways to help them clear the roadway. The tows will take them up to one mile from the stall site and tow drivers will even assist in changing a flat tire. The program is paid for through federal and state funding. Eventually, the area covered will extend to areas outside the city limits including surrounding counties, but for now, it is only within the city limits.
Tows must be approved by a law enforcement official, either on site or at a Houston TranStar office. Since Houston highways are monitored by numerous surveillance cameras, that would allow for a quick response from TranStar to get a vehicle off the highway.
According to a story in the Houston Chronicle, a trial of the program in May found that the time between a reported incident and that car being cleared dropped from 21 to 16 minutes. Any improvement to clearing vehicles off the roads, especially during peak traffic hours, is a blessing for Houston drivers.