The groundbreaking was held yesterday for Metro’s ExpressLanes project to convert the carpool lanes on parts of the 10 and 110 freeways to congestion pricing lanes.
The ceremony got a lot of media attention — as expected when the word “toll” and “freeway” land in the same sentence. The L.A. Times even put a story kicking the project’s tires on the front page of their website and print edition. Times columnist Steve Lopez just posted his response to one critic: stop whining, he says.
I know many people have questions about how the toll lanes will work, so I posted the project’s latest two-page frequently asked question sheets below.
The gist of the project is this: Back in the day, the Bush Administration wanted to test market-based solutions to traffic congestion. So they provided a $210-million grant to Metro (and funds to other agencies) to try the toll lanes for a year.
The federal funds (and some additional monies) are also being used to make numerous permanent improvements to both freeway corridors, including a new El Monte bus station, a new Silver Line station at Union Station, Metrolink upgrades and the purchase of 59 new buses. To name a few. And we get to try congestion pricing in the HOV lanes. Given that the status quo isn’t that great, I think it’s worth a go.
The second page of the FAQ is posted after the jump.