Reminder: ExpressLanes live chat this Friday

Have questions or concerns about ExpressLanes — how they work, who benefits from them or what they will cost those choosing to use them? Then join the live internet chat with Metro ExpressLanes Executive Officer Stephanie Wiggins this Friday, Nov. 2, noon to 1 p.m. The chat can be accessed from the metro.net home page by clicking on the Live Chat icon just below the Trip Planner or by clicking through the rotating Live Chat banner when it appears on the metro.net home page. You also can send in advance questions now to livechat@metro.net.

Metro ExpressLanes, a one-year demonstration project along the I-110 and the I-10 freeways to ease traffic congestion, begins next Saturday, Nov. 10. It will turn HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes into HOT (High Occupancy Toll) lanes that allow solo drivers to use the carpool lanes by paying a toll. Among the questions to be answered will be:

— Will the FasTrak® transponder you already have for another California HOT lane work on the ExpressLanes?

— Why do carpoolers need FasTrak® transponders to use the lanes?

— Will the HOT lanes slow down traffic for commuters traveling in the general purpose lanes?

— What other cities have HOT lanes, and how are they affecting traffic?

— What about low-income commuters? Do they get a discount?

Advance questions will be addressed during the live chat. Join Stephanie Wiggins from noon to 1 p.m., Friday, Nov. 2 at metro.net.

6 replies

  1. it is more than a question, i need to know if 2 persons riding a company vehicle must pay toll? by the way i’m ok with this new toll as long it serves its good purposes.

  2. One of the questions I hope will be answered is why there is a monthly “maintenance fee” for those of us who would be only occasional users of the transponder. The only time I use the HOV lanes is when I’m going between downtown Los Angeles and LAX. It’s always when I have at least two people in the car, and it’s rare. The primary purpose of exclusively using transponders is to eliminate the cost of staffing toll booths or installing buckets and collecting coins. I get that. However, why should occasional users also have to pay a $3 per month penalty (i.e., “maintenance fee”)? Moreover, how can the agency justify such a high fee for account maintenance especially when Metro is making money on the deposit money they would be holding should I sign up for a transponder?

  3. Still seems like the mandatory transponders and ‘maintenance fee’ is a way to discourage carpooling so as to keep more capacity for paying customers. The ExpressLanes are actually toll roads. That is not necessarily a bad thing as infrastructure isn’t cheap and we need to find ways to pay for it. The ExpressLanes then give a discount to customers who are carpooling that day which may be needed for legal reasons (but I’m not sure).

    Without increases in taxes, we can expect to keep paying more fees. It is just like the airlines who charge a bunch of fees instead of raising base ticket prices. To see where we are going, look at the east coast. Travel outside the CBD and expect to pay a tolls.

  4. Can I share a transponder with a neighbor, who has her own separate vehicle? We only use the 110 carpool lane occasionally — doesn’t make sense to pay 3 bucks every month. But sharing one would make it less of a burden.