Motorcycles no longer need FasTrak transponders to use ExpressLanes

The ExpressLanes on the 10 freeway are scheduled to open at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, weather permitting. There is a press event Friday morning at the new El Monte Station — adjacent to the ExpressLanes — but I wanted to put the word out early that motorcycles no longer need FasTrak transponders to use the lanes; motorcycles use the lanes for free.

Those who have opened motorcycle only accounts will be notified by email and issued refunds when they return the transponder.

Why do motorcycles no longer need transponders? The toll system on the ExpressLanes is automated. A software update to the system now allows cameras to recognize standard motorcycle license plates — thus ensuring they won't receive a notice for not having a transponder.

38 replies

  1. Now all you have to is get rid of the “maintenance fee” and those transponders currently in use by motorcyclists can be absorbed by those of us who use the HOT lanes only occasionally but with carpools.

  2. The question about the 110, and any other FASTRAK lanes to be opened, needs to be answered. We CAN’T have a patchwork of “this lane needs the transponder” and “this one doesn’t” – if we do, every one of those citations will be successfully challenged in court.

  3. As an almost-daily MC commuter I was wondering when Metro would get hip to the fact that they were running smack into DOT mandates. Requiring MC riders to pay to use any HOV/HOT lane built with Federal funds is verboten.

    That said, I’m keeping my xponder for the times I have a car full.

    • Hi Marcus;

      If you have personalized plates on a motorcycle, please contact the ExpressLanes:
      For customer service:
      Call 511 and say “ExpressLanes”

      If you live outside of Los Angeles, Orange or Ventura counties:

      (877) 224-6511

      TDD/TTY
      801-561-5084

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

    • Hi Mando;

      The same — no transponders needed for motorcycles on 10 or 110 ExpressLanes.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  4. I second NG’s question: Motorcycles on the Harbor Fwy HOT lanes no longer need a transponder?

    If yes: Woohoo! First bit of common sense to come out of the Express Lanes implementation! My YZF will be delighted to hear the news!

    If no: Can I assume the transponder requirement for the 110 will be gone soon? Please? Pretty please?? I promise you that no one will mistake a motorcyclist for a driver in a Range Rover carrying zero passengers. It just doesn’t happen.

    • The proof is I work for Metro, the agency which runs the ExpressLanes. This is a blog run by Metro. Good enough proof?

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  5. Bob: if I recall correctly from last time, metro has to make overnight “last minute” changes to the signage and receivers to activate them. If weather is too dangerous to send out a crew, they might have to postpone.

  6. Good to hear…now hopefully my friend can fight the ticket she got for using the HOV lanes on the 110 on her motorcycle.

  7. If I have an out of state motorcycle plate, do i still need the transponder? I will be working in California for the next month and purchased the transponder for the 10 Fwy.

    • Hi John;

      Everyone needs a transponder who uses the lanes except motorcycles. I’m not sure about out-of-state bikes. Please contact below:

      If you have personalized plates on a motorcycle, please contact the ExpressLanes:
      For customer service:
      Call 511 and say “ExpressLanes”

      If you live outside of Los Angeles, Orange or Ventura counties:

      (877) 224-6511

      TDD/TTY
      801-561-5084

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

    • Hi David;

      I assume at the next full month billing cycle — i.e. end of March. But let me check.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  8. This appears to state only the FT lanes on the 10 will be ok for motorcycles without transponders. What about the 110? And future lanes?

    • No transponders needed for motorcycles with standard state motorcycle license plates on either the 10 or 110 ExpressLanes!

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  9. And another comment that would make me think any motorcycle getting a ticket for this, could easily fight it: The issuance of the ticket is, by their own admission, not due to a violation of traffic law, nor of safety regulations: it is due to a technical deficiency in cameras that have been corrected (in SOME cameras).

    I suspect that alone would get the ticket dismissed. In fact, many cam tix get dismissed if the driver cannot be identified. A full-face helmet might well meet that criterion.

  10. A big _THANK_YOU_ to Scott who did this all on his own ~ he didn’t ask for any help .

    Once again the pen gets the job done .

    -Nate

    • Hi Daniel;

      I’m not sure of rules for other HOT lanes around state — but this post applies onto to the ExpressLanes on the 10 and 110.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  11. I rode on the 10 express lanes without a transponder after reading this post. My bike license plate is registered on my fastrack account. I got charged $0.60, from the cameras reading my plate, for that trip. I thought motorcycles were able to use the lanes for free? Do I need to remove the bike license plate from my account?

    • Hey JT;

      Not to give you the government-run-around, but it’s best you check with the ExpressLanes customer relations staff to see what happened — I’m not sure why you got charged. Customer relations info:

      For customer service:
      Call 511 and say “ExpressLanes”

      If you live outside of Los Angeles, Orange or Ventura counties:

      (877) 224-6511

      TDD/TTY
      801-561-5084

      Good luck with it and sorry for any inconvenience,

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source