ExpressLanes on the 10 freeway: so far, so good

The 10 freeway on Monday morning; the westbound lanes are on the left. Photo by Metro.

The 10 freeway on Monday morning; the westbound lanes are on the left. Photo by Metro.

The ExpressLanes on the 10 freeway between Alameda Street in downtown Los Angeles and the 605 freeway opened early Saturday morning and thus far all has been going well. A few interesting stats:

•Speeds in the ExpressLanes through this morning’s commute remained above 45 miles per hour 100 percent of the time.

•The average toll to use the entire 14 miles of the ExpressLanes during peak periods has been $4.19. The maximum thus far was $5.15 for the westbound 605.

•Sixty-seven percent of the private vehicles that used the ExpressLanes during the Monday morning peak period were carpools with three or more occupants or two-person carpools. However, two-person carpools pay a toll during the peak period. So the ratio of toll-free to toll-payers was 52 percent HOV 3+ carpoolers to 48 percent single occupant vehicles and carpools with two people.

•The traffic volume in the ExpressLanes on the 10 on Monday morning was 99 percent of what it was on Monday, Feb. 4, the previous non-holiday Monday.

Remember, every vehicle that uses the ExpressLanes on the 10 or 110 freeway needs a FasTrak transponder — with the exception of buses and motorcycles with standard California license plates. You can order a transponder online by clicking here.

If you obtained a transponder through AAA, Costco or Albertson’s, click here to complete the registration process.

31 replies

  1. Why dont you mention that the regular lanes are now a parking lot? I had to get off the 10 and use side streets. I was 30 minutes late for work

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  2. Hopefully as more people sit on the I-10 and watch the Metrolink trains racing by at 79mph, that will get them to think about why they sit in a car hours a day.

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  3. Mark, one problem is the Express Lanes. Why take the train when you can pay to take your car? The Express Lanes will discourage commuting by train because now solo drivers have the option to drive…. and the toll is cheaper than a train ticket!

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  4. The problem with the Silver Line is that it’s not really that cheap either for the individual depending on where they are going. It costs $2.45 per ride ($4.90 roundtrip) and it makes no distinction between those that does short trips like going from the Slauson area going to USC versus those who have longer trips like those getting on at the Artesia Transit Center going all the way to El Monte. For shorter trips, people are still better off driving or carpooling than taking paying $2.45 one-way or $4.90 roundtrip for the Silver Line. For longer trips it’s a deal, for shorter trips it’s just a waste of time and money.

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  5. Brian, If you look at like for like destination points transit is cheaper. One of the aspects to the toll policy on the Express Lanes no one mentions is that the minimum toll is supposed to be at least 50% higher than the cost of riding the bus. On the El Monte Busway this morning at 7 AM, the toll to drive end to end was $4.15 and the bus fare for the equivalent distance is $2.45. So if you park your car at the big parking lot on Santa Anita Avenue and ride in, you are still saving money. Of course many people don’t work downtown so they have to transfer, the toll is lower to Cal State but the transit fare is the same, etc., but at least Metro is holding that end of the bargain.

    By adding the extra lane on the 10 it greatly improved reliability of the carpool lane – many times, especially during the early afternoon, the carpool lane would be just as jammed as the regular lanes. Without Express Lanes that lane doesn’t exist. I will take that as a tradeoff for added capacity.

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  6. Why are carpoolers complaining about the $3 non usage fee? Think of it as a weekly $.75 luxury tax. A tax most people will pay to be home with their family, friends, and anywhere not on the freeway. If you are carpooling, it will be a maximum of $1 a month per person. Tell me that is too much to save countless hours on the freeway? Stop being a tool and just pay the fee you cheapies

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  7. Larry,

    Because that’s exactly the problem. If it’s a tax, then it’s something that voters didn’t approve of. Taxes has to be approved by the voters first.

    “Maintenance fees” are a way for mismanaged governments to impose a tax onto the people without calling it a tax.

    How they managed to stick this “maintenance fee” in without the consent of voters is not what I call a democratic process. You’re right it’s a tax – a tax that voters had no vote or say on.

    Why do you think people are upset? It’s because no one agreed to this. If the people said “let’s impose a $3 tax onto those who don’t use it often,” then it wouldn’t be a problem. The government skipped this process and it was shoved into the people’s faces by calling it a “fee.”

    That is not how democracy is supposed to work.

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  8. LAX,

    It is an opt-in program. Therefore, the non-usage fee is a fee, imposed only on those who get the transponder and then do not use it. It is not a tax, and I’m not sure what your goal is here. This program encourages more daily carpools of 3+ – and garners some revenue for continued corridor improvements such as silver line service increase. IF you know enough coworkers (2) to make a successful carpool, no problem. No non-usage fee, everyone’s splitting the cost, and everyone’s getting there on time or before, with less stress… A reward for smart commuters – smart behavior.

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