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.
When will this HOT lane start? Does the carpoolers have to pay for a transponder to use the HOT lanes? There should be more public outreach/information at desiganted rideshare parking lots. There are a number of people who rideshare and park their cars at Artesia Transit Center and no specific information has been shared except for what they heard on the news.
The 110 runs parallel to the blue-line, any projects to improve the blue-line? If the improve the blue-line more people would take the blue line instead of the 110, which mean less congestion. In addition, any new TOD along the blue-line stations, the areas adjacent to the train stations, seen to have many potential. I mean, from Compton to downtown LA, it takes you around 25-40mins plus time finding parking, however, if you take the train station, it takes you around 28-30mins. If, there was a express train in the morning that take people from downtown LB to downtown LA faster, more people would take the blue-line instead of the freeway. I mean, have a train that goes from Willow Station or Transit Mall to 7th Street and stopping at the main stations (Stations with parking)only, making the trip faster. For example, Willow Station, Del Amo Station, Compton Station (new parking station), Rosa Parks Station (Green Line intersection), Vernon Station (Work Hub), Pico Station, 7th/Metro Station.
From the beginning, I have had many concerns about this project, but here are the two main ones:
1. No one has ever said how this projected will be evaluated during the first year and what criteria will be used to determine its success or lack of same.
2. One of the major reasons for HOV lanes is to encourage people to carpool. If commuters now have the option of paying to drive alone, how is the negative effect of the net increase in automobiles on the road factored into the evaluation of this project?
I consider these to be legitimate questions (there are many others) and am offended that Steve Lopez and others think that raising these questions constitute “whining.” As to the issue of tax dollars, those are my tax dollars being used; I don’t consider it unreasonable to question whether they’re being used in a prudent manner on this or any other project in this or any other part of the nation or overseas.
It doesn’t say anything about Motorcycles/Scooters, will we be charge or can we continue to use the HOV lane non problema
The info is in question one on the first fact sheet. Nope, motorcycles do not have to pay a toll. Be careful out there!
Editor, The Source
210 million is a CRAZY amount of $$$ to “try” something for a year. I’m sure its not that expensive to pay for 59 buses, a new bus station and some “improvements” to the road. No wonder our City/Country is broke and frivolous spending continues. SMH
It’s $210 million of federal money given to L.A. County for a number of transportation improvements. I think that’s a pretty good deal, especially given the lack of state funding these days.
Editor, The Source