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Caltrans To Offer Solo Drivers Premium Access To Carpool Lanes

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A carpool lane experiment set to begin later this year on Southland freeways will allow drivers to buy their way to a faster commute.

KNX 1070's John Brooks reports on a new initiative that will require participants to install equipment in their vehicles.


Caltrans introduced its "Metro ExpressLanes" pilot program that will convert 11 miles of existing carpool lanes on the Harbor (110) Freeway and 14 miles on the San Bernardino (10) Freeway into toll lanes.

The Los Angeles County Congestion Reduction Demonstration Program will require solo drivers to have to pay between $40 and $50 to install a transponder in their car that would allow them to pay a fee to utilize the lanes.

Even vehicles that satisfy the carpool requirement of two or more people would still need the equipment to tell the system how many occupants are in the vehicle, but those drivers will not be charged.

The so-called "suggestion pricing" ranges between a minimum toll per mile of $0.25 and a maximum of $1.40 and will debut first in on the 110 Freeway in November, followed by the 10 Freeway early in 2013.

Judy Gish with Caltrans said the toll prices will fluctuate according to traffic levels in the carpool lanes.

"This is an experimental project that was paid for with federal funds," said Gish. "It's a one-year demonstration project."

The $210 million program is also aimed at updating transit hubs like the Harbor Gateway Transit Center and El Monte Station with more lockers and other accommodations for bicycle commuters.

For more information and updated opening dates, visit the Metro ExpressLanes website.

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