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Researchers Find Bay BridgeCongestion Pricing Works

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) - A new study finds congestion pricing on the Bay Bridge has cleared out carpool lanes, and made for a faster ride - for some.

University of California, Berkeley researchers found commuting times for drivers coming from Interstate 880 in Oakland have dropped by as much as 16 minutes between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.

Between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., drivers paying with cash saved time on all approaches, but those paying with FasTrak saved less - sometimes no time - at all.

KCBS' Holly Quan Reports:

The study by UC Berkeley who examined the impact of last July's switch to a $6 toll during "peak" commute hours, with a $4 toll in effect all other times. A $2.50 toll was also imposed on carpoolers, who used to drive for free across the span. That's resulted in a 26% drop in the number of cars in the carpool lanes.

The findings were to be presented to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission on Wednesday.

These latest figures mirror the researchers' preliminary findings in January.

"If there's room for people to make some changes," theorized lead researcher Karen Frick, "as we've discussed with congestion pricing, we only need to have a few people change their travel to make a big difference in the amount of delay."

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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