Metro ExpressLanes, an innovative project to reduce traffic congestion, will debut Los Angeles County's first HOT (High Occupancy Toll) lanes on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 12:01 a.m., opening 11 miles of carpool lanes on the 110 Harbor Freeway to solo drivers who pay an electronic toll.
Only solo drivers using the ExpressLanes will be charged a toll. Carpools, vanpools, buses and motorcycles will be able to travel toll-free in the 110 Metro ExpressLanes, which will be located between Adams Boulevard and the 91 freeway. But all motorists will need a FasTrak® account and transponder to travel in the 110 Metro ExpressLanes when tolling begins on November 10.
"The opening of the Metro ExpressLanes demonstration project on the 110 will provide a unique opportunity to explore and evaluate a new transportation option that could potentially create faster commutes, greater capacity and better air quality throughout the region," said LA County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair Michael D. Antonovich.
Metro ExpressLanes is a one-year demonstration project overseen by Metro, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and several other mobility partners to enhance travel options and ease congestion on two of the region's busiest freeways. The project converts 11 miles of HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes on the I-110 Harbor Freeway and 14 miles of HOV lanes on the I-10 San Bernardino Freeway (between Alameda Street and the 605) to HOT lanes that allow solo drivers to use the carpool lanes by paying a toll. The I-110 ExpressLanes are the first to open, and the I-10 San Bernardino Freeway ExpressLanes will open early next year.
When solo drivers begin to travel on the 110 ExpressLanes all commuters will benefit—whether they pay a toll or not—because the ExpressLanes will redistribute traffic across all lanes of the 110 freeway," said LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who also is a Metro Board Member and Chair of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Congestion Pricing. "Shifting solo drivers who are willing to pay tolls into the empty space in the ExpressLanes will speed commuting time and travel for all drivers. Everyone wins when freeway traffic flows more smoothly."
The tolls will vary depending on traffic. To avoid traffic back-ups, sensors will be used to measure congestion in the Metro ExpressLanes and will increase the toll from 25 cents a mile to a maximum of $1.40 a mile as more vehicles enter the Metro ExpressLanes. Overhead electronic signs will display the current toll being assessed so solo drivers can make a choice.
"This new congestion pricing approach has worked well in other cities. We believe Metro Expresslanes will be successful in Los Angeles as well as we improve transportation options today and into the future by reinvesting the net toll revenues in transit and carpool improvements in the corridor," said Caltrans District 7 Director Mike Miles. "The project also provided a big boost to the region's economy by creating an estimated 2,400 new construction jobs, and it will help the economy even more by increasing mobility."
To travel in the Metro ExpressLanes, drivers can use their existing FasTrak® transponders or obtain an ExpressLanes FasTrak® transponder. To travel toll-free, carpool and vanpool drivers will need a switchable FasTrak® transponder from Metro to use the ExpressLanes. The switchable transponder allows drivers to indicate the number of occupants in the vehicle (1, 2 or 3+) and can be used on all toll systems in California. To open an account and receive an ExpressLanes switchable transponder