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Traffic on the northbound and southbound lanes of the 110 Harbor Freeway starts to stack up during rush hour traffic on February 5, 2013 in Los Angeles.
A comprehensive study by the Federal Highway Administration says FasTrak-lane pilot projects “are accomplishing their goals and objectives.”
Paid access to the HOV (high occupancy vehicles) lanes was introduced on the 110 Freeway in 2012 and the 10 in early 2013 – with tolls based on congestion levels. Disdainfully referred to as “Lexus lanes” by some, the report says 10 Freeway commuters who switched to pay lanes had their average travel times cut by more than 17 minutes in the morning and nearly 14 minutes in the afternoons.
The transponders cost $40 for the first four, then tolls range from 25 cents per mile to $1.40 per mile. Today, the Metro board will vote on a proposal to make the lanes permanent.
What has been your experience on the freeways since FasTrak was introduced? If they become permanent, will more drivers purchase transponders? If more drivers get on the FasTrak, how will it affect travel times, emissions and the goals of Metro?
Laura Nelson, who writes about local transportation for the Los Angeles Times