L.A. Metro Board considers decriminalizing ExpressLanes toll system
Hahn: “Using our ExpressLanes can be daunting to someone who is not a savvy ExpressLane driver”
Studies show drivers find the signage for the ExpressLanes confusing; supervisors ask Metro to study other toll systems across the country
LOS ANGELES — The Metro Board of Directors voted, April 26, to pass a proposal by L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn to reevaluate the toll system used in ExpressLanes and to consider decriminalizing the lanes.Currently, drivers must own a mounted transponder to use the ExpressLanes. If a driver does not have a transponder and is caught using the ExpressLanes they can be hit with a ticket and a heavy fine. However, studies show that drivers find the signage for the ExpressLanes confusing. Drivers may end up using the lane incorrectly accidentally or think the ExpressLanes rules are so daunting they choose not to use the lanes at all.
“Using our ExpressLanes can be daunting to someone who is not a savvy ExpressLane driver,” said Supervisor Hahn. “The signage is confusing and I know there are plenty of people who have not gone through the trouble of getting a transponder. I am suggesting that we reexamine whether the system we have now is really working and whether there is an easier and more convenient option for drivers.”
In the motion presented earlier this month, Hahn asked that Metro compare LA County’s ExpressLane system to other toll systems across the country and study whether a “Pay-As-You-Use” model would be a viable option.
The model Hahn recommended would be closer to a toll road model used in other parts of the state — in which drivers can either opt to be charged through their mounted transponder, or pay after the fact online or through the mail using their license plate data.
The motion passed by the Metro Board of Directors asks for the Metro CEO to report back in 180 days to the Board on: (1) The current performance of the ExpressLanes, (2) a comparison of the Metro ExpressLanes system to other major congestion-pricing toll systems in the country, and (3) the viability of Metro ExpressLanes implementing a “Pay-As-You-Use” model for all drivers.