Morning News / News Blog with Eric Spillman

Mayor Villaraigosa Defends New Toll Lanes on I-10

New Toll Lanes Set to Open Along 10 Freeway

They’re taking the “free” out of freeways.

This weekend, solo drivers using a 14-mile stretch of the San Bernardino Freeway will have to pay a toll if they want to use the carpool lanes.  The existing carpool lanes are being converted to High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes between the 605 interchange and Downtown L.A.

Carpoolers will not be charged for using these special lanes, but they will still need a FasTrak transponder.  Solo commuters will be charged a toll in these Express Lanes.  Tolls will vary based on traffic congestion.  Metro says they’ll range from 25 cents a mile to $1.40 a mile.

That would make the highest potential toll a whopping $19.60 one way.  Metro estimates the average toll will be somewhere between $4 and $7.

At a news conference, Mayor Villaraigosa praised these new lanes as the wave of the future.  Already, there are HOT lanes on the 110 Harbor freeway.  Metro is considering a plan to put them on  Interstate 5 between Castaic and the San Fernando Valley.

I asked the Mayor to respond to criticism that these lanes favor wealthy drivers.