Citing the time saved for Los Angeles County drivers who were willing to pay an extra fee, transportation officials Thursday unanimously approved extending the life span of 25 miles of experimental toll lanes on the 110 and 10 freeways.
Elected officials and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority staff members said Thursday that tolling provided a new option for commuters crawling along a 900-mile freeway network that is largely built out.
“People point out often that ‘freeways mean free,'” Metro board member and Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, whose district includes the 10 Freeway toll lanes, said during a discussion Thursday. “But the reality is, we probably aren’t going to be building any more freeways… and there’s an unbelievable amount of convenience that this is creating.”
The toll lanes, which link the South Bay and El Monte to downtown Los Angeles, are the county’s first attempt at “congestion pricing,” or charging solo drivers varying prices to use carpool lanes. Tolls begin at 25 cents a mile and can go up to $1.40 a mile, depending on how crowded the toll lanes are at the time.
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