Feds Helping Metro Move to HOT Lanes.

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Traffic Patterns Could Change on the I-10 with the Coming of Congestion Pricing

The Federal government has chipped in $213 million to help Metro convert HOV Lanes into a type of toll lane known as a HOT Lane.  HOT Lanes are managed toll lanes with a user fee varies based on the amount of people in the car and the time of day, i.e. a car full of people in the off peak period would pay a lesser toll than a single passenger vehicle at rush hour. The controversial HOT Lane project, will not be fully funded by the federal dollars leaving Metro to come up with the rest of the funds.  HOT Lanes will be piloted on the I-10 and I-210 if it receives the approval of the Metro Board.

Metro's approval seems A likely prospect.  Metro Board Chair Pam O'Conner is a long-standing advocate of road pricing and fellow Boardmember Antonio Villaraigosa tells the LA Times that he is generally supportive of "test driving" the plan. Other boardmembers have quietly expressed support to me personally after my pro-congestion op/ed pricing pieces at Emerald City.

The Times reports that HOT Lanes could be on County freeways as soon as 2010:

On the I-210, the tolls would be in effect between junctions with the 710 and 605 -- an 11-mile stretch that includes some of its heaviest volumes of traffic, according to Caltrans.

On the I-10, the tolls would affect the El Monte Busway, a distance of about 10 miles. The first parts of the project could be implemented in 2010.

HOT Lanes are already in place on the I-91 in Orange County.

Photo: Jeremy!/Flickr