Metro Express Lanes Presentation and Community Hearing

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) will hold a series of community public hearings this month to gather public input on a range of tolling pricing proposals that would be implemented in December 2010 as part of the agency’s Congestion Reduction Demonstration Project (ExpressLanes) on portions of the I-10 and I-110 freeways.

In partnership with Caltrans, Metro is embarking on a one-year demonstration program that will convert existing carpool lanes on the I-10 (El Monte Busway) and the I-110 (Harbor Freeway Transitway) freeways to toll lanes.

Present day carpoolers, vanpoolers and public transit users will not be charged a toll to use the lanes. Solo drivers, who currently are not allowed to use the lanes, will be allowed to use the ExpressLanes by paying a toll. No tolls would be charged in mixed flow traffic lanes.

Funding for this demonstration project is being provided by a special $210 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. A majority of the funding will be used to enhance public transit options along the two corridors by providing an additional 57 transit buses and to increase the number of vanpool and carpool participants.

The purpose of the demonstration is to squeeze more capacity out of crowded freeways in a region where building new freeways is almost impossible because land is not available and there is a lack of funding for new construction.

The project will provide the opportunity for individuals to choose better transportation alternatives and provides a choice for solo drivers to shift to more convenient express transit options that will serve the corridor route.

A presentation on the demonstration project as well as various toll pricing scenarios, goals and performance measures will be presented to the public at the hearings. Proposed tolls could range from 25 cents to $1.40 a mile for solo drivers using the ExpressLanes.

The toll price will be variable depending on traffic flow. The goal is to ensure vehicles in the ExpressLanes travel between 45 and 50 miles per hour. It would be cheaper to access the ExpressLanes during non-peak hours, or opt for public transit, carpools and vanpools and pay no tolls.

Monies generated by the tolls will be used to pay for the operation of the tolling system as well as be reinvested back into the corridors served by improving public transportation options.

Following the public hearings, a staff recommendation on toll pricing will be made to Metro’s Board of Directors for their consideration at their July 23, 2009 meeting.

The following are the dates and locations of upcoming public hearings on toll pricing:

Saturday, June 13, 2009

10 a.m. – Noon

Metro Board Room 3rd Fl.

One Gateway Plaza

Los Angeles

Monday, June 15, 2009

6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Carson Community Center

Adult Activity Room

801 E. Carson St.

Carson

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Metro San Gabriel Valley Service Sector

Council Chambers

3449 Santa Anita Ave. 3rd Fl.

El Monte

Saturday, June 20, 2009

10 a.m. – Noon

West Covina Civic Center

Community Room

1444 W. Garvey Ave.

West Covina

Monday, June 22, 2009

6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Civic Center Library

Meeting Room

3301 Torrance Blvd.

Torrance

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