Update: Regular Carpoolers Will Not Have to Pay to Use ExpressLanes
One of the major concerns many people have with Metro’s ExpressLanes project, which will convert HOV Lanes on parts of the I-10 and I-110 to variable toll lanes, is that the carpoolers who currently use those lanes will lose their incentive to carpool. Metro addressed those concerns when they announced that carpool drivers would be allowed to continue to use those lanes. However, those concerns were rekindled when news broke that Metro will charge $3 per month for using the transponder needed to legally access the lanes.
However, that feel apparently only applies to occasional users of the transponder. Responding to some comments on Streetsblog, Rick Jager of Metro Media Relations writes:
The monthly $3 maintenance fee is waived when the customer uses the ExpressLanes four trips per month or more whether carpooling, vanpooling of SOV (Single Occupancy Vehicle) and that fee is also waived for low income commuters as well.
Thus, if you’re a regular commuter, than you won’t be paying any more than they are now to use the lanes: nothing.