Clean Air Vehicles To Be Charged Toll In Some CA HOT Lanes

MAY 1 2018 BY MARK KANE 15

The Los Angeles Metro Board of Directors approved a plan to charge solo motorists in Clean Air Vehicles a discounted toll to use the ExpressLanes (number 10 and 110), which to date were free.

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The board explains that during peak periods, traffic congestion is slowing speeds on some ExpressLanes segments below the 45 mph target.

The number of Clean Air Vehicle decals issued statewide increased from 30,000 several years ago to more than 300,000 through the beginning of this year.

In consequence, drivers of Clean Air Vehicles without enough passengers to meet HOV occupancy will need to pay the toll with a 15% discount.

Introduction of the toll is expected in late 2018, so enjoy free solo-driving of your plug-in car  for these last couple of months or take a passenger along for the ride.

“The Metro Board of Directors approved a plan Thursday to begin charging solo motorists in clean air vehicles a discounted toll to use the ExpressLanes on the 10 and 110 freeways, beginning in late 2018. Under the change, drivers in clean air vehicles without enough passengers to meet HOV occupancy requirements would get a 15 percent discount on the tolls.  

During peak periods, traffic congestion is slowing speeds in some ExpressLanes segments below the 45 mph target. Metro staff has found an increasing number of clean air vehicles using the ExpressLanes — and that has resulted in increased congestion in the ExpressLanes due to this growing segment of unmanaged traffic. 

From the Metro staff report: “At the time of the opening of the ExpressLanes, the number of [Clean Air Vehicle] decals issued statewide was 30,000. Since then, that number has increased almost 1000% to 302,453 as of January 1, 2018, with an average annual increase of approximately 54,000 decals per year.”

Customers are currently required to carry FasTrak transponders in their vehicles when using the Metro ExpressLanes, and to declare their vehicle occupancies using switchable FasTrak Flex transponders to receive HOV discounts. In response to some of the enforcement challenges of this, and to evaluate the possibility of granting some form of access to drivers without transponders, the Board also approved the following two motions:

A motion for Metro staff to evaluate a pilot program for the I-10 ExpressLanes that would use an alternative pricing approach in which only transit vehicles and registered vanpools qualify for the HOV discount, and all other vehicles would be subject to posted fares. The discount for clean air vehicles would continue to apply.

A motion asking for a report back from Metro staff with a summary of the current performance of the ExpressLanes, a comparison of ExpressLanes to other congestion pricing systems in the U.S., and an evaluation of the viability of allowing customers to access the ExpressLanes with or without a transponder.”

Source: Green Car Congress

Categories: General

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15 Comments on "Clean Air Vehicles To Be Charged Toll In Some CA HOT Lanes"

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All the Freebies were good while they lasted. The Metro board is back to their old tricks. They need to raise some more revenue. Clean air is no longer the pressing concern.

No surprise to me. It had to happen eventually with all the new EV and PHEV vehicles.

The need to just issue stickers to cars that get over 50 miles of EV range.

Lol, it is easy to make a rule as long as it doesn’t affect you. I think it should be restricted to vehicles with at least 100 miles range.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

They should allow only EV’s.
CARB should only allow stickers for EV’s only.

What about fuel cell vehicles?

“solo motorists”
We need two or more people per car.

Well this change will surely upset some motorists who bought an EV in the last year specifically for this benefit… next it will be no motorcycles too

Maybe, but they’re still getting a discount and saving on gas. If that’s still not enough for them and they return the vehicle (which is probably leased, not bought), then that’s still another EV hitting the used market, which benefits everyone all the same.

This headline is incorrect. Toll lanes are not HOV lanes, they’re HOT (high-occupancy/toll) lanes. HOT lanes already have some level of tolls in ZEVs depending on the management agency, but HOV lanes will remain open to ZEVs with a valid and applicable sticker.

It is actually poor planning on the Metro board to implement the toll before 1/1/19. They should have implemented it on 1/1/19, because all the white and green stickers issued before 1/1/17 would have already expired anyway, thereby reducing the # of vehicles in the lane to begin with.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

“actually poor planning on the Metro board”

This is typical here in CA.

They haven’t decided when to make the change. They are saying towards the end of the year. Maybe they’ll end up just waiting until the end of January when the stickers expire.

The claim is that it is 6% of vehicles are clean air and slown it down but a survey they took recognize that 30% of all the cars are carpool cheats.

The slowdown is due to the cheats and it really to the green vehicles. Lastly, I suspected this would happen when they decided to extend the green stickers. White stickers should have been the bar and this would have also been less likely.

Others are correct though. It’s about money. Stripping out green stickers from the set would then bring that 6% to maybe 2%.

It’s just a bogus claim and I personally want and need LA to have as little smog as possible.

It’s slowing down because some solo drivers (no HOV stickers) are not paying the toll and are cheating the system.