OS ANGELES (AP) — Twenty-five miles of formerly free carpool lanes near downtown Los Angeles would permanently become toll lanes if the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has its way.
Metro's governing board voted 11-0 on Thursday to extend a "demonstration" project under which drivers need a FasTrak transponder to use carpool lanes on portions of Interstates 10 and 110.
The vote is symbolic — the state Legislature would need to authorize the extension of the "high occupancy toll" lanes past January. A bill to do that is pending in Sacramento.
Metro officials say that letting solo drivers pay to use carpool lanes eases congestion.
To date, transponder-carrying vehicles with two or more people rode for free.
On Thursday, however, the board also voted to charge FasTrak users a $1 fee each month.