Metro Board approves proposal to decriminalize ExpressLanes 

Cars congestion

The one-year pilot program will allow drivers without transponders to use ExpressLanes without ticket or fine

THE Metro Board of Directors last week approved a proposal to enact a one-year pilot program to test decriminalizing the I-110 and I-10 ExpressLanes.

The proposal was introduced by LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn back in April 2018. 

“Using our ExpressLanes can be daunting to someone who is not a savvy ExpressLane driver,” said Hahn. “The signage is confusing and I know there are plenty of people who have not gone through the trouble of getting a transponder. My hope is that this pilot program makes our ExpressLanes more user-friendly and less punitive.”

Metro’s ExpressLane current model requires every user to have a transponder installed in their vehicle.  If they do not, cameras take photos of the car’s license plate and send the driver a $25 fine in the mail.  If a CHP officer pulls over a car in the ExpressLane without a transponder, the driver can get a $250 citation.

Hahn’s “Pay-As-You-Use” model would allow a driver without a transponder to use the ExpressLane without fear of a fine or ticket. Metro would simply send a bill in the mail to the driver with instructions to pay the congestion fee with an additional $4 administrative fee.

Metro’s Board of Directors unanimously approved Hahn’s proposal to implement this model as a one-year pilot program. The department will use the pilot to study the impact on congestion and ExpressLane use. 

It will also need an estimated nine months to set up this program and do extensive public outreach to avoid driver confusion. 

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