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12,297 Tickets Already For Improper Use of the 110 Toll Lanes

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Metro's going to make $18 to $20 million off its ExpressLanes program, which charges solo drivers to use new carpool lanes on the 110 (and soon the 10). The program just launched on November 10, but it's already it's got yet another revenue stream coming in: citations to drivers "caught on camera without the required FasTrak transponders." Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky's website says that 12,297 have been mailed so far, for a total of $18,358 in fees. And that number's "expected to rise as more citations go out in the weeks ahead." Right now scofflaws only have to pay the tolls they skipped out on, but starting December 10, they'll have to pay $25 plus a $30 penalty for late payment; furthermore, CHP "has the authority to issue tickets of $401-plus for solo drivers who evade fares by placing their transponders on a carpool setting, and penalties of at least $154 for those driving in the lanes without the device." The toll lanes are well-monitored too: there are sensors along the route, plus beacons to let officers know whether cars have transponders and how they're set.

Right now, Metro says its main goal is to get more people using the transponders (they send applications with the citations and applicants get their penalties waived). An electric sign showing travel times and toll amounts in the ExpressLanes will be unveiled next week.

As for the success of the lanes themselves, speeds during peak traffic have averaged 63 miles per hour in the northbound lanes and 58 miles per hour in the southbound lanes, well above the 45 mph goal. On the other hand, "traffic in the free lanes has gotten more congested."
· Thousands hit with toll lane citations [Zev Yaroslavsky]
· Here's What Metro Will Do With Its New Toll Lane Money [Curbed LA]