LA's first toll lanes, the ExpressLanes, opened in a pilot program on the 110 last fall--the idea is that solo drivers pay a per-mile fee (higher at more trafficky times, aka congestion pricing) to use the carpool lanes so that traffic speeds up for everyone. How's it working out so far? Half ok! The carpool lanes are speedier, but the solo lanes have actually slowed. The LA Times has the data: "Traffic on the 110 toll lanes flowed at least 45 mph during peak hours, and 10 mph faster in the morning northbound rush than before the project, according to data covering the period from December to February ? But non-toll lanes in the most congested segment — near Gage Avenue — slowed by more than 8 mph, to 29.6 mph, during the morning peak period." Meanwhile, carpool lane traffic went down at first by about 10,000 trips a day (it's now headed back up). But that's actually all pretty normal for new congestion-priced toll lanes, and Metro (which partners with Caltrans on the lanes) says "that's because solo drivers are no longer illegally using the carpool lane, and other drivers are still deciding whether to buy a transponder."
Either way, Caltrans and Metro are keeping a close eye on things: "The results from the experiment are expected to strongly influence decisions on possible expansion of toll lanes countywide." The feds could take back $210 million in federal funding if the lanes don't keep moving at 45 mph during rush hour. So far, more than 135,000 people have bought ExpressLanes transponders and more than $3 million in tolls have been collected (the money goes back into the freeways).
· Traffic zips in toll lanes, but slows in free lanes [LAT]
· Everything You Need to Know About New 110 and 10 Toll Lanes [Curbed LA]