TOLLING: Early returns on I-110 toll lanes show slow going

Commute times in regular lanes increase by 15 minutes

April 10, 2013

Early travel data from the carpool lanes converted to toll lanes on I-110 in Los Angeles indicate travel times have gone down in the new lanes but increased in the regular lanes.


Since the lanes debuted, more than 135,000 drivers have purchased the FasTrak transponders required to use them. Overall, traffic in the carpool lanes has dropped by approximately 20%, or 10,000 daily trips. (Caltrans data estimates a 50% decline in carpool traffic.)


Average travel times for the free lanes, however, have climbed since the toll lanes opened, with the average commute now taking 15 minutes longer.   


Data from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) also shows that speeds have dropped by more than 8 mph during the morning rush hour. Officials point to fewer drivers using the carpool lanes illegally and motorists still deciding whether to buy a FasTrak transponder.

During the first three months of operation, more than $3 million in tolls has been collected from the 11-mile portion of I-110, with drivers paying up to $15.40 per trip. Metro officials say that the operating and maintenance costs for that time period has been $2.9 million, with any extra income going toward improvements in the Harbor Freeway corridor.