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Metro ExpressLanes

Metro ExpressLanes is a program designed to improve traffic flow and provide enhanced travel options in Los Angeles County. ExpressLanes provide mobility and offer safe and reliable trip for users. More choices for solo drivers. More rewards for carpoolers. More transit service.

Tolls on the ExpressLanes will be calculated using Congestion Pricing. Congestion pricing provides an opportunity to sell some of the additional capacity on the ExpressLanes to those willing to pay a toll and maximizes efficiency of the entire freeway. It is designed to keep traffic in the ExpressLanes flowing smoothly, resulting in a more reliable travel time. Tolls on the ExpressLanes are based on real-time traffic conditions and vary according to the level of congestion in the ExpressLanes. The toll is higher when there is more traffic in the ExpressLanes, and lower when traffic is lighter.

Solo drivers
Solo Drivers

With new access to the ExpressLanes, solo drivers can now beat the traffic and save time by choosing to use the ExpressLanes as a toll-paying customer.

Carpools and Motorcycles
Carpool Carpools

Eligible carpools with FasTrak Flex travel the ExpressLanes toll-free and are automatically enrolled in the Loyalty program to earn toll credits or gift card rewards.

Metro Vanpools
Metro Vanpool Metro Vanpools

Vanpools continue to share the ride on the ExpressLanes toll-free, earn gift card rewards through the Loyalty Program, and benefit from a van lease subsidy.

Transit Riders
Transit Riders Transit Riders

Riders on select transit lines* along the ExpressLanes corridors enjoy more frequent service. That means getting where you need to go faster. Plus, with the Transit Rewards program, you can earn ExpressLanes toll credits for riding.

*Metro, Gardena Municipal Bus, Foothill Transit, Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Torrance Transit and more

There are no public meetings scheduled at this time.

Metro ExpressLanes Program FAQs

1. Purpose & Benefits

What is the Congestion Reduction Demonstration Program?

The Congestion Reduction Demonstration Program is a multi-modal, one-year pilot program overseen by Metro, Caltrans and several other mobility partners. The program includes the introduction of congestion pricing by converting High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes to High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes called Metro ExpressLanes, on the I-10 and I-110 Freeways in Los Angeles County; the improvement of transit service and other alternatives to driving; the upgrading of transit facilities; and, the improvement of parking in downtown Los Angeles.

What are the Metro ExpressLanes?

Metro ExpressLanes converts 14 miles of existing carpool/ High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on the I-10 El Monte Busway (between Alameda St and I-605) and 11 miles on the I-110 Harbor Transitway (between Adams Bl. and Harbor Gateway Transit Center) to High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes. Buses, motorcycles, vanpools and eligible carpools that use the HOT lanes with FasTrak will not be charged a toll. Single drivers may choose to pay a toll to use the lanes. General purpose lanes will remain toll-free for all motorists.

How are tolls set on the Metro ExpressLanes?

Tolls are set based on the amount of traffic traveling on the Metro ExpressLanes using congestion pricing . During peak periods, when there is more traffic, the toll is higher to discourage new solo drivers from entering and to maintain a minimum speed of 45 mph. During off-peak periods, the toll is lower. By changing the toll in response to the level of demand, the Metro ExpressLanes keeps traffic flowing smoothly.

When will the Metro ExpressLanes open?

Metro ExpressLanes opened November 10, 2012 on the I-110 Freeway, and will open on February 23, 2013 for the I-10 Freeway.

Why were the I-110 and I-10 selected to have Metro ExpressLanes?

These freeways meet three basic criteria for successful congestion pricing:

  • Carpool lane segments are long enough to offer significant travel time savings to commuters
  • Feasible short-term implementation
  • Ability to provide improved transit options such as Bus Rapid Transit

Where will the Metro ExpressLanes toll revenues be used?

Gross toll revenues will first be used to cover the costs to operate and maintain the Metro ExpressLanes. Per State law, net toll revenues must be reinvested in the corridor where generated in transit and/or carpool lane improvements.

Aren’t tolls just another tax?

No. These are optional tolls, and the choice is yours. Unlike a tax that everyone pays, only the drivers that do not meet the minimum occupancy requirements who choose to use a toll facility will be charged a fee. Solo drivers have the option to use the existing general purpose lanes toll-free, or pay to use the toll facility if better mobility and more reliable trip times are desired.

What improvements will occur on the I-10 Freeway?

The project will convert existing HOV lanes on the I-10 from Alameda Street/Union Station to I-605 into ExpressLanes. This project will also reduce bottlenecks by providing additional ExpressLanes capacity by adding a lane on the El Monte Busway between I-710 and I-605 through re-striping and buffer changes in both directions. No general purpose lanes are taken away to create the second ExpressLane between I-710 and I-605.

What improvements will occur on the I-110 Freeway?

The project will convert existing HOV lanes on the I-110 from 182nd Street/Harbor Gateway Transit Center to Adams Bl into ExpressLanes. To reduce bottlenecks, Adams Bl will be widened between the Harbor Freeway off-ramp and Flower Street- adding an additional westbound right-turn-only lane to the HOV bypass connecting to Figueroa Street. Restriping will also add one extra lane to the HOV off-ramp approaching Adams Bl to increase capacity.

How do the ExpressLanes benefit carpools and vanpools?

Eligible carpools with FasTrak can use the Metro ExpressLanes toll-free and have 24/7 access. ExpressLanes will provide a better commute for carpools with the addition of nine new lane miles on the I-10 between I-605 and I-710, and will reduce bottlenecks at Adams Bl for the I-110 corridor. There will be better enforcement because vehicles without FasTrak are easier to detect with the increased level of CHP officers.

Also, Metro ExpressLanes will be introducing a Loyalty Program for carpools which will offer additional incentives to reward those who rideshare. Carpools and vanpools are automatically entered into monthly drawings for gift cards each time they use FasTrak.


2. FasTrak® & Enforcement

How will the toll be paid or collected?

There will be no toll booths. The latest technology involves a pre-paid FasTrak® transponder that electronically collects the toll based upon the driver’s FasTrak account so that patrons do not have to wait in line at toll booths.

How does the FasTrak® transponder work?

A FasTrak® transponder is a small radio-frequency device that adheres to the inside of a vehicle’s windshield and can be read by a sensor mounted over the roadway. Prior to starting a trip, the driver will indicate the number of occupants in the vehicle by moving the switch on the transponder to the appropriate setting (1, 2, 3+). As the vehicle enters the Metro ExpressLanes, an antenna will read the transponder and a toll/discount will be automatically charged to the vehicle owner’s FasTrak account.

How will the system distinguish between carpools and solo drivers in charging tolls?

Prior to starting a trip, the driver will indicate the number of occupants in the vehicle by moving the switch on the transponder to the appropriate setting (1, 2, 3+). The “self-declaration” FasTrak® transponder will help enforce occupancy requirements aided by dedicated CHP officers who will provide visual verification.

Is FasTrak® interchangeable between vehicles?

Yes, FasTrak®can be moved from one vehicle to another. Customers intending to use FasTrak in multiple vehicles should list all vehicle plates on their account to avoid receiving a toll violation notice.

How will enforcement work on the Metro ExpressLanes?

In order for the Metro ExpressLanes to operate efficiently , a combination of visual monitoring by California Highway Patrol (CHP) vehicles, photo enforcement and FasTrak will be used to ensure legal use of the ExpressLanes.

How do I get FasTrak®?

Customers will be able to establish their Metro ExpressLanes FasTrak® accounts online, by calling 511, in person at our designated walk-in centers in Gardena or El Monte, or by mail. FasTrak transponders are now available.

Sign Up

What does it cost to set up a pre-paid FasTrak® account?

Credit/Debit Card Accounts: An initial prepaid toll deposit of $40 per transponder is required to open an account. The $25 transponder deposit will be waived.  If the FasTrak®is not returned in good working condition when the account is closed, a $25 fee will be charged to the account.

Cash/Check Accounts: An initial prepaid toll deposit of $50 per transponder and a per transponder deposit of $25 will be required to open an account.  When the account is closed and the transponder is returned in good working condition, the $25 deposit will be returned.

For those commuters who qualify for our equity plan , a one-time $25 discount will be applied to their account.

Can I use the FasTrak® transponder that I currently have?

Yes, a standard FasTrak® can be used to pay a toll on the Metro ExpressLanes. For toll free access on the Metro ExpressLanes, a switchable FasTrak is required.

Can the Metro ExpressLanes FasTrak® be used to pay a toll on other toll facilities in the state?


Will alternative fuel/hybrid vehicles with stickers qualify to ride in the Metro ExpressLanes free of charge?

No. Driving alone in an alternative fuel/hybrid vehicle helps reduce pollution, but it does not reduce congestion. Alternative fuel/hybrid vehicles will be treated like all other vehicles.


3. Tolling

What is congestion pricing?

Congestion pricing charges users of a transportation facility, such as a roadway, based on the level of traffic congestion.  When the amount of traffic increases, the amount of the toll increases in order to keep the lanes free-flowing.

How much will it cost to use the Metro ExpressLanes?

Tolls will be continually adjusted according to traffic conditions to maintain a free-flowing level of traffic on the ExpressLanes, using congestion pricing. The minimum toll per mile is $0.25 and the maximum toll per mile is $1.40. The toll price is locked in at the time of entry into the ExpressLanes, and will be based on traffic levels to ensure a minimum average speed of 45 mph.

What happens if the lanes become too full?

If the lanes become too full and the tolls have reached the maximum amount, the message displayed on the overhead sign will change to “HOV ONLY”. This message will inform potential toll paying drivers that they will not be allowed to enter the ExpressLanes until the speeds climb back up. If you are a toll paying driver already using the ExpressLanes when the sign message changes to “HOV ONLY” you will be able to complete your trip.

What happens if there is an incident in the Metro ExpressLanes?

If there is a Sig Alert in the Metro ExpressLanes and toll-paying customers were not able to receive their average 45 mph trip, the toll will be credited to their account.

What will the average toll rate be on the ExpressLanes?

Average toll (end to end) for I-10 ExpressLanes is $6 (average trip is 9 miles). Average Toll (end to end) for I-110 ExpressLanes is $4 (average trip is 5 miles).

What is the projected revenue for the ExpressLanes?

The gross annualized revenue is estimated to be $20 million for both corridors.

Are low-income drivers priced out of certain lanes?

No. Eligible carpools travel toll-free and the Metro ExpressLanes provide Bus Rapid Transit. In addition, the toll policy includes an Equity Program for low-income commuters. Residents of Los Angeles County with an annual household income (family of 3) at or below $37,060 will qualify for a $25 credit when they set up their account. This credit can then be applied to either the transponder deposit or pre-paid toll deposit. The monthly $3 account maintenance fee will also be waived.


4. Transit Improvements

What transit improvements will occur on the I-10 El Monte Busway?

At the eastern terminus of the Metro ExpressLanes, the El Monte Station expansion includes new and improved facilities and opened to the public on October 14, 2012.  The Project includes new and improved passenger amenities and wayfinding, an increase in bus berths, additional buses and service to the Metro Silver Line and the Foothill Silver Streak, a new regional transit store, a Greyhound store and a bike station. The project will be constructed to achieve LEED gold certification.

Also, a new Union Station stop will be added to the El Monte Busway, allowing direct access to the station’s Patsaouras Transit Plaza. This will eliminate the long walks, operational delays and insufficient lighting and information displays passengers currently have to contend with when transferring at Alameda Street to Metro’s Red and Gold lines, Metrolink and Amtrak.

What transit improvements will occur on the I-110 Harbor Transitway?

The Harbor Gateway Transit Center (formerly Artesia Transit Center), the largest transit center on the I-110 Harbor Transitway and the southern terminus of the Metro ExpressLanes, received improvements such as a law enforcement substation to assist with station security and bike lockers to promote non-motorized access.

Harbor Transitway improvements include the upgrading of wayfinding signage and the addition of digital message signs, the installation of CCTVs (closed circuit TVs to monitor and secure the area) at Harbor Transitway stations/parking lots. During rush hour, the frequency of the Silver Line changed from every 30 minutes to every 10 minutes and feeder service from Gardena and Torrance transit has been increased. New feeder bus stops at Slauson and Manchester Stations were installed directly below the Transitway stations to allow for more direct connections and transfers to the Silver Line . Enhanced station lighting was added at 37th St/USC, Slauson, Manchester and Rosecrans Stations. A pilot noise reduction/sound barrier will be installed at the 37th Street Station.

How will the Silver Line connect through Downtown Los Angeles?

The Silver Line will see improved travel times through downtown LA with Transit Signal Priority (TSP). TSP is an operational strategy that facilitates the movement of transit vehicles either buses or streetcars, through traffic-signal controlled intersections.   Objectives of TSP include improved schedule adherence and improved transit travel time efficiency while minimizing impacts to normal traffic operations.

This project, implemented by LADOT, will install bus-signal priority technology on Figueroa Street between Wilshire Bl and Adams Bl (15 signals), and Flower Street between Wilshire Bl and Olympic Bl (5 signals) to enhance transit operations. TSP will decrease the trip time of the Silver Line buses that travel through downtown Los Angeles.

What improvements will occur on Commuter Rail (Metrolink)?

The Congestion Reduction Demonstration Program added Commuter Rail capacity on Metrolink’s San Bernardino’s Line. The Pomona Station on Metrolink’s San Bernardino Line went from 230 to 372 parking spaces, a 62% increase in capacity. The station expanded its platforms to accommodate longer eight-car trains.


5. LA Express Park

What is LA Express Park and how is it related to the Congestion Reduction Demonstration Program?

The Congestion Reduction Demonstration program is providing $15 million in funding for LA Express Park. LA Express Park will use new parking technology in the downtown area to provide motorists alternative payment options and real-time parking availability information. New parking meters will charge motorists demand-based parking rates-which change depending on the time of day and traffic congestion levels. The information will aid motorists in understanding their parking options and will guide them to available parking spaces-eliminating the need to search for parking and reducing traffic congestion.


6. Driving Metro ExpressLanes

How will enforcement work on the Metro ExpressLanes?

In order for the Metro ExpressLanes to operate efficiently, a combination of visual monitoring by California Highway Patrol (CHP) vehicles, photo enforcement and FasTrak® will be used to ensure legal use of the ExpressLanes. When traveling on the Metro ExpressLanes, a beacon light will indicate the transponder occupancy setting. The beacon light is visible to the CHP who will perform a visual verification of the vehicle occupancy and cite non-compliant drivers. In addition to the CHP, if a driver uses the Metro ExpressLanes without a valid transponder, a photo of the vehicle license plate will be taken and the registered owner of the vehicle will be issued a Notice of Toll Evasion Violation.

What happens if I have both my standard and switchable transponder in the car?

It is not advised to have both transponders in the car at the same time when traveling on the I-10 ExpressLanes unless you have a mylar bag covering the standard transponder. This is because the system cannot distinguish between the two transponders so the standard transponder could be charged the toll even if the switchable transponder indicated the toll-free carpool switch setting.


ExpressLanes Net Toll Revenue Re-Investment Grant Program

1. Net Toll Revenue Reinvestment Grant Program

State law requires the net toll revenues generated from the Metro ExpressLanes be reinvested in the corridor from which they were derived, pursuant to an approved expenditure plan.  Gross toll revenues from the ExpressLanes program are first used to cover the direct expenses related to the maintenance, administration and operation, including marketing, toll collection, and enforcement activities related to the ExpressLanes. Any remaining revenue produced is used in the corridor for which it was generated through the Net Toll Revenue Reinvestment Grant Program.

The net toll revenue program’s primary objective is to increase mobility and person throughput via implementation of integrated strategies that enhance transit operations, transportation demand management, transportation systems management, active transportation, and capital investments in the 1-10 and 1-110 corridors. These combined strategies have resulted in more reliable and consistent outcomes and greater magnitude of positive change than a single strategy scenario. This rationale is confirmed by actual usage on the ExpressLanes. Specifically, customer account activity demonstrates that, on a monthly basis, the majority (75%) of account trips are a combination of SOV & HOV. Only 4% of trips are solely made by SOVs. The primary payers of the toll benefit 100% from the proposed allocation since mode shift through alternative transportation choices reduces congestion, and as a result, reduces travel time and the toll amount for toll paying customers.

Grant funds were reinvested in projects/programs that provide direct mobility benefits to the I-10 and I-110 ExpressLanes within a three-mile radius. Projects beyond a three-mile radius must have demonstrated regional significance.  Funds available for allocation for the grant program were distributed into three categories: 1) Transit Use, 2) System Connectivity/Active Transportation, and 3) Roadway Improvements/Highway Improvements.  Round 1 of the Metro ExpressLanes grant program was approved by the Metro Board in 2014 – 22 projects were recommended for funding totaling $22,729,458.  Round 2 of the Metro ExpressLanes grant program was approved by the Metro Board in 2016 – 21 projects were recommended for funding totaling $27,854,525.

2. ExpressLanes Strategic Plan

Building on the success of the I-110 and I-10 ExpressLanes, the Metro Board directed staff in November 2014 to prepare a Countywide ExpressLanes Strategic Plan that would identify and recommend potential corridors that could benefit from ExpressLanes conversion.

In preparing this analysis, the potential mobility benefits, as well as financial feasibility of ExpressLanes, was studied on freeways with existing, in construction, or planned HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes.  The analysis also considered qualitative factors, including connectivity with other existing and potential ExpressLanes corridors, transit benefits, funding availability, and ability to implement dual ExpressLanes (i.e. two ExpressLanes in each direction).

The result is a set of three tiers of projects.  Tier 1 projects are near-term that would be constructed in the next five to 10 years.  Tier 2 projects are mid-term that would be constructed within the next 15 years.  Tier 3 projects are longer-term projects that would be constructed within the next 25 years. In addition to the proposed ExpressLanes facilities, HOV direct connectors are needed to improve mobility and safety by reducing weaving and merging to optimize the efficiency of the ExpressLanes.

Three of the projects in the plan (I-105, I-405/Sepulveda Pass and an extension of the I-110 ExpressLanes south to the I-405) receive funding through Measure M.  However, no funding has been identified for the remainder of the projects included in the plan.

The Metro Board approved the strategic plan in January 2017.  Metro will now initiate planning studies and prepare a comprehensive financial plan for the Tier 1 list of projects. View the strategic plan .

Please contact Silva Mardrussian at 213-922-4425, or Kathy McCune at 213-922-7241, with any questions.

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