Express lanes are the best ways for travel

Taylor Ogata

Here in Los Angeles, there are a lot of freeways that are part of the people’s everyday life.

But there are also special lanes on some freeways that are only for vehicles that carry more than two passengers.

If every freeway adopts this “express lane” rule, then there would probably be less traffic on every single freeway.

However, if the Department of Transportation changes the rule from having every vehicle in the express lanes to have a FasTrak to vehicles with two or more occupants pay no toll and no FasTrak required, then there will not be a hassle of using the general purpose lanes if there is a carpool.

The carpool lanes are in effect 24/7, but on two of the major freeways, it requires more than just at least two people in a vehicle.

In 2012, the High Occupancy Vehicle [HOV or Carpool] lanes on the 110 Freeway between the 91 Freeway in Gardena and Adams Boulevard in Downtown Los Angeles got converted to High Occupancy Toll [HOT or express] lanes.

One year later, the same thing happened to the carpool lanes on the 10 Freeway between Alameda Street in Downtown Los Angeles and the 605 Freeway in Baldwin Park.

These “express lanes” require that all vehicles have a FasTrak toll card in your vehicle on either the windshield or the dashboard.

The toll that every driver pays at that time of day is shown on electronic signs above the express lanes.

It ranges from 25 cents to $1.40 per mile depending on how much traffic there is in the express lanes.

On the 110 Freeway, vehicles that have two or more occupants travel free if they have a switchable FasTrak transponder set to two.

On the 10 Freeway, free use of the express lanes is only for a vehicle with three or more occupants with a FasTrak set to 3+ during the peak commute times, which are Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

During all other hours, which are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., and all day Saturday and Sunday, vehicles with at least two or more occupants travel free with a FasTrak transponder set to 2+ or 3+.

As a driver, these express lanes are a good idea, but the fact that every vehicle requires a FasTrak transponder is kind of a problem.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, there are a couple freeways that have express lanes and vehicles with two or more people don’t pay a toll to use them and carpools don’t even need a FasTrak.

Of course, this is Los Angeles and the fact that traffic is the second worst in the nation here, the worst being Washington D.C., means that there has to be some way to reduce congestion and wait times especially during the busiest commute periods.