GRA
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Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

LA Metro to begin charging solo drivers in clean air vehicles in ExpressLanes in effort to reduce increasing congestion

Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:53 pm

Via GCC: http://www.greencarcongress.com/2018/04/20180429-metro.html

The Los Angeles Metro Board of Directors approved a plan last week to begin charging solo motorists in designated clean air vehicles (CAVs) a discounted toll to use the ExpressLanes on the 10 and 110 freeways, beginning in late 2018. Under the change, drivers in clean air vehicles without enough passengers to meet HOV occupancy requirements would get a 15% discount on the tolls.

Under California law, a vehicle that meets specified emissions standards may be issued CAV decals that allow the vehicle to be operated by a single occupant in highway lanes designated for High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV). However, Metro ExpressLanes is a program specifically designed to improve traffic flow and provide enhanced travel options in Los Angeles County.

Tolls on the Metro ExpressLanes are 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.

Up until now, vehicles displaying a California DMV issued white or green Clean Air Vehicle decal could use the ExpressLanes toll-free (with their FasTrak Flex set to 3 (3+ person carpool). These vehicles include pure zero emission vehicles (100% battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell); liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) fueled vehicles; or MY2004 or older vehicles that meet the California ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) standard for exhaust emissions and the federal ILEV standard

Now, however, during peak periods, traffic congestion is slowing speeds in some ExpressLanes segments below the 45 mph (72 km/h) target. Metro staff has found an increasing number of clean air vehicles using the ExpressLanes—resulting in increased congestion in the ExpressLanes due to this growing segment of unmanaged traffic.

According to Metro staff, when the ExpressLanes opened, the number of CAV decals issued statewide was 30,000. Since then, that number has increased almost 1000% to 302,453 as of 1 January 1, 2018, with an average annual increase of approximately 54,000 decals per year. . . .
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

RonDawg
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Re: LA Metro to begin charging solo drivers in clean air vehicles in ExpressLanes in effort to reduce increasing congest

Tue May 01, 2018 6:57 am

I'm curious how they're going to give the 15% reduction, as Metro (to my knowledge) does not give special transponders to HOV-stickered vehicles. Instead, we are told to put the selector switch in the "3+" position so as to not be charged.

To get the ZEV discount with the 91 Express Lanes, you have to create a special account just for your ZEV car(s) and promise not to use that transponder(s) in any other type of vehicles. From their FAQ https://www.91expresslanes.com/faq/ :

"Special Access Accounts are available for customers who always drive with three or more people in their vehicle, drive a motorcycle, a pure zero-emission vehicle as certified by the California Air Resources Board, or have a disabled veteran or disabled person license plate issued by the DMV."
Blue Ocean 2012 Leaf SV, lost that 1st bar at 34 months/26,435 miles. Lease returned 2 months later. Final LeafStat figures: 225 Gids, 17.44 kWH, SOC 91.89%, SOH 82.36%, 69.49% HX, 54.57 Ahr, battery temp 61.8 F.
Now driving a 2015 VW eGolf SEL.

GRA
Posts: 9113
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

Re: LA Metro to begin charging solo drivers in clean air vehicles in ExpressLanes in effort to reduce increasing congest

Tue May 01, 2018 6:48 pm

An article at GCR on the same story included this:
. . . Since prices on the toll lanes are set according to the amount of traffic, though, it means that toll prices have gone up for other cars. Metro also reported that overall emissions from the highway have increased, contrary to the program's goals, because more green cars in the toll lanes have slowed traffic in the rest of the highway lanes.

The commuter toll lanes have been controversial from the beginning, and have been derided as "Lexus Lanes." Last year, 49 percent of cars in the lanes paid the toll in lieu of carpooling.

That reputation is compounded by the fact that Teslas outsell other electric cars, and it colored the debate at the Metro Commission meeting, when board member (and Los Angeles City Councilman) Paul Krekorian said: "I cannot subsidize someone who puts their tie on and drives their Tesla to work in these lanes. . . ."

I've never been a fan of SO HOV lanes for the reason cited in bold, or Lexus Lanes for egalitarian reasons (also applies to SO HOV, given the generally higher prices of AFVs that qualify), plus they encourage exactly the behavior the lanes are attempting to change. Federal HOV/HOT lanes are supposed to average at least 45 mph, but during a recent trip on I-880 during the morning rush hour I'd estimate that the HOV lane was only averaging 18-20 mph. I was in a normal lane and averaged about 16 mph. To get an idea of how much PEVs might be contributing to the congestion, I started to count how many PEVs passed me in the HOV lane compared to the total number. Out of 32 cars, 7 were PEVs, and there were also 3 cheaters.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

RonDawg
Posts: 2827
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:46 am
Delivery Date: 11 Jan 2013
Leaf Number: 027089
Location: SoCal

Re: LA Metro to begin charging solo drivers in clean air vehicles in ExpressLanes in effort to reduce increasing congest

Wed May 02, 2018 12:28 pm

GRA wrote:An article at GCR on the same story included this:
. . . Since prices on the toll lanes are set according to the amount of traffic, though, it means that toll prices have gone up for other cars. Metro also reported that overall emissions from the highway have increased, contrary to the program's goals, because more green cars in the toll lanes have slowed traffic in the rest of the highway lanes.

The commuter toll lanes have been controversial from the beginning, and have been derided as "Lexus Lanes." Last year, 49 percent of cars in the lanes paid the toll in lieu of carpooling.

That reputation is compounded by the fact that Teslas outsell other electric cars, and it colored the debate at the Metro Commission meeting, when board member (and Los Angeles City Councilman) Paul Krekorian said: "I cannot subsidize someone who puts their tie on and drives their Tesla to work in these lanes. . . ."

I've never been a fan of SO HOV lanes for the reason cited in bold, or Lexus Lanes for egalitarian reasons (also applies to SO HOV, given the generally higher prices of AFVs that qualify), plus they encourage exactly the behavior the lanes are attempting to change. Federal HOV/HOT lanes are supposed to average at least 45 mph, but during a recent trip on I-880 during the morning rush hour I'd estimate that the HOV lane was only averaging 18-20 mph. I was in a normal lane and averaged about 16 mph. To get an idea of how much PEVs might be contributing to the congestion, I started to count how many PEVs passed me in the HOV lane compared to the total number. Out of 32 cars, 7 were PEVs, and there were also 3 cheaters.


Oh I agree, the HOV lanes on some freeways here in the LA area are no better (and sometimes worse) than the regular lanes. The ones on I-210 through the Pasadena area are pretty much useless.
Blue Ocean 2012 Leaf SV, lost that 1st bar at 34 months/26,435 miles. Lease returned 2 months later. Final LeafStat figures: 225 Gids, 17.44 kWH, SOC 91.89%, SOH 82.36%, 69.49% HX, 54.57 Ahr, battery temp 61.8 F.
Now driving a 2015 VW eGolf SEL.

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