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Thread: California EV access in I-10 and 110 toll lanes

  1. #1
    Roadster Sports 835 & 972 ipdamages's Avatar
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    California EV access in I-10 and 110 toll lanes

    I heard today on my drive home that legislation was passed today that would address I big concern of mine - that EVs and other cars with "white stickers" for HOV access will lose such privileges when the new toll lanes are activated on the I-10 and 110. Last year there was some talk of how cars with multiple occupants would not have to pay the toll to gain access, but those with white stickers would not enjoy such benefits - even though we generally have this privilege on non-toll HOV lanes. These toll lanes are scheduled to go live later this year, and judging by the state of things on the 110 it seems that things are on schedule.

    Well the good news is that today that mess was cleaned up and we will continue to enjoy the HOV access privilege, or at least that is what was reported on NPR. I googled it and this is not yet easily found/verified online, but that was what I heard.

    I had also followed this issue on a Nissan Leaf owner board, and there apparently was legislation that required that we keep this privilege, but apparently that has now been clarified. I understand that we will need to have the transponders but we can have them set to indicate that we are eligible, so we will not be charged the toll.

    Whoo hoo!

    - Chris

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    Head Moderator / Administrator doug's Avatar
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    So white sticker are good. Any word on the green stickers?

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    Roadster Sports 835 & 972 ipdamages's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, I have done more research on this issue, and highways 110 and 10 are *exempted* from AB 2405, which is the legislation that allows white and green stickers to enjoy access to HOT lanes in California. SB 535 and AB 1500 allow access in HOV lanes, but with the 10 and 110 being converted to HOT lanes, SB 535 and AB 1500 presumably do not apply. One thing is certain: the plan is to not allow white or green stickers any lane access benefit on the 10 and 110, as can be seen on the metro.net website Metro ExpressLanes in the FAQ:

    "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."

    I have written a letter to the contact person at Robert Blumenfield's office in Sacramento, Maria Bardet: maria.bardet@asm.ca.gov. Here is my email...

    Hello, Maria -

    I imagine you are being innundated with correspondence on the HOT lanes program, but I wanted to offer my perspective on the decision to exclude from AB 2405 highway 10 and 110. I'm not sure why they are excluded, but I am one of many people who are very unhappy about this.

    First, this presumes that AB 2405 is or will be enacted as law. I am strongly in favor of legislation and policies that support efforts to protect our planet and to assist us in being energy independent (not relying on foreign oil), and I act in a manner consistent with that. For example, I put enough solar panels on my roof to ensure that I generate more than enough electricity to cover all of my family's electricity usage, including my electric car. So if there are any remaining steps to have AB 2405 enacted, I encourage you to see those through.

    Second, I understand that AB 1500 (Lieu), Chapter 37, Statutes of 2010, extended SB 535 until January 1, 2015, which provides the right of drivers of vehicles with white stickers to use HOV lanes, even with only one occupant. I deduce that the basis for the belief that it is ok to strip this important benefit from people who have taken the step to do the right thing is that these lanes have been converted from "HOV" lanes to "HOT" lanes, thus ducking AB 1500. Is that true?

    Finally, can you please let me know how I can make my opinion known so as to attempt to get this problem remedied. It is terrible that people who currently drive cars that are less of a pollutant (or do not pollute at all), and which use fuels that allow us as a nation to be energy independent, are now having a reason to drive such cars taken away. I know of several people who are preparing to get rid of these cars so they can drive their gas guzzlers in the HOT lanes, much as I try to convince them to do the "right thing" anyway. But the fact is that people do as they are incentivized, and now our government is incentivizing bad behavior. It is hard to imagine what rationale merits such a program. Can you or anyone enlighten me? And please do not say that the new program is targeted toward traffic congestion. I still do not see why you cannot have highways 10 and 100 fall under AB 2045, which allows for the purported relief of congestion AND rewards good behavior.

    Thank you for your time.

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    Rdstr254->725->MS1364 HUN DrTaras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ipdamages View Post
    Unfortunately, I have done more research on this issue, and highways 110 and 10 are *exempted* from AB 2405, which is the legislation that allows white and green stickers to enjoy access to HOT lanes in California.
    I just got this press release and looks like your fears have been validated as I don't see mention anywhere for stickers.
    http://thesource.metro.net/2012/09/1...way-on-nov-10/

    This is a greed grab as far as I'm concerned. The toll road that was specifically built in Newport is one thing, but this, right in the middle of LA which has been there for decades, now allowing those with money to pay to drive in the HOV lanes by themselves in whatever smog-emitter they choose, and then mandating that someone who does have a full car to buy a transponder (@ $3/mo whether you use it or not) to be able to use the HOV lanes, all the while we pay probably amongst the highest vehicle taxes of the other 49 states because those VLFs go to our roads instead of, presumably, paying tolls, is morally bankrupt. But I guess a financially bankrupt state and city (LA) would rather be morally bankrupt than financially, so this is undoubtedly the future path you will see in all of our lives. But I digress!

    PS-This is my favorite part of the law: "The switchable transponder allows drivers to indicate the number of occupants in the vehicle (1, 2 or 3+)"
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    S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13 jerry33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrTaras View Post
    PS-This is my favorite part of the law: "The switchable transponder allows drivers to indicate the number of occupants in the vehicle (1, 2 or 3+)"
    Perhaps they will base occupancy on driver+passenger weight. Won't be a problem for some of us
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    Roadster Sports 835 & 972 ipdamages's Avatar
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    The system takes photos of cars set to 2 or more on the transponder and then will send a ticket to anyone with only one person in the car. I suppose one could get a car baby seat and turn it backward. But it hardly seems worth it.

    I sent an email to the MTA and I was told that they will reply. I basically asked them why they are taking the carpool lanes from do-gooders and bringing polluters with money in to replace them. If the goal is to get more people in those lanes so as to reduce traffic, then why kick us out? No response yet. It has been a month.

    Also, this was funded with a $215MM federal grant and is expected to generate $20-25MM per yr in revenue. What a crappy ROI!

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    Rdstr254->725->MS1364 HUN DrTaras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ipdamages View Post
    No response yet. It has been a month.
    $215MM federal grant and is expected to generate $20-25MM per yr in revenue. What a crappy ROI!
    1) Don't hold your breath
    2) That's government for ya!
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    Model S 03182 ElSupreme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrTaras View Post
    but this, right in the middle of LA which has been there for decades, now allowing those with money to pay to drive in the HOV lanes by themselves in whatever smog-emitter they choose, and then mandating that someone who does have a full car to buy a transponder (@ $3/mo whether you use it or not) to be able to use the HOV lanes,
    They did it on I-85 in Atlanta. It didn't go over very well. Now that lane is completely empty most of the time, and they reduced the toll rates during off peak to $0.01 per segment.

    If you are an HOV you have to call them (or use their website) 30 minutes ahead of time to not pay your toll.

    It has been a disaster. Here is a fairly pro HOT lane story from about a month ago. And yes they took an existing HOV lane and converted it (making HOV jump from 2 people to 3, effectively banning all 2 seaters).

    First year of I-85 HOT lane brings drivers but less money than... | www.ajc.com

    EDIT: The general consensus around town is it made traffic worse, except for the actual HOV/HOT lane itself, which is routinely empty.

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    Roadster Sports 835 & 972 ipdamages's Avatar
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    Good news. I heard back from the MTA.

    First, the reason for the exclusion of cars with stickers is that the financials were run and financial decisions made before the white stickers were extended to 2015, and before there were green stickers. So they need the $ to make the project deliver the projected proceeds.

    Second, because of the outcry of people like us, the Governor recently signed into law a compromise: we get our free access back in March of 2014.

    I got my transponder yesterday. Saturday is the first day under the new rules. Discounts on transponders are available from the Auto Club.

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    Rdstr254->725->MS1364 HUN DrTaras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElSupreme View Post
    They did it on I-85 in Atlanta. It didn't go over very well.
    How can a plan like that go wrong? (sic)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by ipdamages View Post
    I heard back from the MTA...
    Second, because of the outcry of people like us, the Governor recently signed into law a compromise: we get our free access back in March of 2014.
    Surprised that you heard back. I don't call that much of a compromise, but cest la vie!
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