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10 & 110 Freeways to get Express Toll Lanes in 2010

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In addition to approving support for high speed rail, the Metro Board today approved ExpressLanes for portions of the 10 and 110 freeways as part of a one-year congestion reduction demonstration project funded by a federal grant. Because there's no space to build more freeways, Metro says this is a way to squeeze in more capacity. Under the plan, car pool lanes would turn into toll lanes of sorts. Those who carpool, take public transit or drive a motorcycle will not be affected, but solo drivers would be allowed into the lanes at a price--anywhere from a quarter to $1.40 a mile depending on the time of day and demand for usage.

The lanes are expected to open in December 2010 and will be found on the 10 and 110 east and south of downtown, respectively. Critics of the plan say this idea makes no sense. "Congestion pricing should reduce the demand for car travel," LA Streetsblogger Damien Newton said last month about a draft version of the plan. "There is nothing in the congestion pricing plan that encourages people to drive less."