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Monthly Fee for Toll Lane Transponders Suspended for L.A. County Residents

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The $3 monthly fee imposed on drivers with special transponders for use in the new toll lane system will be suspended for L.A. County residents.

The transponders are used to track toll lane usage and fees, and cost users $40. The $3 is a controversial monthly maintenance fee that many say makes the transponder not worthwhile, and deters purchase, reports the L.A. Times.

The decision to suspend the fee, for a six-month period, came Thursday night "after a lengthy discussion and divided vote by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board," notes the Times.

The toll lanes are meant to make traffic flow more efficient in highly-congested corridors in L.A. County. Construction got underway for the 110 toll lanes in 2011, and they launched in November 2012. The 110 lanes were followed by toll lanes on the 10 Freeway in February of this year.

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L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board member Zev Yaroslavsky says drivers who don't regularly use the lanes have been reaching out to him to say they object to the $3 maintenance fee.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Scott opposed the fee suspension, saying Metro should wait at least a year to see how the toll program is running, and that the fee shouldn't be a big deal.

Metro has plans to expand the toll lane system; they are now looking at the 5 Freeway in Santa Clarita as the next location. So far the results of the toll lane implementation is that there is less traffic in the toll lanes (once carpool lanes) and more traffic in the regular lanes.