Solo drivers willing to pay between 25 cents and $1.40 per mile will be able to join the carpool lanes on stretches of two LA freeways as part of a one-year pilot project.
Crews broke ground Wednesday on the ExpressLanes project. It will convert 25 miles of high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes on the 110 and 10 freeways into high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes.
Solo drivers will be required to pay a toll that will range from 25 cents to $1.40 per mile, depending on traffic. They'll receive an ExpressLanes transponder, which provides the electronic OK to use the lanes.
The 110 Freeway project involves 11 miles of existing carpool lanes in both directions between the Artesia Transit Center and Adams Boulevard near downtown. The expected completion date is sometime next year.
On the 10 Freeway, the project includes 14 miles between Union Station and the 605 Freeway. About nine miles of new toll lanes are part of the 10 Freeway project. The 10 Freeway project is expected to be completed in 2013.
On the 110 Freeway, carpools with two or more people will still be allowed to use the ExpressLanes for free. But on the 10 Freeway, only carpools with three or more people will be able to access the lanes for free.
Carpoolers with only two passengers will have to pay to use the lanes during peak hours -- 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
A similar plan was rolled out on the 91 Freeway in Orange County.
The project is partly funded by a $210 million federal grant. Most of the grant dollars will go to funding the infrastructure needed to run the tolls.
The rest of the grant will pay for about 60 new buses that will use the toll lanes. The project includes a new bus station in El Monte.