Plan to let solo drivers pay tolls to use 10, 110 freeway carpool lanes opposed
An experiment to charge solo drivers to use speedier carpool lanes on two of Los Angeles' most congested freeways has hit renewed opposition in Congress as two influential lawmakers — a Republican and a Democrat — say the plan is unfair to taxpayers and would create a two-tier transportation system for rich and poor.
Rep. Gary G. Miller of Diamond Bar, the senior California Republican on the House Transportation Committee, said the toll of up to $1.40 a mile during peak periods "absolutely infuriates me." Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) said it would set up a "traffic system of haves and have-nots."
Miller is exploring legislation to put the brakes on the project on the 110 and 10 freeways even though it is in the late planning stages. He has also gained an important ally in his fight to block similar projects in the future: House Transportation Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.).
The plan by the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority calls for giving solo commuters the option of paying to use the carpool lanes on the 110 Freeway south of downtown beginning in late 2012 and on the 10 Freeway east of downtown starting in early 2013.
--Richard Simon in Washington