Readers React

Riding for free in the MTA's toll lanes

To the editor: As a longtime carpooler on the 110 Freeway, I wholeheartedly agree that the toll lanes have become so congested that there is no advantage over the regular lanes. In fact, one could hardly grasp why any right-minded single driver would pay $12.50 for the benefit of shaving little if any time off the rush-hour commute. ("MTA's toll-lane project may be a victim of its own success," March 24)

This brings us to the dirty little secret nobody seems to want to talk about: the virtual impossibility of policing single drivers who illegally switch their transponders to the carpool setting, thereby taking the "Lexus lanes" for a free ride.

The lanes were originally conceived to promote carpooling, which benefits everyone by taking cars off the road. Perhaps someone should be asking tough questions about what percentage of single drivers are actually paying to use the toll lanes before allowing some bureaucrat to proclaim the program a "victim of its own success."

George Pisano, Rancho Palos Verdes

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