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Spurred Majority of Commuters to Share Rides : Car-Pool Lane Works, Survey Suggests

Times Staff Writer

A survey of drivers on the Costa Mesa Freeway shows that more than half of the commuters who car-pool began doing so after the creation of a car-pool lane there two years ago.

In a study done for the Orange County Transportation Commission, the Orange County Transit District, Caltrans and the Southern California Assn. of Governments, 777 drivers were contacted by telephone and mail and asked a series of questions about their driving habits.

Fifty-seven percent of the drivers who car-pool answered that they began car-pooling within the last two years, and 95% of the car poolers said the car-pool lane was a key factor in their decision not to commute alone.

The study also shows that car-pool drivers travel longer distances than other drivers and that their average speed during their entire trip is about five miles per hour greater than those who travel alone.

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The study is to be presented Monday to the county Transportation Commission.

Stan Oftelie, the commission’s executive director, said the survey “reinforces the conventional wisdom about car-pooling and how successful it is. It’s changing behavior because it saves them time.”


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