Lone motorists would be able to use car-pool lanes during off-peak hours on some of Los Angeles County’s most congested freeways under legislation approved by the state Assembly.
The measure would allow single-occupant vehicles to use high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes after rush hours on certain stretches of the 134, 210 and other freeways in Los Angeles County deemed appropriate by the Department of Transportation.
The Assembly voted 72-0 on Thursday to send the bill by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) to the state Senate for consideration.
“Carpool lanes are intended to increase the capacities of our freeways, reward those who carpool during rush hour, and protect the surrounding environment from harmful exhaust,” Gatto said in a statement Friday.
“When motorists are stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic at midnight while carpool lanes sit empty, none of those goals are being met,” he added.
The pilot program would put some Southern California freeways under similar restrictions to those in the northern part of the state, where lone motorists can use the carpool lane during hours other than the morning and afternoon rush hours.
The bill calls for part-time carpool lanes on a stretch of the 134 Freeway between the 170 and 5 Freeways, and along the 210 Freeway between the 134 and the 57.
The California Department of Transportation would be required to report to the Legislature by Jan. 1, 2016, on the impact to traffic of the change, so a decision can be made about expanding it to other Southern California freeways.