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I-110 and I-10 Express Lanes Implementation


I-110 and I-10 Express Lanes

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) entered into a demonstration project with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and other California transit agencies to provide congestion-reduction solutions in the Los Angeles region.

One solution was to convert some of the region’s high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes to managed lanes. The first conversions comprised 11 miles of HOV lanes on the I-110 Harbor Freeway and 14 miles on the I-10 San Bernardino Freeway. The converted lanes—the Metro ExpressLanes—are the first high-occupancy toll lanes in Los Angeles County. Dynamic pricing varies the toll rates to maintain traffic flow, prevent the express lanes from being overloaded and enable a minimum speed of 45 miles per hour to be maintained. We provided Metro with planning and preliminary design services and assistance in selecting a design-build-operate-maintain (DBOM) contractor.

In addition to conducting an assessment of express-lane feasibility on all freeways in Los Angeles County, we participated in the development of the dynamic pricing algorithm by testing it prior to operation, reviewing its performance once it went live, making recommendations to improve its responsiveness, and advising Metro about toll-price adjustments to manage traffic demand. We also led the testing of the back-office system and customer service center; conducted traffic operations analyses; prepared the concept of operations plan, transportation management plan, agency agreements and DBOM procurement documents; and developed and implemented stakeholder outreach, social media, and market research programs to introduce the concept of congestion pricing and determine the concerns of those likely to be affected. Our efforts helped Metro obtain a $210 million congestion-reduction demonstration grant from the USDOT.

After the DBOM contractor was selected, we continued to provide services to Metro: we reviewed roadway, drainage and tolling systems plans, specifications and estimates prepared by the contractor as well as the contractor’s operations and maintenance business rules and systems. We also provided oversight during the construction of project-related infrastructure and played a key role in the development, installation and deployment of the toll system by reviewing the design documents, test procedures, training materials, and operations and maintenance documents. Transit integration was a major component of the project: new express bus services and arterial bus-priority systems were implemented to facilitate bus operations. A new bus station was constructed near Union Station to improve intermodal transfer, a new maintenance facility was built for the express buses, improvements were made to transit centers and park-and-ride lots were expanded. These improvements are expected to result in a 7-percent mode shift from single-occupancy and high-occupancy vehicles to transit.