Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) launched the Metro ExpressLanes (a programme designed to improve traffic flow and provide enhanced travel options in Los Angeles) two years ago, establishing that Clean Air Vehicles (CAVs) could use them toll-free.
For the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), CAVs include zero emission vehicles (100% battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell); Autogas and CNG fuelled vehicles; or other vehicles that meet the California ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) standard for exhaust emissions and the federal ILEV standard.
Now LA Metro has reported that the number of Clean Air Vehicles (CAVs) using the ExpressLanes has increased almost 1000%, demonstrating a solid success of alternative fuel vehicle adoption in the region.
According to LA Metro since the opening of the ExpressLanes, CAV decals went from 30,000 to 302,453 as of 1 January, 2018, with an average annual increase of approximately 54,000 decals per year. Concurrently, over the past two years, the penetration rate of CAVs in the most congested segment of the ExpressLanes has doubled.
Due to this high growth, LA Metro Board has approved a plan to reduce traffic, which includes charging solo motorists in CAVs a discounted toll to use the ExpressLanes on the 10 and 110 freeways, beginning in late 2018. Under the change, drivers in CAVs without enough passengers to meet High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) requirements would get a 15% discount on the tolls.
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