Toll Lanes Start Stephen Levy's Economy Blog, posted by stephen levy, a resident of the University South neighborhood, on Sep 19, 2010 at 2:46 pm stephen levy is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
A portion of southbound 680 will allow single occupancy cars to use the carpool lane for a fee starting on September 20th.
I think this is an interesting experiment. Two months ago the toll on the Bay Bridge was raised from $4 to $6 during the morning commute. And there are more toll lanes planned around the region as indicated in the article.
I start from a position of thinking this is a good idea even if folks with stickers like our family find the carpool lanes more crowded.
I am interested in hearing from readers who make the I-680 trip or the Bay Bridge morning trip about their experiences.
Posted by think about it, a resident of the Palo Verde neighborhood, on Sep 20, 2010 at 1:47 pm
Later today I am going to catch a train to Redwood City at a cost of $4.25 to enable me to ride with someone in the carpool lane to Milpitas to get them there in reasonable amount of time for a 6.30 appointment while I hang around aimlessly until they finish and we can come back to Palo Alto.
There is always a period of adjusting to new rules but I expect that drivers and Caltrans will make adjustments and shortly the leaning curve problems will disappear.
The toll lane idea has three potential benefits.
One, it allows drivers to pay for a faster drive and frees up space in the "free" lanes for other drivers.
Two, the revenue will be a help to financing highway improvements.
Three, the early experiments will provide valuable information about usage, fares, and congestion relief. If the early experiments don't work, I would hope that future toll lanes might be delayed or redesigned.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Sep 21, 2010 at 4:11 pm Walter_E_Wallis is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
I doubt seriously the revenue from toll lanes will come close to their cost and to the opportunity to expand service to all. Remember when the Dumbarton bridge was in private operation? One man per shift in the center kiosk collected tolls both directions, opened the bridge for boats and fished through a hole in the floor for flounder he sold for a buck a pound. The State took over, and the minimum crew was six. And no more flounders.