L.A. Could Open the Car Pool Lane

Car pool lane (Justin Sullivan / Getty)
Justin Sullivan / Getty

On Thursday, the California State Senate approved a bill opening carpool lanes on some Los Angeles County freeways to all drivers during off-peak hours.

Assembly Bill 210, now on its way to Governer Jerry Brown for approval, would alter the carpool lanes on the 134 Freeway from North Hollywood to Pasadena, and the 210 Freeway from Pasadena to Glendora. The hours are yet to be set by Caltrans, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The bill, which would be implemented July 1, 2016, would also allow the State Department of Transportation to test the change on other freeways. Caltrans would evaluate the bill after two years to analyze its efficacy.

Brown vetoed a similar measure in 2013, writing, “Carpool lanes are especially important in Los Angeles County to reduce pollution and maximize use of freeways. We should retain the current 24/7 carpool lane control.”

Assemblyman Mike Gatto, (D-Glendale), who introduced AB210, told the Glendale News Press, said, “I believe in the sensibility of this cause. I’m going to keep at it if I believe in it.”

A legislative staff analysis buttressed support of the bill, pointing out that a 2014 study by Caltrans stated the carpool lane on the 134 HOV functioned “below the optimum volume,” and that on the 134 and 210, “HOV lane usage drops substantially after the 6 p.m. hour.”

Southern California features over 700 miles of carpool lanes.