Minutes from September 10, 2013-Metro ExpressLanes

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Open Board of Directors Meeting

  San Bernardino Community College District

114 S. Del Rosa Drive

San Bernardino, CA 92408


Present:  Don Averill, Deborah Barmack, Carole Beswick, Tom Brickley, Erin Brinker, Bill Easley, Dick Hart, Mark Kaenel, Ed Lasak, Temetry Lindsey, Sue McKee, John Mirau, Susan Rice, Paul Shimoff, Wendy Strack, Jeff Thom, Phil Waller, A.J. Wilson and Ray Wolfe.

Guests:  Gary Cohoe & Jim Morris  

Announcements: 1) The Inland Valley Development Agency invites the Inland Action membership to a ribbon cutting ceremony commemorating the opening of the newly constructed Mountain View Bridge.  The event will be at noon on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at Central & Mountain View Ave., San Bernardino.  Please contact Cathie Webber at 909-382-4100 or email her at cweber@sbdairport.com to Rsvp or for more information.  2) The Transportation Committee is planning a forum to discuss the pros and cons of toll lanes.  The event will be held at Cal State, San Bernardino on Monday, November 11 from 12-2p.m.  More information will be distributed to the membership soon.

M/S/P: Minutes from July 23, 2013

Ed Lasak introduced Stephanie Wiggins, Executive Officer, Metro ExpressLanes.  The newly incorporated Metro ExpressLanes on the I-110 and I-10 freeways are providing people with options on their commute and helping people get through traffic much faster.  Ms. Wiggins discussed the planning and outreach for their pre-launch, the early results since launch and some lessons learned. 

The ExpressLanes were created on the I-110 and I-10 freeways in cooperation with CalTrans on a 12 month pilot program to better utilize the carpool lanes that were often empty while other lanes were congested.  The ExpressLanes are becoming increasingly popular and are providing people with options on their commute.  The ExpressLanes are available for a toll to all solo drivers and are free for eligible carpools, vanpools and motorcycles. 

Critical to the process of instituting a toll lane system, they created a business community round table along the ExpressLane corridor that included elected officials.  The roundtable was co-chaired by a private sector top ranking business leader and the Mayor of Los Angeles.   The roundtable was effective in communication and acceptance of the ExpressLanes.  They introduced pricing to manage traffic demand.  The roundtable spread the ExpressLane information to employees, vendors, customers and shored up concerns from local, state and federal officials.   

The new transponder is equipped so the driver can set the number of passengers in the vehicle.  The FasTrak transponder will work on all California roads.  The toll is calculated based on both the number of occupants and the time of travel on the ExpressLanes.  Toll amounts range from $.25 to $1.40 per mile and are locked in as the driver enters the ExpressLanes.  Toll rates vary within the range based on traffic levels in the ExpressLanes and are recalculated every 5 minutes to ensure average speeds of 45 mph and create real time tolling.  

The Metro ExpressLanes have created a low income equity plan where the cost of the deposit is reduced as well as partnering with major retailers like Costco, Albertsons’s and AAA that offer discounts on the transponder deposit.    

Pre launch users totaled some 39,583 drivers with a one year anticipated increase of 37%.  However, as of July 2013 (9 months into the program) they have experienced a 205% increase of transponder adoption.  They have been successful with their public outreach and stress the importance of marketing and continued information disbursed to the public.      

Ms. Wiggins indicated that the following areas are important components for a successful campaign and instituting toll lanes:

  • ·         Political champions are critical
  • ·         Address Equity Issues Early in the Planning Process
  • ·         Leverage Congestion Pricing with Transit
  • ·         Extensive Outreach and Public Education Required
  •  Post-Launch
  • ·         Signage, Signage, Signage
  • ·         Invest in Superior Customer Service
  • ·         Continued marketing campaign 


A Q & A period followed. 

The meeting adjourned at 8:36 a.m.