Officials broke ground on what will be Los Angeles County's first freeway toll lanes, taking a gamble that drivers will be willing to pay significant sums to avoid rush-hour traffic.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and other officials on Wednesday hailed the project as a major improvement to L.A.'s clogged freeway system. Officials plan to convert a total of 25 miles of existing carpool lanes on the 10 and 110 freeways into high-occupancy toll lanes. Carpools and buses will be able to use the lanes for free, while solo drivers will pay up to $1.40 a mile during peak rush-hour traffic.
"Today marks a major milestone," Villaraigosa said, adding that the HOT lanes could be expanded to other freeways if the pilot program is successful.