Metro wants to end free rides for clean-air vehicles in toll lanes

Facing rising congestion in the 110 Freeway and 10 Freeway toll lanes, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Thursday will consider ending free rides for commuters who drive alone in zero-emission vehicles.

The proposal could place Metro on a collision course with environmental advocates, who say saving time and money on Los Angeles County's toll lanes is a major reason that Angelenos buy zero-emission cars. Reducing emissions from transportation is critical to meeting the state's air quality and climate goals.

But when it comes to taming traffic jams, a zero-emission car with one occupant is no different from a gas-guzzler, Metro officials say. The policy is one of several that Metro is pursuing to keep speeds in the lanes above the federally mandated minimum of 45 mph during rush hour.

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