Los Angeles gets $210M to cut traffic, improve transit

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Los Angeles will receive $210 million in federal funds to help cut highway traffic jams and provide better bus transit services in Los Angeles, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced Thursday, Dec. 11. DOT says it is the largest congestion grant awarded to any city to date.

The funding will allow local leaders to move forward with a plan to convert existing HOV lanes to high-occupancy toll lanes and implement congestion pricing to improve southern California’s traffic, air quality and quality of life. “Los Angeles’ willingness to try something new will mean less traffic, better transit and a cleaner environment,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters says.

Los Angeles Partners — the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the California DOT — will pay for state-of-the-art tolling technology to allow drivers to pay a fee for access to less-congested lanes and sophisticated sensors that will monitor the region’s freeways and adjust fares for the lanes based on traffic levels. The project includes HOV-to-HOT conversions on Interstate 10 from Alameda Street to I-605 (28 lane-miles), and I-110 from 182nd Street/Artesia Transit Center to Adams Boulevard (33 miles).

The money also will finance new bus service and park-and-ride facility improvements. “HOT lanes benefit commuters whether they are taking transit or driving,” Peters says. “Transit riders benefit from both quicker commutes and increased transit investments from pricing revenues.”

The Los Angeles investment is part of DOT’s comprehensive initiative to address congestion throughout the nation’s transportation system. In addition to Los Angeles, DOT has entered into partnerships with Chicago, Miami, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Atlanta and Seattle.