by Dave Castle, John Gahbauer, David Lewry, Kristin Perry, and Henry
For full report click here.
The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) will soon embark on a yearlong pilot program, dubbed ExpressLanes, converting current high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes on segments of the I-10 and I-110 freeways to high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes. This report provides analyses and recommendations to ensure carpooler support for the ExpressLanes program. The analyses and recommendations include an implementation analysis that compares the project with other HOT lane conversions, a strategy for engagement and communications, and a plan for distribution of transponders to carpoolers.
Our implementation analysis considers issues that other agencies faced in implementing their own systems, and highlights potential risk factors for Metro. Key findings include the following:
In order to mitigate the implementation risks posed above, Metro must:
Assuming that Metro continues with its plan to require carpoolers to use transponders to access the lanes, Metro will need a strong engagement plan, including a carpooler incentive program, and a targeted communications strategy to convince carpoolers that they will benefit from the system. Key findings include:
Our recommendations from the findings above indicate that Metro should:
Distributing transponders to as many carpoolers as possible is vital to ensure a smooth opening for the ExpressLanes. Metro should plan to:
In addition to providing these recommendations to Metro, we have outlined a proposed plan to guide Metro through the year and a half prior to the opening of the system, summarized in the following table:
Time to Open
Design benefits-based introductory messaging, including videos; distribute through ETCs
Start pre-orders with bonus points incentive; provide communications checklist and materials for ETCs
Design process-based messaging; begin in-person transponder distribution through workplace and CSCs
Install signage on corridors; design and distribute messaging around environmental benefits
Transition incentive from bonus points to trial period; phase rollout for carpoolers in some way
Expand promotion to SOV drivers
Remembering that many carpoolers and vanpoolers are passionate about their ridesharing “cause,” Metro must, in all its engagement, and distribution efforts, try to treat carpoolers less as customers and more as partners in the effort to promote ridesharing. Vocal carpoolers are ExpressLanes’ biggest potential political threat to the program but, if they can be won over through effective messaging and an appeal to their passion, they are also potentially its best advocates.