Will Toll Lanes Make Traffic Worse?


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A plan to create an 800-mile network of toll lanes in the Bay Area has won the support of a key state legislative committee, according to the Contra Costa Times. The Assembly Transportation Committee passed the toll-lane bill yesterday 12-1. The bill by Assemblyman Alberto Torrico of Fremont would allow the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to create carpool lanes on Bay Area expressways that also would accommodate solo drivers if they pay a toll via FasTrak. The amount of the toll would depend on the time of day and the levels of congestion. The plan sounds intriguing, because it likely will raise funds for transportation projects, but we're not sure how it would ease nightmarish traffic, since it might encourage more people to drive to work.