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Metro ExpressLanes Making Key Upgrades

Thursday January 16, 2020

The Metro ExpressLanes in January will be making several key changes to improve the customer experience, including a new ‘pay-as-you-go’ pilot program, improved service centers, new back office and roadside systems and a new website.

“The ExpressLanes have proven enormously popular and I’m pleased to see these necessary upgrades being made that will make the ExpressLanes easier to use for existing and new customers,” said Metro Board Chair and City of Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts. 

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is implementing a ‘Pay as You Go’ pilot ExpressLanes program for individuals who use the lanes without a FastTrak Transponder. Under this program, the registered owner of the vehicle will be sent a notice of the toll amount plus a $4 processing fee. Customers will have 30 days to pay or a $21 penalty fee will be added. After 60 days, additional penalties will be applied to the account.

Under the previous program, a driver using the ExpressLanes without a transponder would receive a violation notice that would include the toll amount as well as a $25 penalty. An additional $30 delinquent fee would be added if payment was not made within 30 days. 

“I want people to be able to use our ExpressLanes when they really need them without fear of getting pulled over or getting a fine, so we are going to try out this new Pay-As-You-Go system and see if it’s helpful for our freeway users,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn who serves as a Metro Board Member. “If you are running late for a job interview or need to pick up your child from daycare, you will be able to use the ExpressLanes and just get a bill in the mail for the congestion price at the time you used it.”

Those using the ExpressLanes without a transponder miss some benefits that come with having a FasTrak account such as toll-free access for HOVs or access to other FasTrak facilities. The new ‘pay as you go’ program went into effect January 5 and was based on a motion by Metro Board Member and Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn.

A new Metro ExpressLanes Service Center will open on Jan. 21  in Torrance at 20101 Hamilton Avenue, Suite 100A. This center — near the I-110 and I-405 freeways — replaces the Metro ExpressLanes Customer Center in Gardena, which has permanently closed. 

The El Monte ExpressLanes center located in the El Monte Transit center is also undergoing renovations and will reopen on Jan. 21 at its current location at  3501 Santa Anita Avenue, El Monte, CA 91731.

“Customer service is a top priority for Metro, and these modernized service centers will more effectively serve commuters who use the ExpressLanes,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metro Board Second Vice Chair Hilda Solis. “Plus, the new centers will help Metro better manage the ExpressLanes. Everyone wins with these enhanced service centers.”

Metro ExpressLanes is upgrading to a new computer system through January 20, 2020. During this time, customers will be unable to access the website, retrieve or update their account, call customer service or visit a customer service center. The toll collection system for the I-10 and I-110 Metro ExpressLanes will continue to operate and process tolls during the transition.

“The ExpressLanes represent a major mobility improvement for those who rely on our county’s freeway system and Metro hopes to expand the ExpressLanes system to other freeways in the coming years,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington.

“Metro ExpressLanes understands customer concerns regarding the system disruption and is working diligently to correct customer’s needs,” said Shahrzad Amiri, Metro’s Executive Officer, Congestion Reduction Initiative. “We have extended notice of toll evasion penalty due dates to February 15 for notices that escalated during this transition between January 7 and the 20th.” 

“Starting Jan. 21, Metro ExpressLanes will experience higher than usual call volume, delays in transaction and payment processing, and account updates due to the transition,” Amiri continued. “Metro is focused on expeditiously addressing customer needs once the new system is deployed.”

About Metro
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is building the most ambitious transportation infrastructure program in the United States and is working to greatly improve mobility through its Vision 2028 Plan. Metro is the lead transportation planning and funding agency for L.A. County and carries about 1.2 million boardings daily on a fleet of 2,200 low-emission buses and six rail lines.                                                                                        

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