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      12-28-2012, 01:01 AM   #1
DARK_M3
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Fasttrack fail

I live in a the broke state of California. They are always trying to come up with ways to generate yet more revenue for it's ailing monetary status.

If you have the increasing displeasure of living in Los Angeles as I do, you may have noticed that the 110 fwy's carpool lane has gone the way of "Fasttrack" where you need to purchase a transponder to travel in the former "carpool lane" whether you are carpooling or not.

The transponder isn't all that expensive but it doesn't seem that they have really thought this thing all the way through. The transponder has 3 different settings depending on if you are travelling alone, with 2 people or with 3 or more. If you are travelling alone, of course they charge fees to get from point A to point B and of course these rates go up depending on traffic congestion. If you are travelling with the transponder in either the "2" or "3 or more" settings, you don't pay anything.

So why on earth would anyone not just leave it in the 2+ setting? Please enlighten me because it really seems that they haven't really thought this one through. Basically, purchase a transponder for $22 and keep it on 2+ and use the Fasttrack lanes for free.

Thoughts?
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      12-28-2012, 02:59 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DARK_M3 View Post
I live in a the broke state of California. They are always trying to come up with ways to generate yet more revenue for it's ailing monetary status.

If you have the increasing displeasure of living in Los Angeles as I do, you may have noticed that the 110 fwy's carpool lane has gone the way of "Fasttrack" where you need to purchase a transponder to travel in the former "carpool lane" whether you are carpooling or not.

The transponder isn't all that expensive but it doesn't seem that they have really thought this thing all the way through. The transponder has 3 different settings depending on if you are travelling alone, with 2 people or with 3 or more. If you are travelling alone, of course they charge fees to get from point A to point B and of course these rates go up depending on traffic congestion. If you are travelling with the transponder in either the "2" or "3 or more" settings, you don't pay anything.

So why on earth would anyone not just leave it in the 2+ setting? Please enlighten me because it really seems that they haven't really thought this one through. Basically, purchase a transponder for $22 and keep it on 2+ and use the Fasttrack lanes for free.

Thoughts?

can cops get a reading from them? if so, they can see if you have 2+ set without having 2 people in it, thus violating the law
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      12-28-2012, 03:14 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by persian54
Quote:
Originally Posted by DARK_M3 View Post
I live in a the broke state of California. They are always trying to come up with ways to generate yet more revenue for it's ailing monetary status.

If you have the increasing displeasure of living in Los Angeles as I do, you may have noticed that the 110 fwy's carpool lane has gone the way of "Fasttrack" where you need to purchase a transponder to travel in the former "carpool lane" whether you are carpooling or not.

The transponder isn't all that expensive but it doesn't seem that they have really thought this thing all the way through. The transponder has 3 different settings depending on if you are travelling alone, with 2 people or with 3 or more. If you are travelling alone, of course they charge fees to get from point A to point B and of course these rates go up depending on traffic congestion. If you are travelling with the transponder in either the "2" or "3 or more" settings, you don't pay anything.

So why on earth would anyone not just leave it in the 2+ setting? Please enlighten me because it really seems that they haven't really thought this one through. Basically, purchase a transponder for $22 and keep it on 2+ and use the Fasttrack lanes for free.

Thoughts?

can cops get a reading from them? if so, they can see if you have 2+ set without having 2 people in it, thus violating the law
What law would be be violating? Is there an actual CVC to this?

The way I see it is, unless there is an actual code to back said moving violation, he would not be breaking any law.
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      12-28-2012, 03:27 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by SoCali E90 View Post
What law would be be violating? Is there an actual CVC to this?

The way I see it is, unless there is an actual code to back said moving violation, he would not be breaking any law.
No idea

I don't take the 110 nor go to DTLA often enough for this to affect me, so I never looked into it
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      12-28-2012, 03:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by persian54
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCali E90 View Post
What law would be be violating? Is there an actual CVC to this?

The way I see it is, unless there is an actual code to back said moving violation, he would not be breaking any law.
No idea

I don't take the 110 nor go to DTLA often enough for this to affect me, so I never looked into it
Same here.
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      12-28-2012, 03:49 AM   #6
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Why not move if you hate it so much
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      12-28-2012, 04:19 AM   #7
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Glad that FasTrak up here in Northern California isn't like that (at least in the areas I drive).

It's mostly used for bridge tolls across the Bay Area, and HOV Express Lanes (but they don't require 2+). Either FasTrak or 2+ to use them.
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      12-28-2012, 10:36 AM   #8
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Why not move if you hate it so much
Wife's job.
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      12-28-2012, 10:37 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by JMX328 View Post
Glad that FasTrak up here in Northern California isn't like that (at least in the areas I drive).

It's mostly used for bridge tolls across the Bay Area, and HOV Express Lanes (but they don't require 2+). Either FasTrak or 2+ to use them.
They still require that you have it in the vehicle now even for carpools. All about $$
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      12-28-2012, 10:43 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by persian54 View Post
can cops get a reading from them? if so, they can see if you have 2+ set without having 2 people in it, thus violating the law
I believe they can however

1. I have dark tint so they could not determin who would be riding in the rear and
2. It's not all that often I see cops in the first place during the rare times that I actually drive this route.

I have heard from friends that morning rush hour traffic has a bunch of Chip's lined up in the carpool (protecting and serving no doubt) as cars come by in the HOV lane "reading" them for transponders. Or so I've heard. Excellent way to spend our tax dollars and an excellent use of their time.
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      12-28-2012, 10:45 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by SoCali E90 View Post
What law would be be violating? Is there an actual CVC to this?

The way I see it is, unless there is an actual code to back said moving violation, he would not be breaking any law.
This
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      12-28-2012, 10:54 AM   #12
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we have something similar in fl.. express lanes. they are pretty cool too. price of the lanes varies by time of day.. from 0.25 up to 9.00 during peak times.

does not vary by # of pax either.
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      12-28-2012, 03:10 PM   #13
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On one hand I think it's great that they allow people travelling alone the option of using these extra 2 lanes. But it's a terribly flawed system and only serves to line the pockets of revenue since it has made traffic worse since not every person with a carpool wants to pay for something that will allow them to travel freely in such lanes anyway. ?? It just doesn't make sense.

The "carpool" lanes themselves were designed to promote cleaner air by encouraging drivers to.... wait for it.... carpool! As such taking more cars off the road during peak traffic times. As an added side bonus, I'm sure they thought traffic would somehow become lighter in the process.

Well that pretty much backfired as Los Angeles is far too overcrowded to begin with and they keep trying to make gold out of bullshit by always changing a freeway system that was designed in the 50's. To accomodate the population of... the 50's. (Could have been the 60's but you catch my drift) Helloooooooooooooo

So now by turning the old "carpool" lanes into "HOV or Fasttrack" lanes, they've basically just shouted "Screw air quality!!! These lanes are now up to the highest bidder!" Meanwhile traffic is even worse and the people already carpooling are getting screwed monetarily in the process.

Real cool.

What they OUGHT to do and what they SHOULD have done was simply open up those 4 LANES (2 each direction) to all traffic. Guess what? Traffic actually would lighten (somewhat) and all the people that are carpooling to save gas or trees or whatever are still going to do that anyway.
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      12-29-2012, 09:34 PM   #14
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here in northern california, there is no setting on the fastrak. They give you the brick of plastic with no buttons on it. Every time you travel through a toll booth, they take a picture regardless of whether you have a fastrak on your car or not. The picture is sent through a processing facility where someone will review it.

If you have fastrak and the signal goes through, your picture automatically pass and no one will review the picture. If for some reason, your fastrak didn't go off, your licentplate is compared to the fastrak registered data base. If you have your vehicle registered, and forgot your fastrak that day, you'll get charge with the appropriate amount charge to your account, which is usually 5 bucks, instead of a ticket sent to your home, which is 45 bucks. If you don't have a fastrak and your vehicle was not registered then your picture is reviewed, you'll get a ticket sent to your home.

For the carpool lanes: same thing. However, there is one more step in the process: even if your fastrak goes off, there is a chance that your picture is process, i think 1 out of 5 pictures or something, and they check how many are in your car. If you don't have 2 passengers, and you have fastrak, you have a 20% chance of getting a ticket mail to your house.

Introducing a switch into the fastrak system seems weird to me? anyone can rationalize why they would want this? Maybe they want to cut back on people who review pictures? Maybe, I don't know.
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      12-29-2012, 10:08 PM   #15
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This thread is hilarious. You guys are lucky to even HAVE a fast-track lane.

Here in NY, the "fast-track" lane is the pothole-riddled left hand lane with drain covers every 500 feet that you have to dodge. Which usually has a yellow cab doing 45 in a 55.

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      12-30-2012, 01:49 PM   #16
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But that is the whole point of the government's existence. To spend MY money the way I do NOT want them do. And they make up all the rules!
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      12-31-2012, 06:13 PM   #17
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I'm moving to SoCal and I'm thinking about getting the express lane fasktrak.. read up on it. First and foremost, it's a pilot program to see if it's effective at reducing commute times in majorly congested freeway areas. It's not permanent at this time.

There are three settings for the fasktrak:
1) Solo Driver
2) Two person car pool
3) Three+ person car pool (assumed the lowest rates as well)

You can absolutely leave your fastrak in mode #2, however there are cameras which will take photos every so often, along with check points in which your transponder will check in with fastrak for additional fees if any, not to mention in their video they mention the CHP very frequently, so I'm guessing they will heavily watch for violators as its free money for the entity.

I gather the violation will be equivalent or higher than the carpool violation fee ($280+?).

Also, if the speeds in the express lane(s) drop below 45 mph, overhead signs will warn you, and the lane will convert back to carpool only, until the speeds pick up again.



Fastrak.. win?
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      12-31-2012, 11:42 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmahh View Post
I'm moving to SoCal and I'm thinking about getting the express lane fasktrak.. read up on it.
If you want to get anywhere near L.A. on the 110, it's a MUST.

Quote:
Originally Posted by timmahh View Post
First and foremost, it's a pilot program to see if it's effective at reducing commute times in majorly congested freeway areas. It's not permanent at this time.
Well all the permanent signage sure makes it seem more than temparary. They've been running it in a "diagnostic" mode for awhile before they finally changed all the carpool signs to "HOV" signage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by timmahh View Post
There are three settings for the fasktrak:
1) Solo Driver
2) Two person car pool
3) Three+ person car pool (assumed the lowest rates as well)
Correct

Quote:
Originally Posted by timmahh View Post
You can absolutely leave your fastrak in mode #2, however there are cameras which will take photos every so often,
If this is true they would have to shoot into the vehicle in a way to see all the seats. This is impossible as you could in no way see a small child say, behind the driver seat. The camera system is both too falible as well as too easily challenged as such IMO. I haven't noticed cameras btw other than the possibility of them on the overhead transponder recievers that flash whenever you drive under them (I suspect taking a picture of a rear license plate when it doesn't register a transponder in the vehicle)

Quote:
Originally Posted by timmahh View Post
along with check points in which your transponder will check in with fastrak for additional fees if any, not to mention in their video they mention the CHP very frequently, so I'm guessing they will heavily watch for violators as its free money for the entity.
On average I see 1-2 cop cars travelling the length of the monitored lane(s). Half of those are actual CHP. The other half are city cops or sheriffs heading somewhere and not likely to pull you over regardless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by timmahh View Post
I gather the violation will be equivalent or higher than the carpool violation fee ($280+?).
Last I saw it was $430. But the question still remains. Is there any actual VC or statute being violated? (topic for another conversation)

Quote:
Originally Posted by timmahh View Post
Also, if the speeds in the express lane(s) drop below 45 mph, overhead signs will warn you, and the lane will convert back to carpool only, until the speeds pick up again.
Haven't seen this happen but I don't really travel it during "peak" rush hour traffic. Also, I don't think enough people have the transponders yet to even merit such a thing.



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Fastrak.. win?
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