Virginia's Express Lanes Are Operational
December 29, 2014 9:31 AM   Subscribe

10 years of planning and several years (and almost $1 billion) of construction have come to end on I-95 south of Washington DC as the controversial "Express Lanes" are fully operational today.

The lanes extend from Exit 143 in Stafford County to approximately Exit 3 on I-395, a distance of about 30 miles. Tolls will vary with traffic volume, with the goal of keeping the average speed in the express lanes at 65 mph. The company running the the lanes expects tolls to range from 20 cents per mile to 80 cents, or more, at rush hour. That could make the one-way trip to work $25 or more if the driver uses the toll road all the way.

Carpools with 3 or more people in the car, and motorcycles, can use the express lanes for free.

Criticisms of the project include:

- Concerns that the toll costs make the express lanes a luxury available only to the well off ("Lexus Lanes")
- Concerns that the new toll options could damage the regions very successful casual carpooling / hitchhiking system
- Design choices, particularly the end of the toll lanes 5 miles South of DC, will actually make congestion worse.
posted by COD (66 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Reversible lanes, that's fascinating. Don't think I've ever driven in a system that has those. I suppose they shut them down for the switch? I'd be scared I'd get caught going the wrong direction.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:34 AM on December 29, 2014


Now witness the revenue collection of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL variable-price tolling system!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:35 AM on December 29, 2014 [37 favorites]


Criticisms of the project include:

- Concerns that the toll costs make the express lanes a luxury available only to the well off ("Lexus Lanes")


It's weird, but this doesn't quite bother me as much - it feels more like a weird form of revenge: "oh, you're too impooooooortant to wait in traffic like the rest of us? You're too buuuuuusy and you think you should get to take a special shortcuuuut? Well, then, we're gonna make you pay through the nose for it."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:37 AM on December 29, 2014 [6 favorites]


There are already a couple of roads in the DC area that have reversible lanes: Connecticut Ave does during rush hour, and Rock Creek Parkway is one-way during rush hour and two ways at other times, I believe. So this isn't an untested thing in DC.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:38 AM on December 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'd be scared I'd get caught going the wrong direction.

These are limited access highways. They shut the access points with big gates with red lights, wait for traffic to clear, and send VDOT trucks/state police to take care of any stranded/stray vehicles before opening up to the opposite direction.
posted by peeedro at 9:39 AM on December 29, 2014


Oh, it lookalike the HOV lanes already were reversible. Nevermind!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:41 AM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Nobody uses the express lanes on the beltway really. Complete waste of money and a giant handout for the wealthy.
posted by empath at 9:41 AM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


- Concerns that the new toll options could damage the regions very successful casual carpooling / hitchhiking system

Wait wait wait, is this where the name "Slugline" comes from on House of Cards?!
posted by telegraph at 9:42 AM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


The North in the last line of the post should be South. Doh! I've emailed the mods to correct.

The lanes have been open for all (for free) for the last two weeks. They definitely shaved 10-15 minutes off my trip each way from/to the commuter lot where I catch a ride. However, traffic south of that to home has been horrible in the evenings, but I think that has been a bad run of daily accidents, and not anything to do with the express lanes.
posted by COD at 9:44 AM on December 29, 2014


Reversible lanes, that's fascinating. Don't think I've ever driven in a system that has those. I suppose they shut them down for the switch?

The Golden Gate Bridge has reversible lanes. They shut down one end at the toll plaza then once it's clear they switch it. It's remarkably quick.
posted by fshgrl at 9:44 AM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wait wait wait, is this where the name "Slugline" comes from on House of Cards?!


Yep, the term slugline (for the people waiting in line to get in someone else's car) has been around at least 20 years (I remember reading about it in the WaPo as a teenager). When I saw it in House of Cards it made me smile, a nice bit of local-flavor for the show.

I'm not sure how I understand how this will hurt slugging though. Is the thought that drivers who used to get slugs won't bother because now they can just pay? I'd think that unless the price is less than $10, you'll still have plenty of people who will be willing to take riders, perhaps even more because now they have a cash incentive rather than just a temporal one.
posted by skewed at 9:53 AM on December 29, 2014 [5 favorites]


ThePinkSuperhero: Reversible lanes, that's fascinating. Don't think I've ever driven in a system that has those. I suppose they shut them down for the switch? I'd be scared I'd get caught going the wrong direction.
That's fairly common. IIRC, the Tappan Zee bridge has them; it also has a vehicle that moves s l o w l y across, moving one concrete barrier a lane to the left in the mornings, then back to the right in the evenings as it returns to its starting point. Thus, a reversible lane, with traffic allowed during the changeover (and a 10'-high "construction" vehicle with flashing lights at the precise changeover spot, so you won't miss it).
posted by IAmBroom at 9:55 AM on December 29, 2014


I slug every day and most of the participants are active duty military and government employees / contractors. Generally speaking, not folks that will spend $40 a day or more on tolls when alternatives exist.
posted by COD at 9:56 AM on December 29, 2014 [5 favorites]


Chicago has reversible express lanes. Many bridges move barriers left or right to increase lanes in the direction of commuter traffic. The Tap does this daily.

If this will ease the traffic near Quantico for this driver that is simply going from NY to North Carolina that has never failed to hit monster traffic there, I will glady pay the fee for avoiding the traffic.
posted by 724A at 9:58 AM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


The 520 bridge in Seattle used to have reversible lanes, they were hell. And there is a special kind of hell awaiting you north of the border, where the tunnel under the Frasier River has reversible lanes...which means, going north in the afternoon, approximately 523 lanes are funneled down to one lane in the space of about 78 feet.

I don't hate the idea of pay lanes, but do hate "public/private" partnerships for the leeching that they are.
posted by maxwelton at 9:58 AM on December 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


The reversible express lane near me was once opened in the wrong order causing traffic to flow in both directions resulting in a fatal head-on collision. I'm assuming that they've implemented some sort of safety interlock system since then.
posted by octothorpe at 10:01 AM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Anyone driving the Dulles toll road and observing the HOV lane knows that about half the cars are cheating. Until it became widely known (via a radio DJ discussing it on air) that the toll road wasn't enforcing tolls, cheating on the toll road itself was rampant. So unless they have people checking and stopping cars with the carpool Fastpass on the new Express Lanes I'd expect similar levels of cheating.
posted by srt19170 at 10:04 AM on December 29, 2014


I would expect the existence of free HOV lanes on an otherwise-expensive high-speed expressway to result in an expansion of carpooling rather than a reduction.

In the Bay Area, even charging carpools $2.50 to cross the Bay Bridge (it used to be free) didn't reduce the number of people carpooling, so far as I can tell. It's still cheaper and faster than driving alone.
posted by suelac at 10:08 AM on December 29, 2014


I agree that this doesn't seem like it would hurt slugging at all; that's super expensive and if you're already using the system, why would you start paying instead of sticking with what you already do?

I've never slugged myself (never lived in Virginia, praise be to whomever) but the whole thing is fascinating to me. I was talking to someone with whom I worked who said there are unspoken but very clear rules about slugging, mostly that you DO NOT TALK. You don't ask about the weather, you don't change the radio station, you don't complain about the temperature, you all just sit silently. I once heard a story (maybe in life, maybe on Metafilter? Not sure) about a guy who was slugging and picked up some military guys. They all sat completely silently in the car, then unfortunately the driver got a flat tire. He started to feel agitated and unsure about what to do when the military guys got out, found the jack, changed the tire, and got back in the car all without speaking. The whole thing has a fascinating and surreal vibe.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 10:11 AM on December 29, 2014 [25 favorites]


Worth noting: These lanes replaced (and extended) an existing reversible HOV facility, which was originally built to acaccommodate public buses (which never ran - it was a ruse to add extra car lanes to the suburbs)

The HOV facility still exists in Arlington and Alexandria, most likely because those jurisdictions would have sued and tried to kill the project. Arl/Alx have a strong interest in preventing sprawl, and until recently had a really good stance on transit.

The reversible lanes work pretty well for what they're used for. Adding extra lanes in both directions would have taken too much land.
posted by schmod at 10:12 AM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


there are unspoken but very clear rules about slugging, mostly that you DO NOT TALK.

Etiquette and rules of the slug lines.
posted by peeedro at 10:14 AM on December 29, 2014 [11 favorites]


Nobody uses the express lanes on the beltway really. Complete waste of money and a giant handout for the wealthy.
posted by empath at 12:41 PM on December 29 [+] [!]


I use them, especially when I am in a rush to get to the airport and the toll charges are very high. No need to use them when they are $2 or $3 because that means the traffic is probably flowing very smoothly on the non-express lanes. When the charges are higher, though, that's been a pretty reliable indication that the non-express traffic is at a standstill. Been using the Beltway express lanes since they opened, and I've never had a problem with the traffic on the express lanes yet, which is nice. There appear to be several speedtraps and aggressive enforcement on the express lanes, though, so watch out for that.

Unclear how it is a giant handout for the wealthy. The way that it works is that people need to pay to use the lanes, so it's more like a giant hand in the pocket of people who want to use the lanes.
posted by Slap Factory at 10:15 AM on December 29, 2014


It's weird, but this doesn't quite bother me as much - it feels more like a weird form of revenge: "oh, you're too impooooooortant to wait in traffic like the rest of us? You're too buuuuuusy and you think you should get to take a special shortcuuuut? Well, then, we're gonna make you pay through the nose for it."

Also, I get this, but I disagree -- for some people, $50 a day isn't that much and they can afford to pay it. Many of us can't. It's not an issue of being too busy and important to sit in traffic, it's an issue of getting to spend more time with your family or grocery shopping or cooking or doing whatever you want to do. The idea that people who are already rich and privileged also get the luxury of getting home at a more reasonable hour and being with the people they love just because $250 a week is manageable (or even negligible) for them pisses me off.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 10:15 AM on December 29, 2014 [9 favorites]


I agree that this doesn't seem like it would hurt slugging at all; that's super expensive and if you're already using the system, why would you start paying instead of sticking with what you already do?

Exactly. I slug into NYC at the GWB (mostly as a rider but I'll pickup when I can if I don't miss the exit for the pickup spot, which I almost always do). Drivers save $5 a trip if you have 3 or more people; that really adds up.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:16 AM on December 29, 2014


The slugging etiquette is totally up to the driver. Some drivers are very chatty and turn the drive into a social hour, some get annoyed if you breath too loudly.
posted by COD at 10:17 AM on December 29, 2014


That's fairly common. IIRC, the Tappan Zee bridge has them; it also has a vehicle that moves s l o w l y across, moving one concrete barrier a lane to the left in the mornings, then back to the right in the evenings as it returns to its starting point. Thus, a reversible lane, with traffic allowed during the changeover (and a 10'-high "construction" vehicle with flashing lights at the precise changeover spot, so you won't miss it).
posted by IAmBroom at 12:55 PM on December 29 [+] [!]


Yes, the I-395 HOV lanes have been reversible for years. Instead of a slowly moving vehicle, they stage the closings of the entrances to make sure the lanes are clear before reversing them over. They are set apart from the rest of I-395, so there is little room for confusion about whether the lanes are moving northbound or southbound.
posted by Slap Factory at 10:18 AM on December 29, 2014


We have reversible express lanes in Seattle. They shut them down, and clear out the traffic before opening them up to go the other way. Of course, there are mistakes. We had a big bus going the wrong way once. It met up with traffic going the other way in a skinny spot and couldn't go forward because cars, and couldn't turn around and go back because there wasn't enough room to turn around. No one was hurt that time, others have not been so lucky.
posted by HMSSM at 10:29 AM on December 29, 2014


I was a slug for about seven years from VA to DC and my father was one as well. I loved it - it's one of those things that just works exactly like it needs to work. Most drivers turn on the news station and most passengers read and frequently you begin to see the same people over and over.
posted by PussKillian at 10:36 AM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Given the proximity to DC, won't these just be abused by limos with CD plates?
posted by scruss at 10:58 AM on December 29, 2014


Now witness the firepower of these fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL express lanes!
posted by newdaddy at 10:59 AM on December 29, 2014


Nobody uses the express lanes on the beltway really. Complete waste of money and a giant handout for the wealthy.

I agree that they're underutilized, but like Slap Factory, I use them when I need to be somewhere on time and the variable toll is above $5 or so (indicating congestion on the main road). As for enforcement, there are cameras that supposedly determine the number of people in the car and compare it to your EZ-Pass setting (a manual switch puts it into and out of HOV-3 mode). I would LOVE to have similar lanes on the northern stretch of the Beltway through Montgomery County.

I'm kinda looking forward to trying the new I95 toll lanes the next time I visit relatives in North Carolina. That stretch between the Beltway and Fredericksburg is head-exploding bad.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:03 AM on December 29, 2014


Slugline in House of Cards may include a wink at DC commuting, but it's much more about the slugline of journalism, an ultra-short description/list of the contents of a news story, intended mainly for editors to use in their work. Tagging, before the internet. Perhaps it can also be thought of as an allusion to ultra-brief news summaries for insiders, which would be another reason for the name to have appeal.
posted by NortonDC at 11:08 AM on December 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


As for hot lanes, no thanks. That's what Waze is for.
posted by NortonDC at 11:10 AM on December 29, 2014


Short video from WBEZ about reversible lanes in Chicago; you can see how they're controlled and how they work. You can also see that you'd have to blow through six or eight heavy-arm gates at each entrance/exit to get on the wrong way -- you really have to work at it. They take about 20 minutes to clear and turn around, and they turn them at about noon and midnight, unless there's a special event or unusual traffic due to an accident or something. In Chicago, at least, they often mention on the traffic report on the radio when they're turning them around, and if they turn them at an odd time, the radio says so every five minutes.

The most Chicago thing about this video is the guy whose car breakdown delays the flipping of the reversibles for THE ENTIRE METRO AREA and he's apologizing to the Minuteman and the Minuteman's like, "Oh, don't worry, no rush!" I chortled.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:24 AM on December 29, 2014


Johnny Wallflower: "I'm kinda looking forward to trying the new I95 toll lanes the next time I visit relatives in North Carolina. That stretch between the Beltway and Fredericksburg is head-exploding bad."

True fact. My husband and I were long-distance married for 18 months between DC and NC and had to use that stretch of I-95. It once took my husband six hours to get from DC to Fredericksburg.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:26 AM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Testify, Sister.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:29 AM on December 29, 2014


We've got a short, two-lane reversible HOV section of I-279 in Pittsburgh. It's quite under-utilized, as the "please use these lanes!" tone of that first link captures. The problem is that it doesn't have on or off ramps in many of the places that the main lanes of I-279 do, so if you're going certain places, you don't bother with the HOV. Obviously the under-utilization is a feature for the people it serves, but I can't shake the feeling that they could make better use of those lanes somehow.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:34 AM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Looks like the Pittsburgh I-279 HOV lane was upgraded after that accident to add in automatic safety features, although it seems to have taken PenDot 11 years to do the upgrade.
posted by octothorpe at 11:35 AM on December 29, 2014


Given the proximity to DC, won't these just be abused by limos with CD plates?

I doubt people with CD plates would even drive as far as springfield.
posted by empath at 11:39 AM on December 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


I used to live in MD and commute to work in NOVA and I did that for 7 years. I left just as the first of the HOT lanes were opening on the beltway. I was struck by how many people weren't using the new HOT lanes.
posted by RedShrek at 12:44 PM on December 29, 2014


I have lived just on the state side of the MD/DC line for 15 years, and this is the first I've ever heard of slugging or sluglines. Wow.

(And no wonder.)
posted by seyirci at 1:10 PM on December 29, 2014


So the toll is determined by traffic speed in the express lane? And this toll-collection contractor would have no incentive to hire a few shills to drive slowly, keeping the price propped up? A few cents/driver * N drivers...

Or anything, really. Big pothole, occasional debris in the road, oops, can't be helped.

Seems like a system with a reverse incentive.
posted by ctmf at 3:01 PM on December 29, 2014


Reversible lanes? Hell, How about a whole tunnel? Sadly, now outmoded.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 3:18 PM on December 29, 2014


So the toll is determined by traffic speed in the express lane?

No, it's based on how congested the regular lanes are.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:36 PM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


I have a reversible lane just down from my house, here in the south-east of England. Enjoy your safety gates, big red X signs and VDOT patrol trucks. Ours doesn't even have a central reservation or divider: it is painted a dull red and has "9am" and an arrow painted over it in white.

We don't like strangers.
posted by cromagnon at 3:43 PM on December 29, 2014 [6 favorites]


For 17 years South Australia had a one way reversible freeway. It went from the outer suburbs to the middle of nowhere. Like they really wanted a freeway but had neither need nor means.

You want to know what life without freeways is like? Go to Adelaide. It takes you forty minutes to get from A to B because wherever you're going it's surface streets.
posted by Talez at 4:14 PM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


I love this weird, insider discussion of HOV lanes and slugging that I can barely follow. So people pick up passengers, who aren't allowed to talk, so they can bypass tolls?

They're like carpooling mannequins made of meat.
posted by mecran01 at 7:14 PM on December 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


It's a weird system, doing the reverse commute into MD in the morning/evening. I never take the thing unless gmaps is sobbing or the price is over $5. Over $5 being the "ALL IS LOST" indicator for me and that it is well worth my sanity to cough up the money that day.
posted by Slackermagee at 7:26 PM on December 29, 2014


mecran01: "They're like carpooling mannequins made of meat."

The first time my uncle told me this was how he'd gotten to work 3 days out of 5 for a decade, I was like, "HOW HAS NOBODY MURDERED YOU?" and he was like, "I wear an officer's uniform to work and get in cars going to the Pentagon."

I mean okay, fair enough, but what about everyone else doing this???
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:36 PM on December 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


I live in Alexandria. It takes me an hour to get to downtown DC for work. How people drive in from Point of Rocks and Springfield and the like confuses me.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 8:03 PM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Beltway Hotlanes are losing a ton of money, so I'm really interested in seeing if the I-95 lanes will follow suit.
posted by longdaysjourney at 8:51 PM on December 29, 2014


Wow: 51 million dollars in losses on revenue of less than 15 million.
posted by Mitheral at 9:04 PM on December 29, 2014


Transurban's financial projections for the 495 HOT lanes were made in the 2007 boom times. Their economic projection were pretty rosy and didn't anticipate our great recession and anemic recovery.

Back then Dulles Airport was assumed to be the biggest player in NoVa's economic engine (see Silver Line planning and the 15 lane monstrosity that is the Dulles Access and Toll road). National Airport's capacity was artificially capped by law but that has changed. Members of Congress like easier commutes, thus National's capacity dramatically increased, ignoring prior arguments about safety or noise pollution. National Airport, less then a tenth the size of Dulles handles more passengers now, while Dulles runs at half capacity.

But in the long run it's a small setback, Transurban will be swimming in toll fees for another seven decades. Economic growth in the DC area is a safe longterm bet. And I think Virginia is contractually on the hook to cover some of those losses, but I can't google up any details. Maybe my memory is faulty.

The Va Beltway can't get any bigger. Enlarging the secondary ring road that is the Fairfax County Parkway (which is currently beyond its expected capacity) will be a pretty expensive proposition and will require enormous political will on the order of expanding 395 or 66 in Alexandria and Arlington. Short term setbacks aside, Transurban is going to make bank on those lanes. If only you could pay off your mortgage as fast as these 1.4 billion lanes will pay for themselves.
posted by peeedro at 11:27 PM on December 29, 2014


I have lived just on the state side of the MD/DC line for 15 years, and this is the first I've ever heard of slugging or sluglines. Wow.

(And no wonder.)


Yeah, I lived in Alexandria for years and had never heard of this, and a look at your map reveals it's because I lived in Alexandria.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:06 AM on December 30, 2014


And I think Virginia is contractually on the hook to cover some of those losses, but I can't google up any details

There is a guarantee of some sort for Transurban. If they fail to make the minimum revenue number the state of VA has to level them up. I don't know what the number is though.

I mean okay, fair enough, but what about everyone else doing this???

Now into year 2 of slugging, I've decided people aren't the assholes that our media makes them out to be. Most people are decent, although their driving skills could use some work.
posted by COD at 5:15 AM on December 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


There is a guarantee of some sort for Transurban. If they fail to make the minimum revenue number the state of VA has to level them up. I don't know what the number is though.

Jesus fucking christ, so it was a hand out to wealthy drivers and corporate cronies.
posted by empath at 6:27 AM on December 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Jesus fucking christ, so it was a hand out to wealthy drivers and corporate cronies. - empath

Well to be fair no one was willing to spend more money, that is raise taxes to build the roads needed.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 9:51 AM on December 30, 2014


Well to be fair no one was willing to spend more money, that is raise taxes to build the roads needed.

When you say 'no one', you mean the wealthy. And now everyone is going to pay for it because it's losing money, anyway.
posted by empath at 10:10 AM on December 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


"No one" means "no one outside of Northern Virginia." Most of the state is rural and lower-income, and the residents don't see the point of spending their hard-earned money on infrastructure improvements for the region that drives the economy of the whole state.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:54 AM on December 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Most of the state, geographically, may be 'rural', but by far most of the population of Virginia lives in three urban areas -- NoVa, Richmond and Tidewater. (20% in tidewater, 30% in northern Virginia, and 15% in the Richmond area). So basically a little more than a third of the state is rural, and that's kind of a stretch because those numbers don't include places like Charlottesville.
posted by empath at 12:29 PM on December 30, 2014


Also, the funding is from gas taxes, so the people that drive the most are the ones that pay for the highways. Almost by definition, the vast majority of highway funding is going to come from the people that drive on the most congested areas. Basically the money to build that highway is coming from the pockets of all the poor bastards sitting in traffic watching rich assholes speed by them in lexuses.
posted by empath at 12:32 PM on December 30, 2014


All the project documents are online. Since I spend my days writing web site proposals I skimmed through the major cost section of their proposal. I had forgotten that the original plan was to run the express lanes another 17 miles south. That would have given me a straight shot carpool ride from home to work and back via the express lanes. That would have been nice.
posted by COD at 12:43 PM on December 30, 2014


Jesus fucking christ, so it was a hand out to wealthy drivers and corporate cronies.

Still don't understand why you say it is a handout to wealthy drivers. I'm not wealthy, but I use the lanes when there is congestion and I need to get someplace in a hurry. I don't consider it a handout because I have to pay for it. If it were a free helipad or something, then I'd think you had a point.
posted by Slap Factory at 2:09 PM on December 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


the funding is from gas taxes

Fuel taxes account for forty percent of maintenance funds but only three percent of construction funds (VDOT FY 2012 Budget). More than half of the latter comes from bonds and retail sales taxes, which are allocated by the General Assembly. And Virginians, rural or not, have a history of opposing taxes for roads even when the GA is for it (2006 poll).
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:26 PM on December 30, 2014


Johnny Wallflower: And Virginians, rural or not, have a history of opposing taxes for roads even when the GA is for it (2006 poll).
To be fair, most Americans would oppose a tax to prevent a steamroller from crushing them in the next five minutes.

At least while it was called a "tax". The politicians would rebrand it as a "right to femur" licensing fee, put up commercials blaming the other party for opposing it, and shove it through; then deny voting for it during the next election when people were still paying it off while walking on two good legs.
posted by IAmBroom at 5:28 PM on December 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's a handout because the fees paid didn't cover the cost of the road. And most people can't afford to just take it when there is too much traffic. Hell, I'd consider myself fairly well off, and I wouldn't want to use it for a daily commute.
posted by empath at 5:05 AM on January 2, 2015


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