With one week’s notice, tens of thousands of Californians (maybe hundreds of thousands) were shocked this morning to receive a piece of mail with no return address, from a vague and amorphous entity identified only as “Metro”, informing them that beginning next Saturday, they would need to purchase equipment, pay to register that equipment, keep an open credit balance, and subject themselves to regular monthly charges, to continue to use free freeway lanes.
What kind of crap is this?
For decades, the San Bernardino Freeway (Interstate 10) through much of the San Gabriel Valley, has consisted of four regular traffic lanes and a high occupancy vehicle lane (HOV), in both eastbound and westbound directions. Use of the HOV was clearly marked and the rules followed by millions of drivers over decades: Passenger vehicles could travel in that lane if three people were in the vehicle between the hours of 5:00 am and 9:00 am and 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm, and vehicles with two people could use the lanes at all other times.
So now the geniuses who run the “Metro” and the California Department of Transportation, in their effort to expand state coffers, have come up with the idea that they would let ANY vehicle use the HOV lanes at any time, for a price. Fine. But, the devil is in the details, and these details more than stink, they are despicable and discriminatory.
What the state now requires – for ANYONE to use the San Bernardino Freeway HOV at any time – is this: You must purchase a Transponder and then register it. When you register it, you must pay a $40.00 deposit ($75.00 to pay by means other than a credit card) and agree to a monthly fee of $3.00 WHETHER OR NOT YOU EVER USE THE TRANSPONDER, and if you want to receive month account statements, you are charged an additional $2.00 per month. There is a category of low-income citizens who only have to advance $15.00 rather than the $40.00 everyone else has to put out.
So, if I continue as I have for the past 30 years that I have lived in the east San Gabriel Valley, and NEVER use the HOV during the proscribed “Rush Hour” times, but only use the HOV during off-hours, about two or three times per month, I have to BUY A TRANSPONDER, GIVE THE STATE $40.00 and agree to $3.00 to $5.00 MONTHLY FEES, all to be able to continue to use the FREE off-hour HOV lanes.
Bull crap. They can kiss my dawg ass.
Anyone who would like to tell “Metro” what they think can post comments on their website here.