January 8: This Date in Los Angeles Transportation History

2002:  The new carpool lane on the southbound I-405 freeway in the Sepulveda Pass opens, helping rideshare commuters traveling from the San Fernando Valley to Los Angeles’ Westside.

The 7.8-mile, $22.7 million high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane is funded by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

It runs between the 101/405 interchange and Waterford Street in West Los Angeles saves rideshare commuters up to 15 minutes per trip, end-to-end.

LACMTA Board Chairman John Fasana notes that:

“Just two days after it opened, the lane carried 3,200 rideshare commuters per hour during the a.m. peak commute and brought welcome relief to those commuters on what had been a tortuous drive.  Carpool lanes have proven themselves to be successful in encouraging more and more people to rideshare, and as a result, expanding the carpool lane system is one of the MTA’s ongoing priorities.”

As of 2012, 219 miles of carpool lanes (425 lane miles, which account for both directions, each lane) are in operation in Los Angeles County.

More information on the project can be found in the January 29, 2002 issue of MyMetro, the Metro employee news magazine.