A few months ago the federal government ordered Caltrans to reduce congestion in the carpool lanes, and the agency recently submitted its plans for doing that to the Federal Highway Administration. Robert Copp is Chief of Caltrans’ Traffic Operations Division. He says in the short-term drivers will see crackdowns on carpool cheaters. And longer-term fixes could include different hours of carpool lane operation, and changes to how often single drivers of hybrids can use them. He says they’d use changing message signs to notify drivers:
“And it would say, yes, today there’s space in here, you know a hybrid vehicle that’s got a single occupant can travel in this lane, but maybe tomorrow, there’s such a level of congestion where it would say, no, you’re restricted today.”
Copp says they’re also doing a study to find the most congested areas in the state, and they’ll target those first. He says they’re waiting for a federal response to their plans.