Tuesday, May 06, 2008

HOT Lanes, Another Bad Idea Only Government Could Come Up With

HOT (high occupancy transportation) lanes, AKA diamond lanes, are those where you need to be in a carpool or on public transportation to actually use. Highway 167 is now setup so that single drivers can use these lanes if they are willing to pay a fee. The fee varies depending on how bad the traffic is at the time.

Monday morning, in the first 5 hours of a weekday commute, 339 cars paid an average of $1.04 to use the lanes. Just a guess here but the cost to administer this program was more than the revenue generated and the benefit was minimal at best. $350 for 5 hours, that is about what it would cost to pay 9 people minimum wage over the same time period. This does not take into account any of the cost of the technology, signage etc. Reports this morning was 167 was backed up because of confusion over how the new system works.

Only government could come up with a plan this costly and ineffective. Do we need to do something about traffic congestion, sure. Spending $1000 to get $100 worth of benefit... only the government would do something like this.

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