City Council to discuss proposed L.A. County congestion-pricing study

Rush hour traffic slows to a crawl on the northbound 14 freeway near Sand Canyon Road on Friday evening on Aug. 30, 2019. Cory Rubin/The SIgnal

Santa Clarita City Council members are expected Tuesday to look into a traffic study that proposes to implement a freeway toll program for drivers during peak hours in Los Angeles County. 

Last year, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or Metro, started its traffic reduction study ahead of the 2028 Olympics to look at how feasible it would be to implement a congestion-pricing program in the county. 

“Metro has a plan to make it easier to get around L.A. Traffic is complicated and there’s no one solution, which is why Metro’s strategic plan, Vision 2028, involves efforts and projects that span all aspects of our transportation system,” reads a Metro fact sheet on Vision 2028. 

The study will focus on determining if, where and how a potential pilot program would be successful somewhere in L.A. County.

“Together, these elements create a system that can help us spend less time traveling, while supporting the health of our communities and local economy,” read the fact sheet. 

Los Angeles is considered to have the busiest urban highway network, with about 134 million vehicle miles driven every day, and “during the summer of 2020, the overall travel on our regional freeway system was back up to 90% of what it was before the pandemic in January 2020,” according to Metro. 

The study schedule will begin with an introduction of its early concepts this winter season and by spring of 2022 the Metro board is expected to decide on whether to approve the pilot program. 

Metro has scheduled multiple stakeholder meetings, including on Feb. 10, 16 and 27. There is no specific comment period, as Metro will be accepting comments throughout the duration of the study. Staff will participate in the stakeholder meetings and provide comments as needed. 

Details on the program are limited as Metro has not yet issued any specifications, such as location, corridor, pricing levels, vehicle occupancy, hours of operation or discounts. City Council members are expected only to discuss the matter on Tuesday. 

The City Council meeting starts at 6 p.m. and the public can tune in via 

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