The relatively new ExpressLane system enacted by LA Metro requires the use of a transponder just to use the carpool lanes. You must purchase a transponder ($25), preload tolls ($40), and pay a monthly inactivity fee of $3 any month where you don't use the lanes 4 times. This makes it impossible for casual carpoolers who do not commute daily on the sections of the 10 or 110 freeways with ExpressLanes to use the system without unnecessary expense. Consider someone who drives from downtown Los Angeles to San Bernardino once a month. They now have no incentive to carpool on the 10 freeway, or must either agree to pay the inactivity fee or drive to the 210 freeway just to use a carpool lane.
We demand a completely fee free no hassle way for carpoolers to use the HOV lane.
Option 1 (heavily preferred): Allow carpoolers to travel freely in the lanes WITHOUT a transponder. This would allow the lanes to be used as they were originally designed, by carpoolers with no hassle or monthly fees.
Option 2 (less preferred): Provide a carpool only transponder which has no monthly fee and can only be used for carpooling. This should be free or very cheap.
Option 3 (also less preferred): Remove inactivity fees and prepay requirements from the normal FasTrak transponder allowing all types of users to use the lanes without paying when they DON'T use them.