FREMONT (KCBS) — A new report on drive-times on 680’s High Occupancy Toll lanes shows little change in the commute since the pay-to-drive lanes opened last fall. The so-called “Lexus lanes” allow solo-drivers to drive in the car pool lanes for a fee.

According to Caltrans, the commute times on 680 last November were on average the same or up to a minute longer compared to drive times before the HOT lanes were installed.

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That comes as a surprise to some commuters. For some the toll lanes have bogged down the drive on 680. Vanessa LaPonte said she thinks the HOT lanes have improved the commute, although she wishes they were used more often.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

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“Whenever we use them they’re like totally empty. So it’s convenient, but I don’t know if I would pay to use it,” said LaPonte.

There is about 1,500 toll paying drivers in HOT lanes everyday, netting Caltrans $300,000 over five months.

In May, Caltrans plans to turn on the metering lights along 680 which should make the commute smoother for everyone whether or not you pay the toll.

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