SALT LAKE CITY — Starting Saturday, the cost of driving I-15’s express lanes without at least two occupants is going up in Utah.

But if it keeps cars moving along at near freeway speeds, that extra money is worth it, one commuter says.

“When traffic is stopped, (the express pass) is worth its weight in gold,” Vineyard resident Daniel Haslam said. “If it’s going to save me 10, 15 or 20 minutes over a long commute, I do see tremendous value.”

Steve Griffin, Deseret News

Daniel Haslam travels in the express lane on I-15 in Lehi as he travels from his job at a tech company at Thanksgiving Point to Utah Valley University to attend a graduate school class on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Haslam has used the express pass system to travel in the lane for years.

The 27-year-old works as a client strategic architect at a Lehi tech firm and uses the express lanes regularly for commutes to work and occasionally into Salt Lake City. He said over the years, having access to the express lanes has been a major timesaver and a rise in price won’t stop him from using them.

The Utah Department of Transportation announced Thursday that it would double the maximum toll to $2 for travel on a segment in the high-occupancy vehicle lanes. UDOT hopes the hike will lower the number of vehicles using the express lanes.

“The idea behind the (increase) is that we want to make the express lanes function in the way they were meant to be,” UDOT spokesman John Gleason said.

Federal regulations require speeds in those lanes to remain above 45 mph, he said. However, speeds in Salt Lake County can dip as low as 31 mph during some peak driving periods, he added, which has become a significant congestion issue.

“We’re seeing …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News

      

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