What are the rules for driving lanes in California

How do lanes work in the US?

At the entrance to a carpool lane, a sign always shows how many people are required in each vehicle to be eligible as situations are sometimes different.


In the Los Angeles area, almost all lanes have at least 2 passengers.

I've only seen one case where it took three passengers. At the time of my visit in 2009, the freeway east of Union Station to El Monte had passenger requests based on the time and day of the week. In normal hours, 2 passengers were enough; On weekdays with peak times, the requirement was 3 passengers.

Be careful around the area: there is now a new system called ExpressLanes that runs on the I-10 and I-110 freeways. The concept is that people who are not allowed to enter the lane can buy their way by paying a toll instead of being fined. The toll is collected electronically and uses a mandatory transponder. Legitimate passengers who previously only drove through the lane must now have the transponder on ExpressLanes, even if no toll is charged for them. The transponder has a switch to display the number of occupants.

Other motorways still have the "classic" lanes.


If it says "2 passengers", does it include the driver? If only the driver and one other person are in the car, do they count as "2 passengers"?

Nate Eldredge

@Grzenio: The usual wording is actually "2 or more people per vehicle "(example), which makes it clear that the driver is included.


Yes, I fixed it, it is actually "people" including the driver.