Proposals for tolled fast lanes on Route 3 are being denounced as “Lexus lanes”: People with money would take the faster journey on the privately built lanes, while those of modest means would be stuck with a free but slower commute on the existing highway. It would be — horrors — a two-tier transportation system.
Actually, we already have a two-tier system. It’s called the MBTA. If you want free, you can walk. But if you want to get somewhere more quickly, you pay. The walk from Government Center to Copley Square is about 25 minutes, says Google Maps. Take the Green Line, however, and it’s just 6 minutes at a cost of $2. Or you can take a short walk to the 55 bus; getting to Copley this way takes about 12 minutes and costs $1.50.