SAN JOSE- The newly constructed segment of Express Lanes stretching from US 101/CA 85 in Santa Clara County north to Whipple Ave in San Mateo County will officially open Friday, February 11 with extended hours. 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays. . The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), Caltrans and San Mateo County Transportation Agencies held a grand opening celebration Thursday, February 10 at 10 a.m.
The third segment of The new VTA expressways extends from near SR 237 to the Santa Clara County line on US 101 in Palo Alto, as well as the section of SR 85 between Grant Road and the US 101/SR 85 interchange in Mountain View. North of Palo Alto, drivers will experience a smooth transition as they traverse the southern portion ofSan Mateo Countynew expressways to Whipple Avenue. Together, the two facilities provide approximately 12 miles of faster travel up the peninsula.
“These lanes are an additional tool to help protect our environment and provide the mobility our community needs,” Carolyn Gonot, CEO and CEO of VTA, told an audience of federal, state and local elected officials and transportation leaders.
Any driver using Express Lanes in the Bay Area must have a valid FasTrak account. Toll-free travel along US 101 Express Lanes is available for vehicles with three or more passengers, motorcycles, vanpools, and buses traveling with a FasTrak Flex or FasTrak CAV toll tag set to the “3+” position. Vehicles with two occupants can receive a 50% toll discount with a FasTrak Flex toll tag in position “2”.
“These lanes are in everyone’s interest,” said Diane Papan, president of the San Mateo County Express Lanes Joint Powers Authority, one of the members of the partnership that worked to secure state funding for the lanes. express. “When we formed the JPA, our goal was to ensure that all San Mateo County residents benefited from the pathways, including those in historically underserved communities. Express lane revenues will allow us to test different strategies on how best to help low-income families. We’re not going to go back to normal; we choose something better, for all of us,” Papan said.
Express lanes use dynamic pricing, where the toll increases or decreases with traffic congestion at any given time. In general, tolls are priced to allow a minimum speed of 45 mph in the express lane. If the price changes during a ride, drivers will pay the listed cost as they enter the lane. Note that a trip across the San Mateo/Santa Clara County line will appear as two separate charges on their FasTrak statement.
“US 101 is a vital corridor that millions of commuters rely on every week,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “This project, which was partially funded by Senate Bill 1 (SB1), will help reduce traffic congestion and transit times, benefit the economy and give drivers time back.”
Senate Bill 1, passed in 2017, is a legislative package that invests $54 billion over a decade to repair roads, highways and bridges across California. Of this state funding, $220 million will go to the current segment of the San Mateo Expressways, and $33 million helps fund the final segment of the VTA Expressways.
This new transportation infrastructure represents the latest phase of VTA’s Silicon Valley Express Lanes program, which is introducing the congestion management solution to several highway corridor segments in Santa Clara County. The county’s existing segments of expressways currently in service run along part of I-880 andSR 237the last of which wascompleted in December 2019.
For more information on VTA Express Lanes or to sign up for updates, visit theproject page.