Bay Area Gets First HOT Lane

The Bay Area has long resisted freeway toll lanes of any sort - but that is about to change Sept. 20 when 14 miles of the southbound lane of I-680 from Sunol (East Bay) to Milpitas (South Bay) open as an Express or High Occupancy Toll lane.

Bay Area transportation planners will be closely watching how motorists take to the new express lane - in anticipation of more to open. Already Mr. Roadshow has issued a warning (see below).

"From 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays, solo drivers who pay a fluctuating toll can join carpools of two or more in the fast lane.

Tolls, all of which will be collected electronically from FasTrak transponders by overhead antennas, will range from a minimum of 30 cents when traffic in the other lanes is light to a maximum of whatever it takes to keep traffic flowing at 50 mph or faster. Express lane officials estimate that cost will average $4 to $6. Toll amounts will be displayed on signs before the express lane entrances. Motorcycles and eligible hybrid vehicles can use the Express Lane free."

From Roadshow: Problems on new I-680 toll lane:
"Tolls will help pay for enforcement, and drivers need to stop cutting across the double white lines.
In addition, there are two toll readers near every merging spot that will detect drivers who suddenly veer out of the carpool lane to try to avoid being charged.
I took a test drive on 680 this past weekend and I have a plea: Slo-o-o-o-ow down. I'm a slow-lane guy who went into the carpool lane to test the new roadway. And man, was I scared. Yep, scared."

Thanks to MTC Library

Full Story: Bay Area's first express lane to open on I-68

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