News

Toll collection for U.S. Highway 101 express lanes in San Mateo County to start at year's end

Express lanes span from Santa Clara County line to Whipple Avenue in Redwood City

Southbound U.S. Highway 101 in Menlo Park falls under a new segment of express lanes that are scheduled at the end of this year. Photo taken March 17, 2020 by Magali Gauthier.

Drivers will need a FasTrak toll tag to use the new U.S. Highway 101 express lanes scheduled to open in San Mateo County at the end of this year.

The board of directors of the San Mateo County Express Lanes Joint Powers Authority adopted a toll ordinance at their meeting last Friday, June 11. The ordinance establishes toll collection and enforcement policies for the new express lanes.

Construction of new lanes began in March 2019 as part of Caltrans' San Mateo 101 Express Lanes Project, which aims to reduce traffic and travel times and encourage carpooling.

Lanes in the first phase of the project, from the Santa Clara County line to Whipple Avenue in Redwood City, are scheduled to open at the end of 2021.

Tolls will be charged through the FasTrak system and customers will need a FasTrak Flex toll tag to use the express lanes. The Flex tag allows people to show how many passengers are in the vehicle.

What's local journalism worth to you?

Support Palo Alto Online for as little as $5/month.

Join

Certain vehicles will be eligible to travel toll-free or for a discounted rate in the express lanes. For example, vehicles with three or more people are exempt from tolls.

Other vehicles — such as motorcycles, public transportation vehicles, emergency vehicles and California Highway Patrol vehicles — will also be exempt from paying tolls. These vehicles will still need a FasTrak toll tag.

Vehicles with two people can receive a 50% toll discount, along with some clean air vehicles, or CAVs, with a valid CAV decal from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

People without a FasTrak toll tag could face fines or penalties that include the cost of the toll and an additional fee in some cases.

Toll costs will be adjusted to keep traffic flowing smoothly, depending on demand and traffic patterns.

The board plans to revisit the discount before the second phase of the express lanes opens at the end of 2022. The second phase of lanes are from Whipple Avenue to Interstate Highway 380 in South San Francisco.

The agenda and minutes from last week's meeting are available at ccag.ca.gov/express-lane-jpa.

More information on the San Mateo 101 Express Lanes Project is available online at dot.ca.gov.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Follow Palo Alto Online and the Palo Alto Weekly on Twitter @paloaltoweekly, Facebook and on Instagram @paloaltoonline for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Toll collection for U.S. Highway 101 express lanes in San Mateo County to start at year's end

Express lanes span from Santa Clara County line to Whipple Avenue in Redwood City

by /

Uploaded: Thu, Jun 17, 2021, 12:16 pm
Updated: Mon, Jun 21, 2021, 8:40 am

Drivers will need a FasTrak toll tag to use the new U.S. Highway 101 express lanes scheduled to open in San Mateo County at the end of this year.

The board of directors of the San Mateo County Express Lanes Joint Powers Authority adopted a toll ordinance at their meeting last Friday, June 11. The ordinance establishes toll collection and enforcement policies for the new express lanes.

Construction of new lanes began in March 2019 as part of Caltrans' San Mateo 101 Express Lanes Project, which aims to reduce traffic and travel times and encourage carpooling.

Lanes in the first phase of the project, from the Santa Clara County line to Whipple Avenue in Redwood City, are scheduled to open at the end of 2021.

Tolls will be charged through the FasTrak system and customers will need a FasTrak Flex toll tag to use the express lanes. The Flex tag allows people to show how many passengers are in the vehicle.

Certain vehicles will be eligible to travel toll-free or for a discounted rate in the express lanes. For example, vehicles with three or more people are exempt from tolls.

Other vehicles — such as motorcycles, public transportation vehicles, emergency vehicles and California Highway Patrol vehicles — will also be exempt from paying tolls. These vehicles will still need a FasTrak toll tag.

Vehicles with two people can receive a 50% toll discount, along with some clean air vehicles, or CAVs, with a valid CAV decal from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

People without a FasTrak toll tag could face fines or penalties that include the cost of the toll and an additional fee in some cases.

Toll costs will be adjusted to keep traffic flowing smoothly, depending on demand and traffic patterns.

The board plans to revisit the discount before the second phase of the express lanes opens at the end of 2022. The second phase of lanes are from Whipple Avenue to Interstate Highway 380 in South San Francisco.

The agenda and minutes from last week's meeting are available at ccag.ca.gov/express-lane-jpa.

More information on the San Mateo 101 Express Lanes Project is available online at dot.ca.gov.

Comments

tom kearns
Registered user
Charleston Meadows
on Jun 21, 2021 at 10:42 am
tom kearns, Charleston Meadows
Registered user
on Jun 21, 2021 at 10:42 am

So, a lane for the rich?


Andrew Boone
Registered user
another community
on Jun 21, 2021 at 11:02 am
Andrew Boone, another community
Registered user
on Jun 21, 2021 at 11:02 am

Widening Highway 101 from 8 to 10 lanes with new toll lanes in San Mateo County will only make car traffic congestion worse, not better. Every single highway expansion that has ever been constructed in the Bay Area (and almost everywhere in the world except places with drastic population declines such as Detroit) has had the same result - more car traffic and more car traffic congestion. The reason is induced demand - if you build more highway lanes, more people will drive on the highway and more often - thus negating the small increase in traffic capacity the new lanes provide. This has been understood by transportation experts for nearly 100 years, ever since the first highways were constructed in New York by Robert Moses.

Watch and see how Charles Stone and Dave Pine have wasted $600 million of our taxpayer dollars with these new Lexus Lanes. That’s a lot of public money that could have been invested in transit improvements and safety fixes to enable more people to walk and bike. For that much money we could’ve built level boarding platforms at every Caltrain station, doubled SamTrans bus service, and more. Instead it was wasted on generating more car traffic, more air pollution, more car crashes, and more serious injuries and deaths. This was the most incompetent transportation decision made in San Mateo County in over a decade. Remember that when these career politicians run for higher office where they would do even more damage if elected.


Cherjo
Registered user
Midtown
on Jun 21, 2021 at 1:22 pm
Cherjo, Midtown
Registered user
on Jun 21, 2021 at 1:22 pm

When the new lanes were proposed I believed they were to benefit all of our taxpayers. This is shameful. Tom has labeled them appropriately, “Lanes for the Rich”. Is this done in Los Angeles as well? I guess the other lanes will now be “Lanes for the Idlers” packed with bumper to bumper inching cars waiting for their turn to get onto the San Mateo Bridge.


Byron Whitaker
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jun 21, 2021 at 2:26 pm
Byron Whitaker, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jun 21, 2021 at 2:26 pm

If one is willing to pay more for expanded services and access, they
are entitled to reap the benefits.

It's called pay to play and the make of the vehicle is immaterial.


Steve Dabrowski
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 21, 2021 at 3:50 pm
Steve Dabrowski, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Jun 21, 2021 at 3:50 pm

Well my solution continues to be get a proposition passed for most every outrage that is brought to us by our legislature. ABAG quotas, pack your community with dense ugly housing, and now the one percent lanes. I would love to see the voters pass a proposition that eliminates all toll lanes on taxpayer paid for roads and highways (and bridges). I would love to see these legislators have to eat the cost of all this and have it reversed.

But it will persist just as high speed rail is coming back into play. Unfortunately high speed rail is a clear illustration of what bad can come of the proposition effort. Prop 13 was the best example of the power of a proposition to do good for a great many people and put the outrageous behavior of the legislature where it belonged.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 21, 2021 at 9:37 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jun 21, 2021 at 9:37 pm

This is definitely a situation where I would question the motivation of this toll lane?

Is the motive to encourage more carpooling or to raise revenue?

When carpool, diamond lanes, were first implemented it was to encourage carpools. They were called carpool lanes. They were designed to give an advantage to those who carpooled and a disadvantage to those who drove solo. The diamond carpool lanes moved faster due to less volume and that was the incentive to carpool so that a car with 2 or more people would reach the destination exit faster than by a car with solo occupant.

Now they are called toll lanes. A toll lane charges any vehicle to use it although any vehicle with more occupants can be excused the fee. The only vehicles able to use a toll lane must have fastrak whether it is a solo vehicle or a carpool. Presumably the theory is still that traffic will move faster than the clogged regular lanes. Therefore anyone in a particular hurry to catch a plane, get to an important meeting or perhaps have a woman in labor, can pay to use the toll lane and arrive at the destination exit faster than the other lanes.

Therefore the toll lane will be a source of revenue charging those in a hurry. It will also require carpool vehicles to obtain fastrak with a credit that will sit idle if not used to pay tolls. For some vehicles who rarely cross a bridge and perhaps usually have a couple of children in the car, the credit will be idle for quite a while.

So once again, I ask is this toll lane to encourage carpools or to raise revenue?

I can't see that it will help to move traffic more efficiently!


Phil Carmody
Registered user
Barron Park
on Jun 22, 2021 at 8:37 am
Phil Carmody, Barron Park
Registered user
on Jun 22, 2021 at 8:37 am

"I ask is this toll lane to encourage carpools or to raise revenue?"

To raise infrastructure revenue and to accommodate the exigencies of those who do not want to get bogged down in regular freeway traffic.

Carpooling is not a major consideration. If there are two or more riders (including the driver), so be it and don't kid yourselves...there will be more single and moronic Tesla drivers on autopilot in these new lanes as well.

A toll lane will be great for motorcyclists as well because enjoying the open road is what motorcycling is all about.

The countless drivers in their mundane SUVs and Priuses can use the regular lanes.

Personally speaking, I'm looking forward to this new development as paying a bit more will allow me to enjoy driving my Corvette (top down) even moreso along the highway.


Suemah
Registered user
South of Midtown
on Jun 22, 2021 at 10:24 am
Suemah, South of Midtown
Registered user
on Jun 22, 2021 at 10:24 am

No info anywhere regarding amount of proposed tolls so people could make informed feedback on this questionable plan!


D Lawrence
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 22, 2021 at 10:53 am
D Lawrence, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Jun 22, 2021 at 10:53 am

Has anyone considered the impact on neighboring side streets? Whenever the traffic is heavy on 101, Waze channels cars onto the side streets. Our once quiet neighborhood street has become a busy cut through.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 22, 2021 at 10:57 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jun 22, 2021 at 10:57 am

"Has anyone considered the impact on neighboring side streets?"

Most residents. But such considerations have long been ignored.


Andy
Registered user
Stanford
on Jun 23, 2021 at 11:34 am
Andy, Stanford
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2021 at 11:34 am

Like most things in the Bay Area, freeway capacity was not designed for the 21st century so expanding lanes is positive.

Carpool lanes are useless but IF there is going to be any special lane, a toll lane that allows solo drivers makes some sense.

The better solution is to not have any special lanes and make sure freeways can accommodate the traffic for the region.

On a sidenote, the implosion of SF from public safety to remote work means less people need to drive to and from SF.


Steve
Registered user
Evergreen Park
on Jun 23, 2021 at 12:22 pm
Steve, Evergreen Park
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2021 at 12:22 pm

I may be in the minority but I think at least half the lanes on 101 should be toll lanes, and the toll should go up with congestion. That's the only way people will seek alternatives to driving, which we desperately need to address climate change.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 23, 2021 at 12:33 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2021 at 12:33 pm

The problem with the use of highways is that for most people there is no alternative method to get them to their place of work. We have no public transportation to the coast, very little that crosses the Bay and too many different agencies that either compete or do not coordinate with each other. The first and last mile of Caltrain is a prime example. Another is the inability to easily get to the airports. Most bus routes are not designed to be efficient alternatives for busy commuters, but instead offer slow routes that are indirect, take far too long and cost far too much.

It is about time that the Bay Area had a transportation Czar that could oversee the various agencies and provide efficient alternatives to driving.

When we see Google buses and various other company buses doing a good job of getting their far flung employees to their large campuses we can see that there are possibilities that are just not available to the general public. Some enterprising start up should be looking at these for innovative ways of moving bus loads of commuters on comfortable buses where they can work, sleep or surf the internet without clogging up the highways. Designated parking lots at offramps with efficient bus service up and down 101, 280 and shuttle service to office areas and downtowns. Taxing the perk of free parking at office complexes could be one means of paying for efficient commuter services.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 23, 2021 at 1:03 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2021 at 1:03 pm

@Bystander, "oh details" as I often snark when people bring up common sense points and fact like there's no public transit. Those preaching car-light fairy tales routinely ignore those little details while they spouting their helpful hints like take public transit, take the train to places Portola Valley (which of course doesn't have trains)...

Similarly those preaching the wonders of Ecars and our paying Tesla to install chargers in PA garages rarely note what happens to them during power outages and/our how they contribute to same by further taxing the power grid.

Similarly they ignore other little details like building millions of sq feet of offices increases the number of commuters which increases congestion etc etc.

Lather rinse repeat


Nayeli
Registered user
Midtown
on Jun 25, 2021 at 8:42 am
Nayeli, Midtown
Registered user
on Jun 25, 2021 at 8:42 am

When this plan was first introduced, several people were concerned that this was more yet another attempt to fleece local residents. Some of us called it a "toll" -- for which we were strongly mocked for seeing it as such. Now, it is called a "toll" in the headline of the article.

This toll hits lower income families more than others too -- since the "toll" is blind to economic status. If you're late for your minimum wage job, you'll either have to pay the toll to avoid traffic or sit in traffic with all of the other peons.

The wealthy? They don't care. It's all an expense paid by their disposable income. They happily plop a few dollars each and every drive their fancy vehicle and avoid sitting behind the ones who struggle to make ends meet (especially in these current economic times where inflation is hurting many families).

This wasn't a problem that necessitated a (money grabbing) "solution."

Those who pretend that this is about "the climate" are simply telling themselves something to make the pain not hurt quite so much. The amount of emissions that will result from INCREASED traffic jams will offset any "saved" by the pipe dream of "fewer cars on the highways."

This was -- and always will be -- a money grab.


We Told You So!
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Jun 25, 2021 at 10:57 am
We Told You So!, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Jun 25, 2021 at 10:57 am

Always something for the Super Rich!

All this is going to do is to allow those that have the FUNDS to Zoom pass others in the CHEAP SEATS! Why don't they go ahead and Construct that 20yr old thought of a Highway extension off the "Dumbarton Bridge" off shoot to l01 around East Palo Alto. Instead of allowing "Cut Through Traffic" to pile up?

All I hear is from people that care about the little Frog and Mice that live out there and NOT the People of EPA that have to Suffer from Traffic! Everyone knows that the little Mice will return. They Did after they improved the CREEK OVERFLOWING INTO AFFLUENT PALO ALTO! This is just plain SELFISHNESS!


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 25, 2021 at 11:07 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Jun 25, 2021 at 11:07 am

For all of the commuters to Sunnyvale, MV, MP, and RWC ECR is the road of choice. I take ECR to avoid the 101 crowds and their convoluted race way mentality. Time to tune up ECR for all of the projections that have been offered in the past. Put a transportation center at ECR and Embarcdero on the SU side so that the big busses and smaller commuter busses have a place to wait and board. Cut into the current sidewalk so that all lanes are available for commuters. A similiar set of cut in parking for busses can be put on the PAHS side of ECR. That can bring all people to PAHS and T&C, as well as PAHS & SU events via public transit. WE are paying taxes for this and it never happens. TIme to make public transit a real goal for ECR to move people up and down the peninsula. People can stay at hotels and go to events without having a car and worrying about parking at events.


Jeremy Erman
Registered user
Midtown
on Jun 25, 2021 at 12:37 pm
Jeremy Erman, Midtown
Registered user
on Jun 25, 2021 at 12:37 pm

"People without a FasTrak toll tag could face fines or penalties that include the cost of the toll and an additional fee in some cases."

So you won't just have to pay to drive on parts of the "free"way, you will be fined if you don't have the right technology.

This is shameful. How is it legal?






Curmudgeon
Registered user
Downtown North
on Jun 26, 2021 at 4:13 pm
Curmudgeon, Downtown North
Registered user
on Jun 26, 2021 at 4:13 pm

If you got the money, honey
You got a lane


Rose
Registered user
Mayfield
on Jun 28, 2021 at 11:31 am
Rose, Mayfield
Registered user
on Jun 28, 2021 at 11:31 am

I agree with Andrew Boone's comments in the second comment in this chain. This money should have been spent on improving public transportation systems and safe biking. We all need to get out of our cars if we want to save ourselves and our planet from air pollution, forest fires, droughts, hurricanes and global warming's myriad negative impacts. More cars, including electric, only reduce air pollution. They don't reduce traffic and accidents and wasted time driving.

Wake Up -- Get Out of Your Cars!


Consider Your Options.
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 29, 2021 at 1:00 pm
Consider Your Options. , Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jun 29, 2021 at 1:00 pm

This is very regressive. Lanes for the rich is correct.

I don't often find myself agreeing with Andrew Boone, but in this case, I think he's right. The money would have been much better spent elsewhere.

Many states charge for every use of a highway which spreads the burden across all people--instead giving special privilege to the rich who tend to drive more for pleasure anyway. Highways are extremely expensive to maintain. Why do we charge people for riding buses and trains and not charge drivers for at least some of the public cost of driving and parking which includes:
1). Construction and maintenance of massive road system and parking infrastructure. The wear and tear of cars on streets is incredibly expensive, constant, and not very visible to the public.
2). Metal and fluids run-off into water and soil systems
3). Greenhouse gas emissions
4). Enormous safety impacts of cars--among the leading causes of death and injury in the US.

All of us who drive should be helping to defray those costs.


Nayeli
Registered user
Midtown
on Jun 29, 2021 at 3:24 pm
Nayeli, Midtown
Registered user
on Jun 29, 2021 at 3:24 pm

@ Consider Your Options - Please cite to me a source that the state had a budget deficit when it came to roads. Moreover, we would need to see the budget itself -- that the money is spent on ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE and not other "related" expenditures.

The roads ARE paid for. The upkeep of them is being paid for. California has a SPENDING problem rather than a FUNDING problem.

If the state wants to charge drivers by the mile (as many politicians and activists suggest), then we should get a refund on all of the other money already paid by taxpayers to cover those things.

The problem is that politicians allege that there is some sort of budget hole for roads. If that were truly the case, then the state should find a way to fund it. The problem with California is that it has a very strange "pot luck" version of taxation -- with few requirements to spend money on what it is initially designated for.

For instance, the more recent gasoline tax increases pushed by our state politicians were sold as being used for climate change initiatives. The problem? There was no definition of what that actually entails -- and no requirement that it be spent on that in the first place.

This state is already OVERTAXED. This is just more fleecing of the residents (including the poor) to add money to the politicians' coffers.

Texas has some of the best roads in the nation -- and they have vastly more roads than California. Texas has 683,533 miles of road lanes compared with 396,540 miles of road lanes in California. Yet, the citizens of California (larger in population) are taxed more per capita for roads than Texas.

Unfortunately (no matter the state), these types of schemes are EASY MONEY for politicians. It's too tempting to pass up. Sadly, they aren't a solution to traffic, climate issues or even long-term revenue. It's just a fleecing of society by politicians.


Local
Registered user
Stanford
on Jul 3, 2021 at 9:06 pm
Local, Stanford
Registered user
on Jul 3, 2021 at 9:06 pm

Great idea - should have done this long ago. Will reduce congestion and raise money for transportation. The london congestion charging was a huge success and this will be too


Nayeli
Registered user
Midtown
on Jul 6, 2021 at 12:08 pm
Nayeli, Midtown
Registered user
on Jul 6, 2021 at 12:08 pm

@ Local - This will NOT reduce congestion. It wasn't even designed to truly reduce congestion. In fact, it will likely make congestion worse (once we are back to the pre-COVID-19 normalcy).

Why?

It actually REMOVES a currently very helpful HOV carpool lane and converts it into little more than a MONEY lane. It allows people with extra money to pay money to use that lane. It forces a third wheel in the carpool lane.

It's a shame that this is being done in the Bay Area. It hurts drivers -- especially low-income drivers -- so that wealthier people can get to where they want to go a few minutes faster. The rest of us (including vehicles with two people in it) will be bottlenecked into the other lanes.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 7, 2021 at 7:58 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Jul 7, 2021 at 7:58 pm

This evening I was going up to the east Bayshore rd via San Antonio around 4PM. The traffic trying to access 101 at San Antonio going north was unbelievable. The entry is now metered. Now cars are back-up just to get on the ramp. The whole ramp and the entry were backed up. That is new. Metering lights. Something to think about for your commute. Trying to get to the airport? If you get trapped on the entry way then you are really trapped. Go ECR.


Emelie
Registered user
another community
on Jul 9, 2021 at 3:31 pm
Emelie, another community
Registered user
on Jul 9, 2021 at 3:31 pm

This seems like seriously SUCH a RACKET!! Dont we ALREADY pay for these roads?! Shouldnt we be able to VOTE on something like this?! I mean bridge tolls were voted on. This seems not too different. I grew up in the Bay Area and have driven these roads all my life. The things that rattle through my head every day when i am driving these lanes and seeing all the construction around me is a few things. First this seems SOOOO obvious that this is some huge under the table pay off 4 big tech bus lanes. I mean when you look at a project like this, one has to look at who is benefiting. The commuter busses that have taken over the roads seem like a likely receiver of the massive benefits of free commuter google bus lanes.

I think about the small businesses that drive these roads every day and how much time and cost will be added to their day every day (my employer included!) and how much will this eat into their bottom line possible putting more small businesses out of business. From cab drivers to electricians everyone but busses and full car loads (from 2 to soon 3+ people to qualify) which if you look on the road, there are not a ton of these full full car loads.

I also look at how in places down in Palo Alto and possibly Menlo Park, public free flowing lanes drop to 2 and even possibly 1 lane in places. That is going to go real well when things are finally open from the pandemic!
It kinda feels like to me this is another example of some serious corruption going on behind the scenes with some big money exchanging hands. I would look at the new purchases of every elected member and what their profession is. City politicians do not make a huge salary from being a city employee. Look at whose driving new lux cars etc....
I like the idea above of them having this blow up in their faces and having to pay it back. How can we do that!?
at the very least I suggest you use your voice and vote every single one of these city reps out of office!!! TAKE BACK OUR CITY


Resident
Registered user
Midtown
on Jul 12, 2021 at 4:57 am
Resident, Midtown
Registered user
on Jul 12, 2021 at 4:57 am

As someone who used to frequently commute on 101 I support this decision. It should have happened much sooner.
The congestion on 101 has been untenable for years and the HOV lanes only made it worse. The HOV in general is a failed and outdated concept. People generally drive slower these days as they are constantly distracted by their phones. Its only logical that drivers going faster should switch lanes to the left and be able to pass. The left lane is a PASSING lane, its not a carpool lane. No one carpools enough to justify it. There's no study that proves HOV lanes ever "take cars off the road".
Instead, we have a dangerous situation where the far left lane moves at top speeds while the other lanes are a parking lot. Its particularly bad at the stretch on 101 between PA and Mountain View for some inexplicable reason we have 2 carpool lanes, which stuffs the majority of rush hour traffic into 3 lanes, forcing some drivers to make the a risky jump from a lane that is stuck in standstill to a fast-moving HOV lane.
Roads should be used to facilitate efficient traffic flow, not punish people because they drive cars.
The toll lanes were added in favor of efficiency.


Nayeli
Registered user
Midtown
on Jul 12, 2021 at 9:47 am
Nayeli, Midtown
Registered user
on Jul 12, 2021 at 9:47 am

@ Resident: What makes you believe that this will reduce traffic congestion? It doesn't. In fact, in many cases, it makes things much worse -- except for those willing to pay the toll (possibly up to $3 per mile at peak hours).

The rest of the Bay Area -- especially those who don't have extra money to burn -- will be left with even worse congestion.


Nayeli
Registered user
Midtown
on Jul 12, 2021 at 10:08 am
Nayeli, Midtown
Registered user
on Jul 12, 2021 at 10:08 am

There are many articles that have staked the claim that high occupancy tolls alleviate congestion. However, if you read between the lines, the ONLY lane in which it actually alleviates traffic congestion is the HOV lane itself.

Even then, the lane's traffic is only alleviated during those hours with "varying tolls" -- meaning the period of time in which the toll is increased to effectively lower the number of people (by price) the people who use it.

This means that the HOV lanes in California -- paid for by taxpayer dollars -- will now effectively become a FAST LANE FOR THE WEALTHY. Everyone else will be bottlenecked into the other lanes. This becomes especially problematic during peak hours and in areas where a lane is removed and everyone becomes bottlenecked again.

Sadly, the media, government officials and politicians keep this quiet. It is another example of designing policy behind closed doors that will have NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES for most people and then work with the media to avoid reporting the truth about those consequences.

This is a cash grab by state politicians under the guise that this "reduces traffic" -- when they know very well that it only "reduces traffic" for those willing and able to pay daily rent for its usage. Unfortunately, many people are the same types of "Gruber" voters who think that our politicians tell the truth.

In conclusion, these tolls:
- Cause MORE traffic congestion in non-toll lanes.
- Are worse for the environment due to increased traffic congestion.
- Take funds that are not earmarked for roads themselves.
- Are a luxury for those willing and able to pay.

This is the fleecing of California residents at a time when our gas taxes are increased (to the highest in the nation), gas prices are high and traffic is currently low due to COVID corporate changes and its effect on normal weekday traffic.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.