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Confused by the new lane signage on U.S. Highway 101? Here's what you need to know

Express lanes are the latest way that transportation agencies are trying to manage traffic congestion

New highway express lanes from Mountain View to Redwood City have replaced carpool lanes on U.S. Highway 101 and opened Feb. 11, 2022. Courtesy Caltrans.

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The highway toll lanes that have been popping up in other parts of the Bay Area, notably Interstate Highway 880, debuted on the Peninsula on Feb. 11 after years of construction.

Now, drivers are faced with a dizzying array of signs and lane markings on U.S. Highway 101 between state Route 237 in Mountain View and Whipple Avenue in Redwood City. Part of the Bay Area Express Lanes program, the newly designated toll lanes are the latest way that transportation agencies are trying to manage traffic congestion.

From 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays, these lanes can be used for free by carpools of three persons or more, vanpools, motorcyclists and buses. Vehicles with two passengers, who used to take advantage of carpool lanes, won't get a free ride anymore — and neither will clean-air vehicle drivers. Those two groups will have to pay half of the toll price to use an express lane.

Anyone using an express lane, even those who don't need to pay a toll, will have to have a FasTrak toll tag with them.

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By charging tolls on segments of the local highways, transportation leaders expect to be able to manage the volume of vehicles in express lanes, keeping it low enough for drivers to achieve a minimum speed of 45 mph, according to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA).

Those toll prices will change as traffic congestion changes, rising with increased traffic to discourage some budget-conscious drivers from using the lanes, and then decreasing with less traffic to incentivize more drivers to jump in.

The express lanes in north Santa Clara County were created by restriping existing single carpool lanes on Highway 101 (between routes 237 and 85) and on Route 85 (from the Highway 101 and Route 85 interchange to Grant Road). New signage, monitoring technology and barriers were also added.

The third phase of the Silicon Valley Express Lanes project is shown in green on the map. The lanes extend on U.S. Highway 101 from state Route 237 to the border of San Mateo County (where the lanes continue to Redwood City). On state Route 85 southbound, the express lane extends until 85 crosses over Central Expressway, near the 237 exit. Courtesy Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.

The existing double carpool lanes on Highway 101 from the Route 85 interchange to the San Mateo County line in Palo Alto were both converted to express lanes.

The local express-lanes project broke ground in March 2019, two years after Senate Bill 1 was signed into law. SB 1 is investing $54 billion over a decade to fix roads, freeways and bridges across California. Of that state funding, $220 million is going to San Mateo County's current express lanes segment, and $33 million is helping to fund VTA's latest segments.

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"The integration of managed express lanes will reduce congestion all along the U.S. 101 corridor. It will encourage carpooling and transit ridership as well as the use of technology to help manage traffic," Toks Omishakin, Caltrans director, said in a video about the project.

Construction of additional express lanes is continuing, with lanes being extended north, up from Whipple Avenue to Interstate 380, and south on Highway 101 to I-880.

A Q&A about the new express lanes

The following information comes from Caltrans, VTA, 511.org and the San Mateo 101 Express Lanes Project.

Tell me again what hours the express lanes are in effect?

The express lanes will operate from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays. Unlike the former HOV lanes, express-lane rules cover most of the day, not just commute hours.

So can electric vehicles still use the express lanes for free?

Nope. Customers driving clean-air vehicles, such as cars that run on fuel cells, battery or plug-in hybrids that have a valid clean-air vehicle decal from the Department of Motor Vehicles, will qualify for a 50% discount on tolls. But you'll need to have a FasTrak CAV toll tag in your car to get that discount or you'll be penalized.

How many people have to be in my car for me to use the express lanes for free?

Three or more, unless you ride a motorcycle, in which case you can use the lanes without paying a toll. But again, you've got to have a FasTrak Flex tag on you, otherwise the overhead cameras will photograph your license plate and send you a bill, which will be the toll plus a penalty fee. Before you start your car, make sure your FasTrak Flex tag button is set to position "3+."

And what about a two-person carpool? Can I use an express lane?

Yes, you will qualify for a 50% discount on tolls. But you'll need to have a FasTrak Flex toll tag in your car to get that discount or you'll be penalized. Before you start driving, make sure your FasTrak Flex tag is set to position "2."

OK, so anyone can use the express lane, but most will have to pay. How much does it cost to take an express lane?

That depends on how far you're going. The toll could be 30 cents or several dollars. You'll see the toll for traveling through a zone listed on the overhead electronic sign when you hop into an express lane. For example, if you get into the express lane at Oregon Expressway in Palo Alto going south to Route 85, you will pay one price, and if you continue on Highway 101 to Route 237, you'll pay more. Both toll prices will be listed on the electronic sign at Oregon Expressway.

In addition, toll prices change based on how much traffic is on the road, so you might be charged more to take the express lane from Oregon Expressway to Route 85 on Monday at 8:30 a.m. than you are on Monday at 2 p.m.

What if I'm driving in an express lane, and because of traffic congestion, the toll changes?

If the toll amount changes while you are in the lane, you pay the toll posted when you first entered.

How are the tolls charged?

An overhead antenna will read FasTrak transponders in vehicles and the correct toll will be automatically deducted from prepaid FasTrak accounts.

What happens if too many cars get into the express lanes and the traffic slows way down?

When a lane gets too crowded and cars are traveling slower than 45 mph, the electronic signs will replace the toll price with the words "HOV ONLY." This indicates the lane cannot take any more toll-paying vehicles. Only carpools and other toll-free eligible vehicles are allowed to enter the lane when the signs say “HOV ONLY.” If you're already in the lane when this happens, you can stay in the lane.

How are penalties assessed if I'm in an express lane without a FasTrak tag?

A violation-enforcement system camera will capture a license plate image if a vehicle is in an express lane without a FasTrak tag. FasTrak will send the registered vehicle owner a violation notice for the toll amount and a $25 penalty. If you fail to pay that promptly, then the penalty goes up to $70.

What about the $491 penalty for driving solo in a carpool lane -- is that still being enforced?

Yes. If a California Highway Patrol officer sees you driving solo in an express lane but your FasTrak tag is set for two or more people, you will be pulled over and cited for the carpool violation, which is $491. Your FasTrak setting will be shown on electronic panels on the highway.

I don't get this whole FasTrak tag thing. Which FasTrak tag do I need? How do I get one?

Go to the FasTrak website for information, including how to order a tag.

Which segments on Highway 101 still have non-toll carpool (HOV) lanes?

South of Route 237 in Mountain View and north of Whipple Avenue in Redwood City.

I'm still confused. Who can answer my questions?

For an overview of the Bay Area Express Lanes project and how to use express lanes, you can watch Caltrans' explanatory video.

For more information about how express lanes work, go to the 511.org website.

For more information about the VTA Express Lanes Project, you can go to Silicon Valley Express Lanes website or contact VTA's Community Outreach Department at 408-321-7575 or (TTY) for the hearing-impaired at 408-321-2330 or at [email protected]

For more information about San Mateo County's express lanes, visit the San Mateo County Express Lanes web page.

Watch this video for an explanation of how the Bay Area Express Lanes work. Courtesy Caltrans.

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Confused by the new lane signage on U.S. Highway 101? Here's what you need to know

Express lanes are the latest way that transportation agencies are trying to manage traffic congestion

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Sat, Feb 12, 2022, 10:11 pm

Listen to this article

The highway toll lanes that have been popping up in other parts of the Bay Area, notably Interstate Highway 880, debuted on the Peninsula on Feb. 11 after years of construction.

Now, drivers are faced with a dizzying array of signs and lane markings on U.S. Highway 101 between state Route 237 in Mountain View and Whipple Avenue in Redwood City. Part of the Bay Area Express Lanes program, the newly designated toll lanes are the latest way that transportation agencies are trying to manage traffic congestion.

From 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays, these lanes can be used for free by carpools of three persons or more, vanpools, motorcyclists and buses. Vehicles with two passengers, who used to take advantage of carpool lanes, won't get a free ride anymore — and neither will clean-air vehicle drivers. Those two groups will have to pay half of the toll price to use an express lane.

Anyone using an express lane, even those who don't need to pay a toll, will have to have a FasTrak toll tag with them.

By charging tolls on segments of the local highways, transportation leaders expect to be able to manage the volume of vehicles in express lanes, keeping it low enough for drivers to achieve a minimum speed of 45 mph, according to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA).

Those toll prices will change as traffic congestion changes, rising with increased traffic to discourage some budget-conscious drivers from using the lanes, and then decreasing with less traffic to incentivize more drivers to jump in.

The express lanes in north Santa Clara County were created by restriping existing single carpool lanes on Highway 101 (between routes 237 and 85) and on Route 85 (from the Highway 101 and Route 85 interchange to Grant Road). New signage, monitoring technology and barriers were also added.

The existing double carpool lanes on Highway 101 from the Route 85 interchange to the San Mateo County line in Palo Alto were both converted to express lanes.

The local express-lanes project broke ground in March 2019, two years after Senate Bill 1 was signed into law. SB 1 is investing $54 billion over a decade to fix roads, freeways and bridges across California. Of that state funding, $220 million is going to San Mateo County's current express lanes segment, and $33 million is helping to fund VTA's latest segments.

"The integration of managed express lanes will reduce congestion all along the U.S. 101 corridor. It will encourage carpooling and transit ridership as well as the use of technology to help manage traffic," Toks Omishakin, Caltrans director, said in a video about the project.

Construction of additional express lanes is continuing, with lanes being extended north, up from Whipple Avenue to Interstate 380, and south on Highway 101 to I-880.

The following information comes from Caltrans, VTA, 511.org and the San Mateo 101 Express Lanes Project.

Tell me again what hours the express lanes are in effect?

The express lanes will operate from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays. Unlike the former HOV lanes, express-lane rules cover most of the day, not just commute hours.

So can electric vehicles still use the express lanes for free?

Nope. Customers driving clean-air vehicles, such as cars that run on fuel cells, battery or plug-in hybrids that have a valid clean-air vehicle decal from the Department of Motor Vehicles, will qualify for a 50% discount on tolls. But you'll need to have a FasTrak CAV toll tag in your car to get that discount or you'll be penalized.

How many people have to be in my car for me to use the express lanes for free?

Three or more, unless you ride a motorcycle, in which case you can use the lanes without paying a toll. But again, you've got to have a FasTrak Flex tag on you, otherwise the overhead cameras will photograph your license plate and send you a bill, which will be the toll plus a penalty fee. Before you start your car, make sure your FasTrak Flex tag button is set to position "3+."

And what about a two-person carpool? Can I use an express lane?

Yes, you will qualify for a 50% discount on tolls. But you'll need to have a FasTrak Flex toll tag in your car to get that discount or you'll be penalized. Before you start driving, make sure your FasTrak Flex tag is set to position "2."

OK, so anyone can use the express lane, but most will have to pay. How much does it cost to take an express lane?

That depends on how far you're going. The toll could be 30 cents or several dollars. You'll see the toll for traveling through a zone listed on the overhead electronic sign when you hop into an express lane. For example, if you get into the express lane at Oregon Expressway in Palo Alto going south to Route 85, you will pay one price, and if you continue on Highway 101 to Route 237, you'll pay more. Both toll prices will be listed on the electronic sign at Oregon Expressway.

In addition, toll prices change based on how much traffic is on the road, so you might be charged more to take the express lane from Oregon Expressway to Route 85 on Monday at 8:30 a.m. than you are on Monday at 2 p.m.

What if I'm driving in an express lane, and because of traffic congestion, the toll changes?

If the toll amount changes while you are in the lane, you pay the toll posted when you first entered.

How are the tolls charged?

An overhead antenna will read FasTrak transponders in vehicles and the correct toll will be automatically deducted from prepaid FasTrak accounts.

What happens if too many cars get into the express lanes and the traffic slows way down?

When a lane gets too crowded and cars are traveling slower than 45 mph, the electronic signs will replace the toll price with the words "HOV ONLY." This indicates the lane cannot take any more toll-paying vehicles. Only carpools and other toll-free eligible vehicles are allowed to enter the lane when the signs say “HOV ONLY.” If you're already in the lane when this happens, you can stay in the lane.

How are penalties assessed if I'm in an express lane without a FasTrak tag?

A violation-enforcement system camera will capture a license plate image if a vehicle is in an express lane without a FasTrak tag. FasTrak will send the registered vehicle owner a violation notice for the toll amount and a $25 penalty. If you fail to pay that promptly, then the penalty goes up to $70.

What about the $491 penalty for driving solo in a carpool lane -- is that still being enforced?

Yes. If a California Highway Patrol officer sees you driving solo in an express lane but your FasTrak tag is set for two or more people, you will be pulled over and cited for the carpool violation, which is $491. Your FasTrak setting will be shown on electronic panels on the highway.

I don't get this whole FasTrak tag thing. Which FasTrak tag do I need? How do I get one?

Go to the FasTrak website for information, including how to order a tag.

Which segments on Highway 101 still have non-toll carpool (HOV) lanes?

South of Route 237 in Mountain View and north of Whipple Avenue in Redwood City.

I'm still confused. Who can answer my questions?

For an overview of the Bay Area Express Lanes project and how to use express lanes, you can watch Caltrans' explanatory video.

For more information about how express lanes work, go to the 511.org website.

For more information about the VTA Express Lanes Project, you can go to Silicon Valley Express Lanes website or contact VTA's Community Outreach Department at 408-321-7575 or (TTY) for the hearing-impaired at 408-321-2330 or at [email protected]

For more information about San Mateo County's express lanes, visit the San Mateo County Express Lanes web page.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

Comments

Jeremy Erman
Registered user
Midtown
on Feb 13, 2022 at 12:30 am
Jeremy Erman, Midtown
Registered user
on Feb 13, 2022 at 12:30 am

These toll lanes on the supposed "free way" are a travesty. Not only do they prioritize faster travel for those with more money, they also apparently slap a fine on anyone who doesn't have the proper technology, even if they can legally use the lanes for free. And it forces people to read electronic signs and make monetary calculations when they should be focused on driving. How will making it more difficult to use what was the "carpool lane" improve overall congestion on the freeway? Won't it just put more traffic into the other lanes and slow traffic down even more?


cheese guy
Registered user
Palo Verde
on Feb 13, 2022 at 7:14 am
cheese guy, Palo Verde
Registered user
on Feb 13, 2022 at 7:14 am

So, we have a new form of privilege for the wealthy while punishing poorer individuals who will have to spend more time sitting in traffic to get to low paying jobs. It seems like we have just turned the freeway system into a visit to the current Disneyland, -- a complicated computer-based game for extracting fees to "cut in line" in front of everyone else. I am all for public transit (hey, maybe this is expensive scheme to get more people on Caltrain?), discouraging driving, and encouraging electric/hybrid cars, but not this way.


Hinrich
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Feb 13, 2022 at 9:12 am
Hinrich, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Feb 13, 2022 at 9:12 am

What about ‘mobility equity’? Why should those with less money be more burdened with slower traffic in the right lanes? With everyone suffering traffic delays during rush hour the state sees dollar signs - another way to grab more money. Not long before all lanes are taxed. License fees went up, registration fees went up, now taxing travel. The ability to travel on public roads and trains and buses should not be ‘granted’ based on income. Bad idea for everyone. Not long before license reader cameras in every lane to ‘watch’ and ‘regulate’ and bill according to excess travel. Solve the transportation problem with better transit not by trying to limit travel with fees. Move to Texas anyone?


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 13, 2022 at 12:07 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Feb 13, 2022 at 12:07 pm

From reading this, you have to buy Fastrak transponder for $20 to use something for free. Something very wrong in that idea alone.

These lanes used to be free for carpools and anyone could use them outside the commute hours. This sounds much more like a tax on something that used to be free.


tp
Registered user
Downtown North
on Feb 13, 2022 at 12:31 pm
tp, Downtown North
Registered user
on Feb 13, 2022 at 12:31 pm

Vehicles with disabled tags— can they be in the HOV lanes and not have to pay—even if there is only one person in the car who is driving?


Mondoman
Registered user
Green Acres
on Feb 13, 2022 at 3:06 pm
Mondoman, Green Acres
Registered user
on Feb 13, 2022 at 3:06 pm

As others have noted, this is a way for the wealthy to take some general highway fund - built lanes and reserve them for their exclusive use. It's a sop to the wealthy so they don't haver to suffer through the traffic jams with the rest of us. That's what we get for electing one-party supermajority government.


Jocelyn Dong
Registered user
editor of the Palo Alto Weekly
on Feb 13, 2022 at 5:14 pm
Jocelyn Dong, editor of the Palo Alto Weekly
Registered user
on Feb 13, 2022 at 5:14 pm

@tp: Good question. According to the San Mateo County Express Lanes Project's adopted toll ordinance, there is no exemption for vehicles with disabled tags. Here's the section on exemptions:

Section 7. Exemptions from Tolls; Discount Tolls.
7.1 The following vehicles are exempt from paying tolls imposed by this ordinance.
(A) vehicles entering a SMCELJPA toll facility outside the hours of operation of that facility.
(B) high occupancy vehicles.
(C) motorcycles.
(D) public transportation vehicles and over-the-road buses that serve the public.
(E) California Highway Patrol vehicles policing a SMCELJPA toll facility.
(F) authorized emergency vehicles.


William Hitchens
Registered user
Mountain View
on Feb 13, 2022 at 5:58 pm
William Hitchens, Mountain View
Registered user
on Feb 13, 2022 at 5:58 pm

Are they putting down extremely ugly and confusing green bike lane pavement markings and signs too? Enough is enough. It's tough enough to drive in commuter traffic without extreme sensory overload from useless PC things that distract from safe driving. Force the various special interest groups pushing this stuff to cooperate and get their various PC acts together into a coherent package. But are they really coherent??? No. It's like trying to organize a flea circus of especially ignorant fleas.


Nayeli
Registered user
Midtown
on Feb 14, 2022 at 12:01 am
Nayeli, Midtown
Registered user
on Feb 14, 2022 at 12:01 am

This entire costly change was unnecessary.

The politicians and "analysts" pushing this nonsense point to "eased congestion during rush hour." However, the ONLY lanes with "eased congestion" are the PAY-TO-DRIVE lanes. In fact, traffic actually INCREASES in all other lanes -- especially at bottleneck areas where an exit lane disappears or where one or two of the fast (left) lanes becomes a PAY-TO-DRIVE lane.

While the "we're helping climate change" echo chamber might applaud this as a catalyst for fewer drivers on the road, it actually HURTS the climate more because the commute times are longer for everyone unwilling or unable to pay for the PAY-TO-DRIVE lane access. Longer commute times translate into more carbon emissions.

Meanwhile, the upper-income drivers will happily pay because the cost doesn't hurt their pocket book. However, those who actually struggle to live within their means in the Bay Area are left with longer commutes, higher fuel costs (due to longer commutes) and yet another realization that the voices of the "haves" often outweighs the voices of the "have nots" in California.


JRPapa
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 14, 2022 at 11:30 am
JRPapa, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Feb 14, 2022 at 11:30 am

I entered at Oregon at 2pm last Friday and it was bumper-to-bumper in the regular lanes down to Hwy 85, with almost no one in the toll lanes. Much worse than when the carpool lanes were available mid-day.


Hallewell
Registered user
Community Center
on Feb 14, 2022 at 11:31 am
Hallewell, Community Center
Registered user
on Feb 14, 2022 at 11:31 am

Inequtitable, undemocratic, unsafe, inefficient. Re. the last one, most every time I drive these new tolls there's no one driving them and the other lanes are packed. We pay for the freeways and should be able to use them equally without charge.


bill1940
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Feb 14, 2022 at 11:58 am
bill1940, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Feb 14, 2022 at 11:58 am

What happens if an accident forces everyone to use the "pay for use, fast track lanes?


Jocelyn Dong
Registered user
editor of the Palo Alto Weekly
on Feb 14, 2022 at 12:52 pm
Jocelyn Dong, editor of the Palo Alto Weekly
Registered user
on Feb 14, 2022 at 12:52 pm

@bill1940: According to Caltrans, the CHP could turn off the toll and carpool requirements in express lanes while they clear an accident.

From the Caltrans website:
CHP will take over and have complete control over the system in the event of an accident. The lane will be opened or closed to various vehicles at their discretion.


prof
Registered user
Professorville
on Feb 14, 2022 at 1:30 pm
prof, Professorville
Registered user
on Feb 14, 2022 at 1:30 pm

Studies have shown that 20-30% of people in carpool lanes are there illegally (ie, solo drivers). Another way of looking at this is that penalizes the cheaters and rewards those who follow the rules. And all done electronically without need for CHP.


Me 2
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Feb 14, 2022 at 1:33 pm
Me 2, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Feb 14, 2022 at 1:33 pm

"rewards those who follow the rules"

How is getting stuck with worse traffic a "reward?"


Moctod
Registered user
University South
on Feb 14, 2022 at 1:44 pm
Moctod, University South
Registered user
on Feb 14, 2022 at 1:44 pm

I wish that in place of tearing up 101 to install those toll lanes, CalTrans would have spent the money completly repaving this terrible "freeway.' I always try to avoid this the narrow lanes and pot-holes of 101. I also imagine that this will push more drivers onto 280, one of the few decent drives in the area.
Our county politicians pushed a regressive tax (sales tax) to pay for these toll lanes, which are as harmful to the environment as they are to lower-income drivers. I am sure this new road tax and the recent bridge toll increase will help our local businesses recruit more employees.


K in MP
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Feb 14, 2022 at 1:58 pm
K in MP, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Feb 14, 2022 at 1:58 pm

I believe I am considered a “super-commuter” since I drive more than an hour each way to work.

I use the toll lanes on 680, 880 and 101. They are a huge time savings (reduced my time in the road 10% at least, saving fuel and making less pollution), and make my drive safer (less traffic in the toll lanes).

I fully support more toll lanes.


Leland J.
Registered user
Professorville
on Feb 14, 2022 at 2:05 pm
Leland J. , Professorville
Registered user
on Feb 14, 2022 at 2:05 pm

Classic bait-and-switch government. Create HOV lane as an incentive to buy EVs... EVs become popular... so CA snatches away the benefit and makes us pay - even when there's no traffic.

Just be honest and call it a Road Tax. Because that's what it is


Another Bob
Registered user
Community Center
on Feb 14, 2022 at 2:06 pm
Another Bob, Community Center
Registered user
on Feb 14, 2022 at 2:06 pm

Ridiculous! Slowing most people down won't help anything.


prof
Registered user
Professorville
on Feb 14, 2022 at 2:07 pm
prof, Professorville
Registered user
on Feb 14, 2022 at 2:07 pm

to Me2, "rewards those who follow the rules" means that if you pay $20 for the transponder and qualify on the basis of occupancy or by being willing to pay for it, you can drive in the express lane. It also means that if you cheat you are more likely to be held accountable.


Another Bob
Registered user
Community Center
on Feb 14, 2022 at 2:17 pm
Another Bob, Community Center
Registered user
on Feb 14, 2022 at 2:17 pm

to Prof: those who can't afford it and slog along in the slow lanes are also playing by the rules, but they aren't getting much of a reward.


KF
Registered user
Midtown
on Feb 14, 2022 at 2:23 pm
KF, Midtown
Registered user
on Feb 14, 2022 at 2:23 pm

What happens to cars with only 2 seats and 2 people? They used to be free in the old commute lanes where 3 people were required. If there are two people in the car, do they go free or pay half price? What is the tag set to?


Jocelyn Dong
Registered user
editor of the Palo Alto Weekly
on Feb 14, 2022 at 2:51 pm
Jocelyn Dong, editor of the Palo Alto Weekly
Registered user
on Feb 14, 2022 at 2:51 pm

@KF: According to the adopted toll ordinance, two people in a car -- regardless of the capacity of your car -- will need to pay 50% of the toll in the express lanes. And your tag should be set to "2."

(See the toll ordinance here: Web Link )


Me 2
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Feb 14, 2022 at 2:56 pm
Me 2, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Feb 14, 2022 at 2:56 pm

"'rewards those who follow the rules' means that if you pay $20 for the transponder and qualify on the basis of occupancy or by being willing to pay for it"

And for the majority who follow the rules and don't pay for the Express Lane get rewarded with worse traffic?


BruceS
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Feb 14, 2022 at 4:42 pm
BruceS, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Feb 14, 2022 at 4:42 pm

I don't think this will, or should, go over well. The problem is that by upping the requirement to 3 people for a carpool, it's likely that mostly a lot of rich people will end up using the lane, therefore increasing the traffic for everyone else, to little overall benefit.

Did anyone really think this thru, or did the income to the state blind them? And how many years of operation will it take for the modifications to be paid off anyway?

Indeed, I really wonder if HOV lanes work very well, period. This one tends to suggest that usually not: Web Link

Furthermore, it seems to me that a lot of the multiple occupants that I see are just children anyway. Has anyone done any studies on how many real ride shares there are on HOV lanes, and how much adding HOV lanes have increased them? This CA study: Web Link does suggest that HOV lanes do increase the number of ride shares: "In Santa Clara County, the survey found that about 27 percent of carpoolers formed a carpool as a direct result of the HOV lanes." (from the Incentives to Carpool section), but that's the best I've found.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 14, 2022 at 4:52 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Feb 14, 2022 at 4:52 pm

From what I have seen, very few are using the express lanes and are stuck in slower traffic in the regular lanes.

Are these people who don't have 3 people in the car?

Are these people who don't have a transponder?

Are these people who are not sure of the rules?

Are these people who just can't afford to pay extra for their commute?

It will be interesting to see what happens when there is a major accident in the regular lanes and drivers are unable or unwilling to use the express lane and make the tailback worse.

It will be interesting to see what happens when there is a major accident in the express lane.

Not a fan of this type of two tier highway use. I suspect the volume of traffic will remain in the regular lanes regardless.


Dave
Registered user
Southgate
on Feb 14, 2022 at 5:31 pm
Dave, Southgate
Registered user
on Feb 14, 2022 at 5:31 pm

How much of the $0.53/gallon of gasoline tax we pay on each gallon of gas went to pay for improving the freeway by installing these express lanes? It seems like the gas tax is not enough to pay for improvements/maintenance, and California needs more income from the tolls. California Gas Tax automatically increases each summer. However, Gov. Newsome said he will grant a ‘Gas Tax Holiday’ this year 2022 not increase Gas Tax again until next summer 2023. I am seeing gas more than $5.00/gallon at many stations now. I saw gas at <$3.50 in Michigan when I visited my son, and Michigan residents were complaining how expensive gasoline has become.


Old PA Resident
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Feb 14, 2022 at 6:23 pm
Old PA Resident, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Feb 14, 2022 at 6:23 pm

Just jumping in to echo the primary sentiment here. $250 Million, tons more cement and steel and infrastructure to manage. And we get what? The rich get there faster.

AGH, what is wrong with us? I shudder when I see this incredibly humongous, ugly distraction. This is why we have global warming. Someday this will all be in landfill.


Tim
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Feb 14, 2022 at 11:40 pm
Tim , Crescent Park
Registered user
on Feb 14, 2022 at 11:40 pm

Took 101 home to PA from San Jose around 1:30pm and the decreased in speed was noticeable once I hit 85 and the HOV turns to an express lane. This is a regressive money grab and give away to the rich...plain and simple. It makes no sense to have a toll, which is essentially a traffic diet in the middle of the day.


CC
Registered user
University South
on Feb 15, 2022 at 7:46 am
CC, University South
Registered user
on Feb 15, 2022 at 7:46 am

I really hope there is education for drivers about when they can enter and exit the toll lanes. I’ve seen too many on 880 who do not follow the rules and jump in and out over the solid white lines.

Extremely dangerous and we are likely to see even more accidents


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2022 at 7:53 am
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Feb 15, 2022 at 7:53 am

If this is supposed to encourage public transit use, can you inform us which buses use 101? The only buses I see belong to Google!

Can similar services be invoked for the plebs?


Hinrich
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Feb 15, 2022 at 2:23 pm
Hinrich, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Feb 15, 2022 at 2:23 pm

Who is being served? This is for the state, not the people. This ushers in the age of the electronic highway, super surveillance, fee-based liberty as Zuckerberg big brother tech couples with state monitoring, fees-per-mile, fees according to zip code and carbon footprint, license plate checks, and keeping track of what you’re up to. We know the tech is evermore voracious and evermore encompassing and very tempting to a State with many agendas. We tend to think of the open road as times away, times of freedom and adventure and become very concerned that these technologies will end that. Forever! Sure, now, it’s only a means to collect more money on top of the big taxes we already pay but certainly more to come. All the points about the poor are well taken. We MUST think of those least likely to afford it (apparently wasn’t thought about) and we think about whether the public roads should now be divided by class. So, what end does this serve? More revenue? I think public roads should be for all of the public and while using them, people should not be surveilled - but that’s just me. I think that those who can least afford this privilege should not be slowed by further reducing the lanes to speed along those that can most afford to splurge. There is something really lousy about this and my ‘Only-the-paranoid-survive (thanks Andy) instinct tells me we won’t like where this is going. Roll it back!


Local
Registered user
Stanford
on Feb 15, 2022 at 9:50 pm
Local, Stanford
Registered user
on Feb 15, 2022 at 9:50 pm

Really great - finally a serious suggestion to combat congestion.

And yes for many people this is hard to understand and frustrating. But the toll-revenue will help fund improved roads, and sure rich people pay to use the lane, but the same rich people end-up paying for the road.

It is like a flight - the folks in business class pay 10x more and subsidize us back in economy. Everyone is better off.


Nayeli
Registered user
Midtown
on Feb 16, 2022 at 10:01 am
Nayeli, Midtown
Registered user
on Feb 16, 2022 at 10:01 am

@Local - Not really. Like the recent gasoline tax increases, there is nothing that mandates this money to be used on road improvements. Besides, the state has been boasting about a surplus (from yet another tax increase back during Governor Brown's tenure).

Yet, it seems like the state always comes up with new ways to tax with promises to spend it on ideas that the politicians deem "important" but with no mandate that it be spent upon any of that. If anything, I suspect that most of this income will be spent on "administrative costs," "unexpected costs" and maintaining the new "pay-to-drive" bureaucracy.

This isn't the "rich subsidizing the poor."

Rather, it is the rich charging the rich to drive so they can get to work on time while the rest of us sit in even heavier traffic (which hurts the environment more than the previous HOV-2 system).

Borrowing your airline analogy: This allows the rich to fly a private Learjet while the rest of us sit on the tarmac in a Southwest jet waiting for all of the private jets to depart first.

Unfortunately, the "compliant" mentality of California voters allows politicians to take advantage of our pocketbooks for reasons that aren't quite logical.

Maybe its time to pass a proposition that requires any such drastic changes (like increases in taxes, fees, tolls and tuitions) to be put up to a vote. It would be nice to see power go back to ALL of the people and not just the politicians who are elected to "represent" us but, instead, represent their own ideals.


Nayeli
Registered user
Midtown
on Feb 16, 2022 at 10:22 am
Nayeli, Midtown
Registered user
on Feb 16, 2022 at 10:22 am

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) studied these types of toll lanes some time ago. In reviewing metro areas with these toll lanes, only two of them (Miami and Orange County) showed a decrease in commute times for everyone. However, those new toll pay-to-drive lanes corresponded with highway expansion projects (both added two new lanes to the highways). So, it worked to ease congestion only when new lanes were added.

Web Link

In every other case, there was a marginal decrease in commute times in the pay-to-drive lane(s) while the commute time increased quite a bit in every other lane. Moreover, none of the real-world examples actually lowered the number of vehicles on the roads during daily commutes.

So, the claim by local politicians that this is "for the environment" is ridiculous. It doesn't ease congestion (except for those willing to pay for it). It doesn't result in individuals using public transportation.

Moreover, the move from HOV-2 to an HOV-3 system resulted in FEWER CARPOOLS (because we all know now difficult it is to arrange a carpool of more than two individuals). I would add that the GAO and other studies haven't looked at increases in traffic congestion on adjacent roads and highways either.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2022 at 10:59 am
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Feb 16, 2022 at 10:59 am

As far as I can see, it is the job of traffic management to manage traffic and get it moving efficiently.

It is not the job of traffic management to raise money, or make it difficult to understand, particularly for out of town drivers who are not familiar with local jargon or roadways.

Redwood City has announced a ferry service to San Francisco. That is a great way to deal with traffic. Why do we not have more ferries on the Bay?

If the design of these lanes is to attract people to use public transport as an efficient alternative, it is the job of traffic management to insure that there is efficient alternatives. We do not have efficient transit so we have no alternative.


William Hitchens
Registered user
Mountain View
on Feb 16, 2022 at 11:29 am
William Hitchens, Mountain View
Registered user
on Feb 16, 2022 at 11:29 am

I remember that a few years ago, the VTA was propoosing closing down the inner 3rd lane of El Camino Real all of the way from Palo Alto to somewhere in down town San Jose, near Dierdon Station I think. The purpose was to create a dedicated "Bus Rapid Transit Lane" in both directions on El Camino. The plan collapsed in 2018 due to fierce opposition from the public and also from some cities along El Camino Real. See link below.

Web Link

Hopefully, the "wise fools with power" who have messed up 101 with excessive "pay to drive" and HOV lanes, trapping the rest of us the rest in only two heavily congested lanes, will be forced by public and city government pressure to scale back their excessive bureaucratic overreach. Whew! What a run-on sentence! My bad.

Where does the County stand on this issue?


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 16, 2022 at 12:01 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Feb 16, 2022 at 12:01 pm

"Where does the County stand on this issue?"

Probably with its hand out collecting money that never goes for its stated purpose. Remember the money they collected for an additional transportation tax that went into escrow because of some controversy> Remember how PA "leaders" urged us to support that tax and the one for better PA bus service which was later eliminated because our shuttles duplicated VTA routes.

Did those taxes go away? Nope.

Re traffic diversions, yesterday at 2PM Middlefield traffic was packed so tightly and backed up such a long distance I knew it was perilous to try to cross traffic to enter my driveway (esp with the bollards behind me blocking through traffic).

SO I drove a few extra miles, ran some errands and made a u-turn SO I could enter my driveway from the same side of the street without crossing traffic which was still backed up.

Remind me again how you want us all to reduce our driving and how wrong it is to rinse all the daily grime off our windshields.


Nayeli
Registered user
Midtown
on Feb 16, 2022 at 1:54 pm
Nayeli, Midtown
Registered user
on Feb 16, 2022 at 1:54 pm

@ Bystander - You raise a very good point! The problem with the widespread use of public transportation in this area is that it is limited to the restraints of TIME and LOCATION.

For instance, if someone in Palo Alto worked at the new Apple Park complex in Cupertino, the fastest public transportation option would still exceed an hour.

Depending upon the time you left your house to arrive to Caltrain or a bus stop, your one-way commute approaches or even exceeds TWO HOURS. The cost for this long commute via public transportation will be at least $16-20 PER DAY -- and only if you walk to a train station.

Yet, you can hop in a car at your home and arrive (without traffic due to our ongoing pandemic reality) in about 19 MINUTES. The cost to use a car that you already own would be LESS THAN $5 PER DAY (even with our extraordinarily high gas prices in the Bay Area).

Since "time is money," what is the value of the extra two hours per day spent using public transportation (not including any hassle you might experience)?

My point?

Public transportation costs in the Bay Area are priced TOO HIGH to make them a worthwhile option. If the goal of public transportation is to encourage more people to use it for daily commutes, then the cost of those options need to be at or below the cost of using a vehicle that you already own.

The irony is that our local public transportation continues to RAISE PRICES to the point that they price themselves out of viability.


Me 2
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Feb 16, 2022 at 11:39 pm
Me 2, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Feb 16, 2022 at 11:39 pm

"Public transportation costs in the Bay Area are priced TOO HIGH to make them a worthwhile option"

That's because there isn't enough density to have enough riders to cover the fixed costs of a public transit system on the peninsula.

Really want transit? You need density. That's not going to happen anytime soon with our anti-development residentialists here.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 17, 2022 at 8:24 am
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Feb 17, 2022 at 8:24 am

Ludicrous to think that public transit is dreadful because not enough people live here!

Public transit is dreadful because of those in charge look on it as being something for poor people who can't afford a car, or people who have nothing else to do other than sit on a bus all day that takes much longer than it would to drive.

Public transit should be innovative, clean, efficient, reliable, and affordable as a viable alternative to solo driving. Too many people expect free parking at their place of work, are afraid of walking a couple of blocks before or after their tranist ride, and have no viable reasons for putting pressure on transit agencies to improve their options. Public transportation works in other countries where people have chosen not to own cars because they are too much trouble to use on a daily basis. With people returning to workplaces, new habits could be formed quite easily if, and only if, transit agencies step up and make their public offerings competitive.


Liquidamber
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Feb 17, 2022 at 12:12 pm
Liquidamber, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Feb 17, 2022 at 12:12 pm

Over 50 years of experience using mass transit in Palo Alto and all around the SF Bay Area. It is a sick joke if you want to use it to go anywhere outside of regular 9-5 M-F working hours at the largest employers which are walking distance to a major transit node like a Caltrain or BART station. For example, I am tired of freezing to death waiting in the dark at BART and Caltrain stations which never have a warm lobby open when I need to use them on SFO and SJC commutes so I started driving last year. As for driving on the highways here, I've never seen a lasting improvement in our highways to reduce traffic.

Where does transit work?

I've lived and worked in one of the largest metro areas on the planet. I could walk a couple of blocks from home or work to ANY of the nearest busy streets and wait for a private microbus 24/7. Put a hand out like hailing a cab and the bus stops in the middle of the block for you. The more traffic, more microbuses appear. Microbuses stack up at subway and bus stations. Cardboard placard in window indicating its route. Drivers could easily change routes to serve more. Yay, private enterprise! Easy to connect with the big city buses running on the bigger streets and the subway system. Subway was "free" since the authorities realized processing the paper payment cards was more expensive than letting people ride for free. Subway was so jammed at rush hours the riders were separated into male and female cars. Cars were always clean, people very polite, and one could almost eat off the marble floors in the subway stations.

Where was this? Mexico City. Congrats, Palo Alto and the SF Bay Area, we are a 4th world country when it comes to mass transit. But, hey! Most of our government officials and their well paid endless consultants work as best 2-3 days a week. Good luck finding anyone serving taxpayers at Palo Alto's City Hall after 4 pm or on Fridays. They mostly just Zoom to work over the last 2 years and never really care about us.


Consider Your Options.
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 17, 2022 at 3:13 pm
Consider Your Options. , Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Feb 17, 2022 at 3:13 pm

Regressive. Everyone pays to build these roads. Everyone should have equal access to them.


William Hitchens
Registered user
Mountain View
on Feb 18, 2022 at 4:01 pm
William Hitchens, Mountain View
Registered user
on Feb 18, 2022 at 4:01 pm

@ Liquidamber ---

When I was growing up in St. Louis, there were over 10 separate private bus and trolley systems, and transferring from one to another was quite difficult because they had different routes. Also, they tended to avoid poorer areas of St. Louis City and County. Microbuses filled the gaps between the bus and trolley systems. They were called "gypsy buses" or "jitneys" (slang of unknown origin for a 5 cent nickle, the original fare when they were Ford Model T's). They were shared transportation with flexible routes that could vary from run to run upon where each customer wanted to go. Since they served poorer areas, "gypsy" and "jitney" were frequently used as derogatory terms.

When St. Louis City and County consolidated all of the bus systems into one publicly owned system in the '60s, these microbuses were deliberately outlawed by passing strict rules on private public transport that limited it to licensed taxi cabs. Ostensibly, these rules were for public safety reasons. But in fact, the govt-run transport system didn't want revenue loss due to competition from cheaper, more convenient, and highly flexible microbuses. Also, they made a lot of money selling taxi medallions and also collecting taxes upon taxi fares. But even after this happened, illegal "gypsy" microbuses kept running in St. Louis City due to popular demand. Since they were popular and useful, politicians and police looked the other way as long as they kept a low profile.

Today, ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are partly filling that flexible transportation gap, but they are so expensive that poorer people can't afford to use them routinely, such as for daily job commuting or attending school. Also until recently, Uber and Lyft were not shared services (which reduces the cost of a ride) although they are starting to offer shared service in some cities.




Steve Raney
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Feb 20, 2022 at 12:49 pm
Steve Raney, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Feb 20, 2022 at 12:49 pm

An in-depth equity analysis produces results that may feel counterintuitive:
* Climate-motivated transportation behavior change is coming to the Bay Area whether we like it or not. Even stronger measures are in the works.
* Factoring in the Global South, Express Lanes increase equity.
* For the Bay Area only, given income-related travel differences and some compassionate mitigations, Express Lanes are pretty good on equity.
* Charges for EVs that previously drove for free increase equity.
* Where new freeway lanes are built to accommodate new Express Lanes, total driving mileage increases, harming the climate and reducing equity.

DETAILS: Web Link


Liquidamber
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Feb 20, 2022 at 11:25 pm
Liquidamber, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Feb 20, 2022 at 11:25 pm

@ William H.

Thanks for the St. Louis transit history. Very interesting! Indeed, when one picks apart who actually wins and who loses monetarily it's clear what happened to useful, cheap, and reliable mass transit in the USA. The shameful history of the Firestone tire company and many Detroit bus manufacturers conspiring with local to federal paid officials deliberately quashed trolley systems all over the country's metro areas simply to sell more cars. What did that produce in the long run but for ever expanding suburbs with little to no mass transit options and ever longer commutes?

This new "dynamic" pricing for our toll lanes is just as pathetic. How can anyone use those toll roads who lives paycheck to paycheck not knowing what the toll will be before using these new toll roads? One would think the powers-that-be want as all of us to be slave-serfs standing at the side of our hovels, not going anywhere fast to be sure we stay meek and hat-in-hand as our "betters" whiz by in their fast cars or jet planes.

Did Harvey Firestone or Henry Ford ever get stuck themselves behind a car's steering wheel in commute traffic? Do any Palo Alto City Council members, Santa Clara County Supervisors, and our reps in Sacramento use local mass transit on a regular basis? Anyone seen one on a Caltrain train, VTA bus, or light rail car but for a brief photo-op? I'd like to take away ALL their access to private cars (including hired and government cars) for a month and see how they like our local mass transit.


TIRED OF TYRANNY
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 21, 2022 at 10:30 am
TIRED OF TYRANNY, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Feb 21, 2022 at 10:30 am

We never had to use Fastrak before other than when crossing the bridge occasionally. Now my commute to take my child to preschool school where I could previously jump into the carpool lane is increased by over 30% because I'm not willing to pay even a 50% toll to ride in the fast lane. We also recently had 4 of us in the car but didn't have the Fastrak Flex so got stuck in the slow lanes and our commute doubled. Went to Costco the next day to get 2 Fastrak Flex devices for $50 (which gets translated to toll) which I won't use because I refuse to spend it on this ridiculous crap.

Not to mention that there are now more hours in the day where you get stuck in traffic. 11am, 1pm, 2pm....never used to be slow. Now it's bumper to bumper and they charge you $2.50 to go a few miles at a time. And people are jumping out of the lane to avoid the tolls so it slows traffic more and is bound to create accidents.

How much taxpayer $ did the state spend with "your tax $s at work" to ultimately make us pay for it AGAIN. I'm not rich, far from it. We are all already feeling the crunch from inflation thanks to the Federal Reserve catering to the stock market (we should have been at 2% at least 2 years ago). All our Government does is cost us more $ and make our lives less bearable. The politicians I voted for have let me, our local communities, our state, and our country down. Time to hold them accountable by voting them out.


Me 2
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Feb 21, 2022 at 2:14 pm
Me 2, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Feb 21, 2022 at 2:14 pm

"Ludicrous to think that public transit is dreadful because not enough people live here! "

It's the truth. Costs don't pencil out.

"Public transit is dreadful because of those in charge look on it as being something for poor people who can't afford a car, or people who have nothing else to do other than sit on a bus all day that takes much longer than it would to drive. "

Then why is Caltrain called the Tech Train?

"Public transit should be innovative, clean, efficient, reliable, and affordable as a viable alternative to solo driving."

I want a pony too.

Bottom line is that we don't have enough density to support what you want. Simplly not enough people and land use policies that encourage spreading out of business areas up and down the peninsula.


maguro_01
Registered user
Mountain View
on Feb 21, 2022 at 6:24 pm
maguro_01, Mountain View
Registered user
on Feb 21, 2022 at 6:24 pm

There was a recent news story, Web Link , indicating that the BART-Downtown San Jose link will double in cost to over $9 billion and take years more to build. Every year that goes by greatly increases the costs, of course. That suggests that it may never be built. Why are these projects such a hemorrhage that it is no longer practical to build them? AFAIK, there isn't even a plan to run the Caltrain San Francisco terminus to the new SF Transbay Transit Center though there is a whole level in the center for it. Likely it will be too expensive to build. Both projects should meet requirements for density and so on.

One reason is the "process" that takes more than a dozen years to go through reviews and then more reviews, lawsuits, and then more lawsuits, and likely more engineering and planning as a result at each step. A project can be stopped cold at any stage up to opening day by yet another lawsuit. At each step of the process very expensive people make a lot of money. That means that our system creates incentives to delay actual construction progress wherever possible. In economic systems, incentive means a lot. What you "incentivize" you get.

Many suits seem to be brought by citizens just interested in scarcity and higher prices for their houses.

Of course there are other reasons. Construction here has to be earthquake resistant, yet permanent compared to commercial work. And also designed for very high heat and flooding. Material and energy costs continue to increase. Possibly organizations like BART and VTA don't maintain that much experience in managing large projects and can't keep people who do. Ditto the towns and cities that site the projects. There is quite a long supervisory chain between the varied sources of funds and the actual planning and work which doesn't help.




maguro_01
Registered user
Mountain View
on Feb 21, 2022 at 7:33 pm
maguro_01, Mountain View
Registered user
on Feb 21, 2022 at 7:33 pm

I visited Shenzhen, China in 1991 and remember a transit system they had there. Passenger vans, operated by a couple usually, would be driving by and a customer would wave one down. They would stop and ask where you were going. They would then answer yes or no. No was OK, it just meant that where you were going didn't fit well enough where other people on the bus were going. So you flag down another. The operators were doing a continuous routing process through their day and would calculate a fare when you boarded as well. That would have been a approximation for your distance, but inexpensive and competitive.

Today it could be done with a cell phone app. Enter to and from, get a fare amount and ETA, click OK and a van would be sent to you with at least one seat for you. A server app would have picked a van with about the right route and calculate the charges. Someday the driver function could be automated, but not for a few years anyway. Such an urban service would be a most difficult self driving problem even for a geomapped system.

Has this been done already? Has it been done in Shenzhen? The most suburban addresses with the little cul de sacs, etc, are unserviceable and designed that way, but more urban landscapes could work. ??


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 21, 2022 at 8:04 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Feb 21, 2022 at 8:04 pm

Public transit is being done by Google, sorry not public but employee transit.

As Maguro suggests, Luxury Buses could travel up and down the Peninsula on both 101 and 280 with an app to hail a bus at any certain off ramps with real time information on where the buses are. The bus will stay on the highway unless the app tells the driver that someone wants to get on or there is a rider wanting to get off.

We don't need trains, stations, rails, it just takes innovation to start. Uber, Lyft, Zip Cars, all started with innovation. We have the technology, we just need to get someone to start innovating.

Other ideas are bound to follow. Entrepreneurs and innovators are all that are necessary to improve public transit.


Me 2
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Feb 21, 2022 at 9:37 pm
Me 2, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Feb 21, 2022 at 9:37 pm

"Public transit is being done by Google, sorry not public but employee transit."

Google has a limited number of campuses and employee stops. They can also restrict to certain hours.

Public transit by the government can't / won't do that. It has to serve everyone and go everywhere and be available many more hours a day. Heck, SF MUNI tried to reduce the number of stops of its heavily traveled 38-Geary line to improve service times. The damn bus stopped a practically every corner in the Tenderloin. But because of activist and public outcry, no stops were left behind.

Better crappy service to please a few number of folks rather than efficient service for more people.

That's your government-run services in a nutshell.


Eeyore (formerly StarSpring)
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 25, 2022 at 3:10 pm
Eeyore (formerly StarSpring), Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Feb 25, 2022 at 3:10 pm

I love the toll lanes and do not find them confusing in the least, perhaps that is because I spend a fair amount of time in the East Bay where they have been in operation for years.


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