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Moving Forward on Express Lanes Development

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Phase 3 of the successful Silicon Valley Express Lanes Program is well on its way into the design phase, with construction expected to begin in early 2019 (pending funding). 

The Program began with Phase 1, VTA’s now-existing express lanes on State Route 237 (SR 237), from Interstate 880 (I-880) to First Street, which produced an average time savings during commute hours of about 7 minutes for the 2017 fiscal year.

An express lane is a lane to be used by carpoolers, motorcyclists, and clean-air vehicles (with applicable decals) for free, AND single occupant vehicles that pay a toll with a FasTrak® transponder.

Phase 2 of VTA’s Program, completing conversion of all remaining carpool lanes on SR 237 to express lanes operations from First Street to Mathilda Avenue in Sunnyvale is expected to open in fall 2019.

VTA took the somewhat unique path of funding construction via a bank loan backed by toll revenues generated from the already operating Phase 1 segment and other VTA controlled funds.

Close to two-thirds of the design work is finished for the Phase 3 project of the Program, implementing express lanes on US 101 for the first time from near SR 237 through the US 101/SR 85 interchange in Mountain View to the Santa Clara/San Mateo county line. 

This conversion of existing carpool lanes to express lanes operations will provide congestion relief and travel time savings and a more reliable commute to an even larger portion of the commuting public. This implementation also includes conversion of the direct carpool lane to carpool lane connectors at the US 101/SR 85 in Mountain View that includes the transition of the carpool lanes on SR 85 into the express lanes through the interchange.

The VTA Program comes at a crucial time as Santa Clara County prepares for a 38% growth in population and a 62% increase in jobs over the next 25 years, while funding for transportation improvements is limited.
 
VTA’s implementation of express lanes in Santa Clara County is part of the region's planned 550-mile network of express lanes throughout the Bay Area.  Additional details are available at Network Vision.  For a regional perspective, please visit the Metropolitan Transportation Commission Express Lanes webpage.

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