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Home>Projects and Programs>Highway>VTA Silicon Valley Express Lanes Program

VTA Silicon Valley Express Lanes Program

What are Express Lanes?

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.

The 880-237 Express Lanes currently in operation can save a driver approximately 14 minutes when traffic in the general purpose lanes is backed up. Please visit our How to Use Express Lanes website for more information on FasTrak and how to use the 880-237 Express Lanes. 

The VTA Express Lanes Program comes at a crucial time as Santa Clara County prepares for a 38% growth in population and a 62% increase in jobs (668,000 new residents and 540,000 new jobs) in the period between 2010 and 2035. Funding for transportation improvements is projected at only a fraction of that amount.

VTA is participating in the region's planned 550-mile network of express lanes; additional details are available at Network Vision. For a regional perspective, please visit the Metropolitan Transportation Commision Express Lanes webpage

(Full version of map)

The VTA Silicon Valley Express Lanes Program is a network that includes the SR 237 and SR 85 / US 101 freeways. The program is authorized for 2 corridors. 
See SR 237 Express Lanes ProjectSR 85/US 101 Express Lanes Project, and Express Lanes Plans to learn more.

In March of 2012, VTA began operation of Santa Clara County’s first express lanes on the SR 237/I-880 corridor. In the [August 2014 SR 237 Express Lanes Fiscal Year 2014 Update to the VTA Board of Directors], it was noted that the SR 237 Express Lanes has served over 1.3 million toll paying vehicles, about 120,000 vehicle hours of travel time savings have been gained in the corridor and $2.5 million has been generated since it opened for tolling. Read here to learn more about this successful VTA express lane system and how to use it.

Project Benefits

  • More efficient use of existing roadways
  • Provides a new, reliable travel option
  • Travel times improve in all lanes
  • Dynamic toll pricing helps limit overcrowding in express lane
  • Provides a new revenue stream tor transportation and corridor improvements (California Streets and Highways Code Section 149.6[e][3])

Project Schedules

Pilot Project Schedule

Spring 2015: Implementation will take approximately one week requiring night work with lane closures. Approximately six median roadway signs, along southbound I-880 and westbound SR 237, would be replaced (e.g. signs saying “No exit to Zanker Rd or N First St,” to be replaced with “No exit to Zanker Rd”). 
Spring - Fall 2015: Analysis of traffic conditions will take place during the monitoring of the facility’s mobility, operations, and safety to determine if the dashed stripe will remain permanent or the double solid white stripe buffer will be restored.
Late 2015: Completion of pilot project
Early 2016: Announcement of pilot results - dashed striping will stay

SR 237 Express Lanes Phase 2 Project

2015              Complete project approval and environmental documents
Mid 2017      Start construction pending funding
Late 2018     Open express lanes for service pending funding

SR 85/US101 Express Lanes Project

2015               Complete project approval and environmental document
Early 2016    Begin design phase
Early 2018    Start construction pending funding
Early 2020    Open express lanes for service pending funding

  • Overview
  • What are Express Lanes?

    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.

    The 880-237 Express Lanes currently in operation can save a driver approximately 14 minutes when traffic in the general purpose lanes is backed up. Please visit our How to Use Express Lanes website for more information on FasTrak and how to use the 880-237 Express Lanes. 

    The VTA Express Lanes Program comes at a crucial time as Santa Clara County prepares for a 38% growth in population and a 62% increase in jobs (668,000 new residents and 540,000 new jobs) in the period between 2010 and 2035. Funding for transportation improvements is projected at only a fraction of that amount.

    VTA is participating in the region's planned 550-mile network of express lanes; additional details are available at Network Vision. For a regional perspective, please visit the Metropolitan Transportation Commision Express Lanes webpage

    (Full version of map)

    The VTA Silicon Valley Express Lanes Program is a network that includes the SR 237 and SR 85 / US 101 freeways. The program is authorized for 2 corridors. 
    See SR 237 Express Lanes ProjectSR 85/US 101 Express Lanes Project, and Express Lanes Plans to learn more.

    In March of 2012, VTA began operation of Santa Clara County’s first express lanes on the SR 237/I-880 corridor. In the [August 2014 SR 237 Express Lanes Fiscal Year 2014 Update to the VTA Board of Directors], it was noted that the SR 237 Express Lanes has served over 1.3 million toll paying vehicles, about 120,000 vehicle hours of travel time savings have been gained in the corridor and $2.5 million has been generated since it opened for tolling. Read here to learn more about this successful VTA express lane system and how to use it.

    Project Benefits

    • More efficient use of existing roadways
    • Provides a new, reliable travel option
    • Travel times improve in all lanes
    • Dynamic toll pricing helps limit overcrowding in express lane
    • Provides a new revenue stream tor transportation and corridor improvements (California Streets and Highways Code Section 149.6[e][3])
  • Schedule
  • Project Schedules

    Pilot Project Schedule

    Spring 2015: Implementation will take approximately one week requiring night work with lane closures. Approximately six median roadway signs, along southbound I-880 and westbound SR 237, would be replaced (e.g. signs saying “No exit to Zanker Rd or N First St,” to be replaced with “No exit to Zanker Rd”). 
    Spring - Fall 2015: Analysis of traffic conditions will take place during the monitoring of the facility’s mobility, operations, and safety to determine if the dashed stripe will remain permanent or the double solid white stripe buffer will be restored.
    Late 2015: Completion of pilot project
    Early 2016: Announcement of pilot results - dashed striping will stay

    SR 237 Express Lanes Phase 2 Project

    2015              Complete project approval and environmental documents
    Mid 2017      Start construction pending funding
    Late 2018     Open express lanes for service pending funding

    SR 85/US101 Express Lanes Project

    2015               Complete project approval and environmental document
    Early 2016    Begin design phase
    Early 2018    Start construction pending funding
    Early 2020    Open express lanes for service pending funding

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