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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 Using 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 (approximately 555,000 new residents and 445,000 new jobs) in the period between 2010 and 2040 while funding for transportation improvements is limited.

VTA is participating in the region's planned 550-mile network of express lanes. For a regional perspective, please visit the Metropolitan Transportation Commision's Bay Area Express Lanes webpage

Silicon Valley Express Lanes

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 have 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 (Extension to Mathilda)

June 2015        Completed project approval and environmental document
August 2017    Completed final design
January 2018   Start construction
Fall 2019          Open express lanes for service

SR 85/US101 Express Lanes Phase 3 Project

2015-2017         Begin design phase - pending funding
Early 2019        Start construction - pending funding
Summer 2021   Open express lanes for service - pending funding

Q: Will the cameras on SR 237 take a picture of my license plate and charge me the toll automatically, so I can pay the toll without my FasTrak transponder?

A: No. Unlike the Bay Area bridge toll equipment, there are currently no cameras to capture vehicle license plates on SR 237 Express Lanes. A single occupant driver must carry a FasTrak transponder or risk being cited for a carpool violation by the California Highway Patrol.

 

Q: Are the costs of building the Express Lanes covered by the toll revenue you collect?

A: Yes. The VTA led SR 237 Express Lanes have been operating with net revenue since they opened in March 2012.

 

Q: How does VTA spend the Express Lane toll revenue?

A: The decision of how those net revenues will be spent will be based on a future expenditure plan that will have to be approved by the VTA Board of Directors.

 

Q: Can I use my FasTrak the entire length of 237? I want to drive from Milpitas all the way to 101 in Mountain View a lot faster?

A: Not yet. The current 237 Express Lanes are 6.5 miles long in the Westbound direction, and 4.5 miles long in the Eastbound direction. VTA is currently in the design phase of extending the Express Lanes on SR 237 to Mathilda Avenue. More information is available on our Projects and Programs website.

 

Q: Is it true that during non-HOV hours, there will be fewer lanes and more congestion?

A: The opposite is true. Our Express Lanes only operate during the peak commute hours. During non-commute hours (mid-day, night time, weekends) the Express Lanes are open to all traffic for free.

Express Lanes Program Fact Sheets

English

Mexico  Vietnamese  Simplified Chinese Korea
 Philippines
 

HOT Lanes Equity Report

Silicon Valley Express Lanes Program Implementation Assessment and Plan

  • 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 Using 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 (approximately 555,000 new residents and 445,000 new jobs) in the period between 2010 and 2040 while funding for transportation improvements is limited.

    VTA is participating in the region's planned 550-mile network of express lanes. For a regional perspective, please visit the Metropolitan Transportation Commision's Bay Area Express Lanes webpage

    Silicon Valley Express Lanes

    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 have 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 (Extension to Mathilda)

    June 2015        Completed project approval and environmental document
    August 2017    Completed final design
    January 2018   Start construction
    Fall 2019          Open express lanes for service

    SR 85/US101 Express Lanes Phase 3 Project

    2015-2017         Begin design phase - pending funding
    Early 2019        Start construction - pending funding
    Summer 2021   Open express lanes for service - pending funding

  • FAQs
  • Q: Will the cameras on SR 237 take a picture of my license plate and charge me the toll automatically, so I can pay the toll without my FasTrak transponder?

    A: No. Unlike the Bay Area bridge toll equipment, there are currently no cameras to capture vehicle license plates on SR 237 Express Lanes. A single occupant driver must carry a FasTrak transponder or risk being cited for a carpool violation by the California Highway Patrol.

     

    Q: Are the costs of building the Express Lanes covered by the toll revenue you collect?

    A: Yes. The VTA led SR 237 Express Lanes have been operating with net revenue since they opened in March 2012.

     

    Q: How does VTA spend the Express Lane toll revenue?

    A: The decision of how those net revenues will be spent will be based on a future expenditure plan that will have to be approved by the VTA Board of Directors.

     

    Q: Can I use my FasTrak the entire length of 237? I want to drive from Milpitas all the way to 101 in Mountain View a lot faster?

    A: Not yet. The current 237 Express Lanes are 6.5 miles long in the Westbound direction, and 4.5 miles long in the Eastbound direction. VTA is currently in the design phase of extending the Express Lanes on SR 237 to Mathilda Avenue. More information is available on our Projects and Programs website.

     

    Q: Is it true that during non-HOV hours, there will be fewer lanes and more congestion?

    A: The opposite is true. Our Express Lanes only operate during the peak commute hours. During non-commute hours (mid-day, night time, weekends) the Express Lanes are open to all traffic for free.

  • Library
  • Express Lanes Program Fact Sheets

    English

    Mexico  Vietnamese  Simplified Chinese Korea
     Philippines
     

    HOT Lanes Equity Report

    Silicon Valley Express Lanes Program Implementation Assessment and Plan

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