Drivers on the SR 237 corridor may notice activity on the new overhead Express Lane toll signs this week. Don’t be alarmed! VTA is just testing the toll system to prepare for the opening of the Express Lanes extension later this fall.
Set to begin operating in mid- to late-November, the Phase II extension will bring express lane operations west to Mathilda Avenue in Sunnyvale. VTA opened Phase I, which starts near Dixon Landing Road in Milpitas and includes the I-880/SR 237 connector, back in March 2012.
New Lanes. New Rules.
With the opening of the extension come some new rule changes for the entire SR 237 Express Lanes corridor. The most important rule change is that every driver using the express lanes will now be required to have a FasTrak transponder. This includes carpoolers, drivers of clean air vehicles, and motorcyclists. While the need for a transponder is new to SR 237, this has already been the practice for Express Lanes on I-580 and on I-680 in Contra Costa County.
Carpoolers and motorcyclists can continue to use the lane for free, but only with the adjustable FasTrak Flex toll tag. Motorcyclists should move the switch to the 3+ position before beginning their trip.
CAVs Need to HAVe a Toll Tag
Drivers of eligible clean-air vehicles (CAVs) will now be required to pay to use the Express Lane, at a 50% discount. To receive this discount, drivers must register their eligible vehicle on the Fastrak website and upload their CAV certificate. They’ll then receive a special CAV transponder and have tolls deducted at the reduced price.
SR 237 Express Lanes will now operate from 5:00 am – 8:00 pm, which is consistent with all other Bay Area Express Lane facilities. At all other times, the lane will be available to regular traffic.
Drivers who enter the Express Lanes without a valid FasTrak account will receive a violation notice in the mail, requiring drivers to pay the initial toll amount and a penalty.
Get prepared by registering for a FasTrak transponder in advance. To get yours, visit 511.org.