cars in express lanes
US 101/SR 85 Gets a Makeover in Preparation for New Express Lanes
10/12/2021

VTA’s new US 101/SR 85 Express Lanes continue to take shape, with new roadway striping and pavement markings now being installed with nighttime work. Work is scheduled to last through Wednesday, October 27.

The opening of the lanes is approaching. The markings are being changed now to help avoid any weather-related construction delays later in the year. In addition to the installation of pavement markings and new signage, the Express Lanes will undergo additional system testing before beginning tolling operations. In the meantime, drivers in the lane will continue to observe the current HOV requirements – two or more occupants during the peak hours of 5:00 am – 9:00 am and 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm.

This is the third phase in VTA’s Silicon Valley Express Lanes program, spanning eight miles on US 101 from near SR 237 to the Santa Clara County line in Palo Alto, as well as SR 85 from SR 237/Grant Road to the US 101/SR 85 interchange in Mountain View. It also includes the US 101/SR 85 carpool lane-to-carpool lane direct connector ramps.

San Mateo County is also installing Express lanes along the US 101 corridor, where the first phase of their project will begin at the county line and run to Whipple Avenue in Redwood City. Agencies are working in coordination to open these Express Lane projects at the same time to provide a seamless transition for drivers.

Express Lane operating rules for VTA’s US 101/SR 85 Express Lanes will be consistent with those currently in place on the SR 237 Express Lanes. That includes a change to HOV3+ occupancy requirements for free travel and expanded 5:00 am to 8:00 pm operating hours. Vehicles with two occupants may receive a 50% toll discount with a FasTrak Flex toll tag.

Any driver using the Express Lanes is required to have a valid FasTrak account, so be prepared by signing up and ordering your toll tag now. Owners of eligible Clean Air Vehicles (CAVs) can receive a 50% discount on tolls with FasTrak CAV toll tag.

The faster lanes are coming soon!

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