February 11, 2022
New express lanes on US 101 and SR-85 are now operating!
The 101 San Mateo Express Lanes are operated by the San Mateo County Express Lanes Joint Powers Authority and run north and southbound between Whipple Avenue in Redwood City and the San Mateo/Santa Clara County line. The 101 Santa Clara Express Lanes are operated by VTA and run north and southbound from SR-237 to the Santa Clara/San Mateo County line. The lanes adjoin each other but are operated by separate authorities, so separate toll charges will appear when crossing the San Mateo/Santa Clara County border.
The SR-85 Express Lanes are located between Central Expressway and the 101/SR-85 interchange in Mountain View and are operated by VTA.
Here are rules for the new express lanes:
- All vehicles must have a FasTrak® toll tag to use the express lanes;
- Three-person carpools, vanpools, buses, two-seat vehicles carrying two people and motorcycles with a FasTrak Flex toll tag set to the 3+ position travel toll free;
- Two-person carpools with a FasTrak Flex toll tag set to the 2+ position pay half-price tolls;
- Solo drivers of eligible clean-air vehicles (CAVs) with a FasTrak CAV toll tag set in the 1 position pay half-price tolls. Eligible CAVs are those with yellow, blue, orange or purple decals. Drivers can apply for a FasTrak CAV toll tag here; and
- Other solo drivers pay the full toll to use the Express Lanes with either a standard FasTrak toll tag or a FasTrak Flex tag set to the 1 position.
Operating hours for express lanes are weekdays from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Toll prices adjust dynamically depending on real-time traffic levels (rise as traffic increases and fall as traffic declines). Digital signs over the roadway display the toll rates for various destinations. Customers always pay the toll displayed when they enter the express lane, even if toll rates change during their trip. Toll-paying customers pay for each toll zone they enter. There are three toll zones on the 101 San Mateo Express Lanes (two northbound, one southbound), 11 toll zones on the 101 Santa Clara Express Lanes (six northbound and five southbound) and two toll zones on the SR-85 Express Lanes (one northbound and one southbound).
Express lanes are designed to keep traffic moving reliably without congestion, and to encourage travelers to carpool or use transit to get a faster trip. Learn more about using the express lanes at https://www.bayareafastrak.org/en/tolls/toll-locations.shtml. Learn how to find a carpool match at 511.org.
Category: Express Lanes