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101 San Mateo Express Lanes

The 101 San Mateo Express Lanes are designated lanes that can be used during heavy traffic to bypass congestion. Express lanes are usually located on the far-left side of select major freeway corridors (described below) and are indicated with white descriptive text on the pavement and electronic signage above the roadway.

Location

North and southbound Whipple Avenue in Redwood City and the Santa Clara County border.

Cost

Prices adjust dynamically depending on real-time traffic levels.

Two-person carpools using a properly set FasTrak Flex or FasTrak CAV toll tag receive a 50% discount. Carpools of 3+ people and motorcycles may use the lane for FREE with a FasTrak Flex or FasTrak CAV toll tag.

Eligible clean air vehicles (CAVs) traveling as a single-occupant receive a 50% discount when using a FasTrak CAV toll tag.

NOTE: The 101/SR-85 Santa Clara Express Lanes (operated by VTA) adjoin the 101 San Mateo Express Lanes. You will see separate toll charges when you cross the San Mateo County/Santa Clara County border.

Hours of Operation

Monday through Friday from 5:00 am to 8:00 pm, both directions.

Method of Payment

FasTrak Flex
Set the switch to match the number of people in the vehicle (motorcycles and 2-seater vehicles carrying 2 people should use position 3+). Learn more about how the FasTrak Flex toll tag works.

FasTrak CAV
Set the switch to match the number of people in the vehicle (2-seater vehicles carrying 2 people should use position 3+). Solo drivers and two-person carpools will receive a 50% discount on the posted toll. Vehicles with 3+ occupants travel toll free.

Standard
The full toll will be charged.

101 San Mateo Express Lanes (opens in a new window)

Using Express Lanes

Please use the following tips to avoid common pitfalls when traveling in Bay Area express lanes:

You can only enter and exit express lanes at dashed or broken lines on the roadway or at fixed entry and exit points.

Express Lane Diagram 1

Some highway exits may not be available when driving in an express lane. Check roadside signs for details.

Express Lane Diagram 3

Example: On westbound I-580, you must leave the express lane before Hacienda if you want to exit at Dougherty or to access I-680. On eastbound I-580, do not enter the express lane if you need to exit at Santa Rita or Fallon/El Charro.

Do not cross the double white lines to enter or leave an express lane. Crossing them is a traffic violation.

Express Lane Diagram 2

Helpful hint for solo drivers: Overhead signs will display two toll rates: one for traveling through to the next zone and one to travel through until the end of the express lane. If you exit the express lane at the final posted zone, you will be charged the toll that was displayed when you entered the express lane. If you exit the express lane before the final posted zone, you will be charged a lower price.

Express Zone Pricing