Transportation Officials Seek Comments On Bay Area HOV Lane Policies

August 11, 2020 10:00 am · 22 comments

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission is asking Bay Area residents to learn about, and comment on, regional express lane toll policies during a public comment period that runs through Sept. 9.

This comment period, which began Sunday, will culminate in a “virtual” public hearing as part of MTC’s Sept. 23 public meeting schedule.

Commuters and other travelers can learn about MTC’s express lane and toll policies on the MTC website at and submit comments by email to

When toll operations begin on the new 11-mile Martinez-to-Walnut Creek express lane segment of Interstate Highway 680, there will be a continuous 23-mile southbound express lane running the length of Contra Costa County.

In advance of opening the new 11-mile extension in early 2021, MTC’s Bay Area Infrastructure Financing Authority affiliate must adopt rules for how tolling will work. The Financing Authority proposes to amend its existing Toll Facility Ordinance to set tolling rules for the Martinez-to-Walnut Creek segment identical to those already in place for the existing express lanes in both directions of I-680 between Walnut Creek and San Ramon. Those rules include:

  • Hours of operation – 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • High-occupancy vehicle (HOV) eligibility is two or more persons in the vehicle
  • Eligible HOVs with two or more persons would pay no toll; solo drivers would pay the full toll. A minimum toll of $0.50 per toll zone would apply
  • Clean air vehicles would pay a half-price toll
  • FasTrak transponders will be required for all vehicles, including eligible for reduced tolls
  • Toll enforcement would be automated using license plate cameras as on existing Express Lanes. If a vehicle does not have a FasTrak account, a violation notice would be issued by the toll system
  • Toll violation penalties would be set equal to those charged by Bay Area Transportation Authority, currently $25 for the first notice and $70 for the second notice. California Highway Patrol would enforce vehicle occupancy requirements, illegal crossing of double white lines and other rules.

The meeting webcast, as well as a link and a phone number for participation via Zoom, will be posted on the MTC website at

RANDOM TASK August 11, 2020 at 10:36 AM

Wow the MTC is trying to sound gracious and inviting

Just like when they raised the bridge tolls to fix the roads and stole the money to buy a building In SF and renovate it ….as the seller learned it was public money the price was doubled which they happily paid and moved from Oakland to SF so they could also bill the tax payers for bridge tolls everyday for employees

So I am sorry if I don’t trust or support any liberal MTC RIP OFFS
As the whole article is basically about fines and fees and not traffic as they again used road money to do what put in a fee lane so they can take even more money
Next I see them putting up readers at freeway entrances and charging you every time you use it ….laugh but it’s coming

Funny how place readers against crime in this state is opposed
But put up a plate reader to bilk more money From citizens with no ties or purpose accept for liberals to fund illegals or line their pockets

This state is so corrupt they are ripping each other off daily
while they fee us to death with taxes and bonds and fee and tolls and the state is falling apart more and more

Still the voters keep a dem controlled corrupt system with no one checking to make sure we are not being scammed

So eat it up and pay up
You wanted them to have the power now they are taking everything from you

WC August 11, 2020 at 11:06 AM

How many ways can they find to get revenue from us. Gas tax no enough to cover the roads, so they HOV lanes with ridiculous pricing. What’s next fast lane is a $1 a mile then the next lane over is 75 cents, next one 50 cents etc.

Why are ‘clean air’ vehicles paying half price when they don’t even pay the gas tax.

Total mismanagement here for years.

Stove August 11, 2020 at 12:12 PM

don’t give them any more ideas for fees to make up

Oh yeah August 11, 2020 at 11:20 AM

So who checks to see if there really ARE two or more in the car? Setting the FasTrak to 2 or 3 doesn’t prove anything! Always lots of cheaters out there!!

Tired August 11, 2020 at 12:59 PM

I applaud those that do that. Your tax dollars paid for these roads, that you then pay for. Thats bull

Ricardoh August 11, 2020 at 11:33 AM

These guys are as bad as Wave Broadband which tried to jack up my bill $91 a month. We paid for these highways and we keep paying for these highways and because they can’t plan to have these highways keep up with the population growth all they can come up with is for those who can to pay even more. Funny thing is that if enough people pay and get in those lanes eventually they will be going slower than the free lanes. I am so glad I am retired and no longer have to sit in traffic.

Original G August 11, 2020 at 11:49 AM

So fortunate not to have to deal with any of it, and have no need of FasTrak. Won’t set foot in cesspool that SF has become.

Charges a stealth way to improve revenue stream for an agency with, how many levels of management ?
An how many managers and outside contract workers for each front line employee ?

How many management positions were eliminated when they axed all those toll taker workers ?

Googlar August 11, 2020 at 11:55 AM

HOV lanes increase traffic and reduce safety by removing a fully functional lane and putting it behind a paywall. They increase gross greenhouse emissions by increasing congestion. They are a revenue collection racket and hallmarks of a class based society. On a taxpayer funded and public road all citizens should be equal but on express lanes citizens with more money have more freedoms.

HOV lanes are a scam. We were forced into paying for the construction of something that allows a private company to collect money from citizens for driving on the roads citizens paid to create and maintain.

Anonymous August 12, 2020 at 1:29 PM

Agree 100%. All lanes should be free and open. No diamond or toll lanes. The public owns those freeways.

TraumaRx August 11, 2020 at 11:57 AM

Let’s keep it rolling dems. How about free Fast Trak and free toll crossing to all illegal immigrants. Even better all non white. My hard earned tax dollars are well spent already! Recall Nusiance!

The Fearless Spectator August 11, 2020 at 5:16 PM

There is a rumor that a BLM sticker is considered HOV compliant.

Reason August 11, 2020 at 12:14 PM

Wait till they start charging a fee for the number of miles you drive per year. Yeah, it’s being considered.

ClayDen August 11, 2020 at 12:27 PM

Since the greatest amount of air pollution is when cars are stuck in heavy traffic, and if the goal is to reduce air pollution, they should prohibit all electric cars and hybrids from using the HOV lanes. They should also assess an extra fee on their registration, as they are using less or no gasoline and thus not paying their fair share of gas taxes to maintain the roads. However, if the real goal is social engineering………….

Ancient Mariner August 11, 2020 at 12:58 PM

Soon we’ll have to change the name from ‘freeway’ to ‘turnpike’.

Sam Malone August 11, 2020 at 1:22 PM

Another stupid idea from the Dem’s. HOV lanes are a joke as they never truly catch the cheats that I see in those lanes daily. HOV’s just make traffic worse than it was before. What a waste of time and money used in constructing the HOV lanes. Like it has been said before useless politicians not doing their jobs and inventing new ways to tax and waste hard earned money from the “racists” who support this country. If you want socialism so much move to a socialist country and leave the rest of us alone.

Recall each and everyone of the loser politicians and learn DO NOT VOTE THEM BACK INTO OFFICE GOING FORWARD or any other CANDIDATE THAT SUPPORTS THEIR CRAP!

anon August 11, 2020 at 1:52 PM

Fastpass being 100% required makes things a nightmare for out of towners and tourists.

Cowellian August 11, 2020 at 2:06 PM

Car rental agencies will bill your credit card when they get toll notices, and they charge a substantial convenience fee for taking care of tolls. We kept our FasTrak, and bring it to California when we visit. I never used express lanes when I was commuting, but it is definitely worthwhile when I’m playing tourist.

Cautiously Informed August 11, 2020 at 3:19 PM

Here’s a comment: Why are we endlessly and incessantly taxed over and over again, by the parasitic politicians?

Googlar August 11, 2020 at 3:48 PM

Because the people who have a net negative impact on economy outvote the people who have a net positive impact on economy.

The Fearless Spectator August 12, 2020 at 9:35 AM

Well said. California is run like a socialist state.

And to quote Margaret Thatcher: “The problem with socialism is eventually you run out of other people’s money”.

Governor Newsom complains that all the stimulus money is allocated. He threatens to cut programs that working people care about.
He wants more money from the Feds. He wants more money from us.
How else can he continue to recklessly spend?

Ash August 11, 2020 at 8:04 PM

they suck like the MTC

Anonymous August 12, 2020 at 1:31 PM

California born and raised. Twenty years in SoCal and forty years in the SF Bay Area. I can’t wait to get out. Utah and Idaho are looking really good.

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