Southbound I-680 Express Lane From Martinez To Walnut Creek To Begin Toll Operations Aug.20

July 21, 2021 8:00 am · 19 comments

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission on Tuesday announced that an express lane along an 11-mile stretch of southbound Interstate Highway 680 from Martinez through Walnut Creek will begin charging tolls next month.

The tolling operations will begin at 5 a.m. on Aug. 20 and will connect with the existing 11-mile express lane from Rudgear Road in Walnut Creek to Alcosta Boulevard in San Ramon, according to the MTC.

To use the express lane, drivers must have a FasTrak toll tag, with carpoolers needing a FasTrak Flex toll tag set to the 2 or 3+ position. People driving solo can pay half-price toll if they have eligible clean-air vehicles and have a FasTrak CAV toll tag.

The express lane operates from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. and tolls fluctuate depending on the level of traffic on the highway.

People can visit 511.org to learn more about the express lanes or to sign up for FasTrak.

Nope! July 21, 2021 at 8:31 AM

What? I thought Kalifornistan was all about the struggling, low-income and oppressed workers? This “Express Lane” will let the rich people blow thru traffic while forcing everyone else into even MORE congested traffic lanes.

Wally July 21, 2021 at 10:29 AM

While everyone is grinding in bumper-to-bumper traffic on 680, I’ll keep coasting for free along Danville Blvd. to avoid the logjam. Save the toll fee for my next trip to Lin’s Buffet and Coldstone Creamery in Pleasant Hill 😄

ERas July 21, 2021 at 4:34 PM

@Wally
Ummm.. I got some bad news for you on your restaurant choices…

Tsa July 21, 2021 at 9:11 AM

What, you mean there is no exception for POC, surely this is a racist act. John Burris to the rescue soon!

chuckie the troll July 21, 2021 at 12:35 PM

That ‘exception’ would increase the use of blackface…or extreme tanning booth encounters.

Mike July 21, 2021 at 1:02 PM

It’s unfair that these POC get to live rent free in your head too!

Sick of it July 21, 2021 at 9:16 AM

I hate this BS. A lane that was paid for by our tax money that can only be used if we pay to use it. It belongs to all of us that paid for it.

MikeT July 21, 2021 at 9:29 AM

So, let me see if I understand this correctly. Tax payers paid to have the freeway built, tax payers pay to maintain it, and now, Tax payers have to pay to use it. Pretty much sounds like California, which is, screw the tax payer

Schmee July 21, 2021 at 9:51 AM

I don’t know about this stretch because I haven’t commuted to San Ramon since pandemic BC but when I used to pay $8 to use the lane from San Ramon coming back to Walnut Creek after work it might save 10 min maybe leaving at 330pm- not sure about 5pm. There’s too many rich people and drivers in their company vehicles that use the lane and it’s backed up as well…. Kinda pointless.

Just a pure money grab IMO.

Mitch July 21, 2021 at 10:12 AM

Use tax money to build roads, then sell access back to us.

Lanes for the rich and more so, for government bureaucrats, who don’t pay their own fastrack bills.

Amazing state we got here, and not in a good way.

RECALL NEWSOM!

Barbosa July 21, 2021 at 10:54 AM

Is this a bad time to mention that we EV owners can use these lanes without charge? Nope, I better not mention it.

Sam July 21, 2021 at 12:22 PM

Cartel tactics used on tax payers by the state of california. We already paid for the road now they make us pay to use it. Wow. Something needs to change. I’m not leaving. This is my state.

You can’t buy and EV 3/4ton 4×4.

chuckie the troll July 21, 2021 at 12:39 PM

Mitch-
We found an answer to this problem. Moved out of Kleptofornica. Made the Fastpass people refund the balance on our account. And then did something illegal with the transponder. When I read about the Newsome Laundry list of taxes and programs, it makes me so happy we got out in time.

Badge1104 July 21, 2021 at 11:12 AM

I’ve always thought these Lanes run Fair. People that can pay $8 and use them while you’re average person an average and lower worker cannot afford an extra $8 a day so they have to sit in traffic. Isn’t that unfair?
And these lanes that help affluent people breathe through cause even slower traffic for everyone else in the other Remaining lanes.

Doh July 21, 2021 at 11:56 AM

These new toll roads are being paid for with the bridge toll and gas tax increases. We already paid for these roads. This is not just CA making toll lanes and roads. I have seen it in Virginia also.

Crolique July 21, 2021 at 1:37 PM

Except in many places these lane already existed (WC-Dublin) as HOV lanes, operating as HOV during weekdays, only during certain limited times of the day. Nothing new was built except for the poles with toll info/cameras/toll readers.My biggest beef is with the expanded hours.

Jeff (the other one) July 21, 2021 at 1:22 PM

How far in the distance are we from instead of a fast track lane where you pay to use a single, presumably less trafficked lane, each lane requires a toll/tax/”fee,” regardless of HOV status or EV? I think the thirst for tax payer revenue in this state is unslakable. They are driving a fair amount of industry (tax revenue generators) away to more business friendly states. Gotta fill that hole, why not commuters?

parent July 21, 2021 at 4:20 PM

I do not think we are very far at all … and our roads will still be one of the worst in the United States!

Maybe spend some money on the roads instead of this go-nowhere high speed rail project.

sam malone July 22, 2021 at 10:12 AM

The taxation is past ridiculousness. Stop it already.

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