Bay Area Express Lanes “Open to All” During Public Health Emergency
In light of dramatically reduced traffic levels on Bay Area freeways following this week’s declarations of shelter-in-place orders around the region, and because the promotion of carpooling is inconsistent with the urgent need for social distancing, the Bay Area’s three Express Lane operators — the Alameda County Transportation Commission, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission — will jointly cease Express Lane tolling through at least April 7 unless congestion along the Express Lane corridors warrants a return to tolling.
Beginning, Friday, March 20, at 5 a.m., Express Lanes on Interstate 580 in Alameda County; Interstate 680 in Contra Costa County; State Route 237 in Santa Clara County; and southbound I-680 over the Sunol Grade in Alameda and Santa Clara counties will be open to all motorists. Changeable electronic signs over the Express Lanes will read “Open to All.”
The decision to temporarily suspend tolling on Bay Area Express Lanes will free California Highway Patrol officers from Express Lane enforcement duties to perform more urgently needed duties during the current public health emergency.