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News Release

MTC Invites Residents to Weigh In On Proposed Amendments to Express Lane Toll Policies

Changes Would OK Pilot Programs, Allow Modification of Penalties by Board Resolution, Aid Emergency Operations
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Credit
Noah Berger
Contact
John Goodwin 415.778.5262

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and its Bay Area Infrastructure Financing Authority (BAIFA) affiliate invite Bay Area residents to learn about and comment on proposed changes to the Express Lane Toll Facility Ordinance during a public comment period that begins today and will continue through May 24, 2022.

Express Lanes are carpool lanes that give priority to buses and carpools but also are open to other drivers who choose to pay a toll for a faster, more reliable trip. To maintain the Express Lanes’ speed and reliability edge, tolls rise or fall based on traffic levels. Travelers can learn more about MTC’s Express Lanes and toll policies at https://mtc.ca.gov/express-lanes-policies and submit comments via a survey tool on the same website. The comment period will culminate with a hybrid in-person/virtual Public Hearing conducted as part of MTC’s May 25, 2022 meeting schedule. Those who prefer to submit comments by email may send email to expresslanes@bayareametro.gov

The Toll Facility Ordinance establishes Express Lane tolls, a toll collection process, and civil penalties for the evasion of tolls on MTC Express Lanes. These include the Express Lanes on Interstate 880 in Alameda County and I-680 in Contra Costa County. MTC is considering a toll discount pilot for low-income drivers on the I-880 Express Lanes and proposes the following three policy changes:

  • Authorize MTC and BAIFA to conduct pilot projects to test alternate tolling and discount policies and new technologies for up to 36 months;
  • Authorize MTC and BAIFA to modify Express Lane toll violation penalty amounts and exceptions to the assessment of penalties by a board resolution adopted at a duly noticed public meeting; and
  • Define the MTC and BAIFA executive director’s authority to suspend or reduce Express Lane tolls or penalties, or modify policies in the ordinance to respond to emergencies.

The public hearing will take place during BAIFA’s regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 at 9:05 a.m. In accordance with Assembly Bill 361, which allows remote public meetings, the meeting will be conducted via webcast, teleconference and Zoom. Detailed instructions for participating via Zoom and phone are available at http://mtc.ca.gov/meetings-events/how-provide-public-comment-board-meeting-zoom. The meeting webcast, as well as a link and a phone number for participation via Zoom, will be posted on the MTC website at http://mtc.ca.gov/whats-happening/meetings. Meeting attendees may opt to attend in person for public comment and observation at 375 Beale Street (1st Floor) in San Francisco. In-person attendees must adhere to posted public health protocols while in the building.

Interested members of the public are encouraged to submit written comments by May 20, 2022 online at https://mtc.ca.gov/express-lanes-policies, by mail to MTC’s Public Information Office at 375 Beale Street, Suite 800, San Francisco, CA 94105, or via email at expresslanes@bayareametro.gov (please include “BAIFA Toll Ordinance” in the subject line). Comments also may be left on MTC’s public information phone line at (415) 778-6757. All comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. on May 24, 2022. After receiving comments, BAIFA will consider adoption of the toll facility ordinance amendments at its June 22, 2022 meeting.

MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.