The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), Caltrans and the City of Oakland early this morning completed work on the addition of a dedicated bus and carpool lane to the West Grand Avenue approach to the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The new lane will open to traffic in time for the westbound morning commute on Thursday, Jan. 3. The lane, which begins just west of the intersection of West Grand Avenue and Maritime Street, will be open to buses 24/7 and also can be used weekdays from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. by carpools with three or more occupants, by motorcycles and by qualifying clean-air vehicles.
Designed both to speed travel for buses and carpools, and to improve safety for all vehicles approaching the Bay Bridge toll plaza from West Grand Avenue and Interstate 880, the $2 million project involved the conversion to a traffic lane of a quarter-mile stretch of the right shoulder of the West Grand Avenue on-ramp as well as a portion of the right shoulder of the Bay Bridge approach from northbound I-880. In addition to the opening of the new bus/carpool lane, an existing cash lane near the right side of the Bay Bridge toll plaza will be converted tomorrow to a FasTrak-only lane.
The West Grand Avenue approach to the Bay Bridge is used by AC Transit’s transbay NL line as well as by thousands of carpool vehicles each day. The opening of the new bus/carpool lane will create an alternate routing option, when traffic conditions warrant, for other AC Transit transbay lines that normally approach the Bay Bridge via westbound Interstate 580 from the State Route 24/Interstate 980 interchange. To further improve travel times and reliability for San Francisco-bound buses, MTC is working with Caltrans and the City of Oakland to implement signal-priority for transit vehicles along the West Grand Avenue corridor.
MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. Caltrans owns and operates the state highway system.