News

Solo commuters on Hwy. 237 can now use carpool lanes--for a fee

Change may bring relief to crowded traffic route to jobs on Peninsula

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority has converted a stretch of carpool lanes on state Highway 237 and I-880 interchange in Milpitas into express lanes.

The 4-mile stretch allows solo drivers who previously did not qualify to use the carpool lane to use the now-classified express lanes for a fee, officials said.

The toll for solo riders to use the roads will range from 30 cents to $6, with the average toll at $3, according to transportation officials. The toll price will be based on road congestion.

Vehicles with at least two occupants can continue using the express lanes at no charge.

The express lanes will operate during the same hours as carpool lanes, with an exception of an extended hour in the morning only on westbound

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Highway 237 from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m.

The hours of operation are 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. during the evening commute."

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Sasha Lekach, Bay City News, contributed to this report.

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Solo commuters on Hwy. 237 can now use carpool lanes--for a fee

Change may bring relief to crowded traffic route to jobs on Peninsula

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Mar 20, 2012, 7:06 am
Updated: Thu, Mar 22, 2012, 7:39 am

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority has converted a stretch of carpool lanes on state Highway 237 and I-880 interchange in Milpitas into express lanes.

The 4-mile stretch allows solo drivers who previously did not qualify to use the carpool lane to use the now-classified express lanes for a fee, officials said.

The toll for solo riders to use the roads will range from 30 cents to $6, with the average toll at $3, according to transportation officials. The toll price will be based on road congestion.

Vehicles with at least two occupants can continue using the express lanes at no charge.

The express lanes will operate during the same hours as carpool lanes, with an exception of an extended hour in the morning only on westbound

Highway 237 from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m.

The hours of operation are 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. during the evening commute."

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News, contributed to this report.

Comments

nancy s.
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2012 at 11:30 am
nancy s., Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2012 at 11:30 am

Thank you for correcting the title...I was wondering who I had to "feel" to try out the new lane.


AM ??
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm
AM ??, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm

Surely you mean 5 AM to 9 A M ? ?


marym
Vineyard Hills
on Mar 20, 2012 at 7:00 pm
marym, Vineyard Hills
on Mar 20, 2012 at 7:00 pm

The express lane on I-680 south is a toll road from 5am to 8pm, so I would expect that this one would be similar.


Anon
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 22, 2012 at 9:53 am
Anon, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 22, 2012 at 9:53 am

The HOV lanes leading up to and out of the Express Lane section are 5a-9a. The express lane itself though is 5a through 10am.

The 680 lane is different at 5a-8p as noted.


Dan
Bridle Creek
on Mar 23, 2012 at 7:22 am
Dan, Bridle Creek
on Mar 23, 2012 at 7:22 am

Got tired of my hour+ commute and purchased a fast pass Wednesday. My commute into work on Thursday dropped to 43 minutes.

Worth. Every. Penny.

Dan


Vanessa
Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm
Vanessa, Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm

@Dan, boy do I agree with you!!!!! My commute also has dropped a good 15 minutes. I could not wait for the express lane to open. Truly worth it!!!!


Dan
Bridle Creek
on Mar 23, 2012 at 1:00 pm
Dan, Bridle Creek
on Mar 23, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Vanessa,

It was 38 minutes today and I didn't use the 680 toll lane.

Wow! What a breath of fresh air.

The only downside is, as I work in Mountain View, they could have moved the toll lane going east a little further west so I could get on earlier. FP doesn't really save me any time going home.

I hope they change it.

Dan


Steve
Stoneridge
on Mar 23, 2012 at 1:13 pm
Steve, Stoneridge
on Mar 23, 2012 at 1:13 pm

So Dan and Vanessa are willing to pay $12 each way for saving 20 minutes? (That's $6 to Scott Creek, and likely $6 to Great America)

I thought the express lane was supposed to ease traffic. All it has done is provide access to the car pool lane for a price. Why do we have car pool lanes again? Isn't it for encouraging people to carpool? Is that still the goal?

Does the express lane just allow wealthy progressives to feel good about encouraging car pooling without having to do it themselves?


Dan
Bridle Creek
on Mar 23, 2012 at 2:06 pm
Dan, Bridle Creek
on Mar 23, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Steve,

I am middle class (by CA standards), conservative, and have paid a grand total of $8.50 based on 1 RT and 1 one-way commute in the last 2 days.

So, well, you've struck out on those points.

And no, silly, the express lane was designed to wring every bit of revenue out of self-admitted suckers like me, who naively think that spending more quality time at home or work is worth the additional expense. They only TELL you that its to ease traffic, when in fact IT NEVER DOES. Notice that?

I'm am being slightly theatrical and sarcastic with the above paragraph.

My time savings have been ~50 minutes but I only have 2 data points so far.

Given the numbers, I think it'll cost me $25 a week on average and save me 2.5 hours. That rolls up to ~$1250 and 125 hours(3 weeks) a year.

More time with my family? I'll take that.

Dan




Kathleen Ruegseggerr
Vintage Hills
on Mar 23, 2012 at 2:08 pm
Kathleen Ruegseggerr, Vintage Hills
on Mar 23, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Shorter drive times, less pollution? Car pooling isn't a fit for everyone. I would have loved a reasonable alternative to getting across the Bay.


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