Express Lane Tolls Coming Back As Bay Area Traffic Volume Increases

Megan Goldsby
May 27, 2020 - 9:24 pm

    In yet another sign that the roads are returning to normal in the Bay Area, tolls are coming back on express lanes.

    They’ve been free since March 20, but they’re back starting on the first of the month.

    "We can expect to have tolling resume on the express lanes," Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s John Goodwin said.

    Starting on next Monday morning the express lanes in Alameda, Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties will be back in business from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays.  That’s because, as we’ve been reporting on KCBS Radio, traffic is now up to almost 70% of normal volume in some places.

    But, the express lanes aren’t the only changes.

    "We could within a fairly short period of time see toll takers returning at least temporarily to the state-owned toll bridges," Goodwin said.

    That’s because the goal is to ultimately move to all-electronic tolling, like what is done on the Golden Gate Bridge. Goodwin told KCBS Radio the electronic system that was put up quickly is now is showing signs of strain.

    "Primarily because of the rise in traffic volume," Goodwin said.

    Also coming next week, lane striping work is beginning on I-880 between Oakland and Milpitas to prepare for a late summer opening of the new express lanes on that stretch of road.

    According to a news release from the MTC, "commuters can expect several Bay Area transit agencies in the coming weeks resume express bus services that had been temporarily suspended earlier this spring." The release also said traffic near Dublin, Milpitas, Sunnyvale and San Jose was back to roughly 80% of normal volume.