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The San Mateo County Express Lanes Joint Powers Authority (SMCEL-JPA) Board of Directors will adopt the San Mateo County 101 Express Lanes Toll Facility Ordinance. The toll ordinance will establish usage requirements, pricing, discounts, and civil penalties for the evasion of tolls for the San Mateo 101 Express Lanes. The toll ordinance will address the following questions:
How to use the Express Lanes?
Bay Area Express Lanes operators require all vehicles wishing to use the express lanes to have a valid FasTrak Flex® toll tag to receive a discounted or toll-free trip. For more information about FasTrak® visit the website here: www.bayareafastrak.org.
Who can use the Express Lanes?
The regional trend for express lanes is to prioritize 3+ carpools and buses for toll-free trips, discounts for 2+ carpools and clean air vehicles (CAVs), and the full toll price for solo drivers. The SMCEL-JPA will officially determine who is eligible to use the lanes and the discount rates in the toll ordinance.
How much will the Express Lanes cost?
Regional express lane operators have used “dynamic pricing” to set the toll price. Dynamic pricing is when the price to use the lane goes up or down depending on how crowded the lane is. The more crowded the lane, the more expensive it is, the less crowded, the less expensive. The system monitors the freeway and raise or lower the toll as necessary to keep traffic flowing in the express lanes with a goal of speeds of 45 miles an hour or greater. Overhead message signs tell drivers the price to travel to a specific destination in the toll lane. Tolls will be paid using FasTrak®.
The SMCEL-JPA will officially adopt a pricing policy for the lanes in the toll ordinance.
What hours of the day are tolls charged?
Other Bay Area Express Lanes operate Monday – Friday from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Outside of these hours, the lanes are open to all drivers at no charge.
The SMCEL-JPA will officially adopt operating hours for the lanes in the toll ordinance.
Toll Ordinance Adoption Process
The SMCEL-JPA will introduce and propose to adopt an ordinance in Summer 2021 for the administration of tolls and enforcement of toll violations for the San Mateo 101 Express Lanes. The SMCEL-JPA will follow a public process prior to adoption by the Board of Directors so community members can learn about the tolling policies proposed and provide comments over a 30-day period. The process will include:
All SMCEL-JPA Board of Directors meetings are open to the public. We encourage you to attend these meetings to provide feedback on the toll policy. Visit the calendar for meeting details.
Learn More and Get Involved
We need your feedback to on the proposed toll policy. Here’s how you can get involved:
Board of Directors Meetings
Staff presented an overview of the key toll policy elements under the Toll Ordinance to the SMCEL-JPA Board of Directors at their October 16, 2020 meeting, which was open to the public. Below is a link to the presentation:
Staff will be presenting on the tolling policies at upcoming SMCEL-JPA Board of Directors meetings, which will be open to the public and held virtually via Zoom. Please visit the C/CAG website for updates on the Board meeting schedule, agendas, and information on how to join.