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Express lanes, or High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes, are carpool lanes that allows non-carpool vehicles to pay to use them when there is excess capacity. TransForm is leading an effort with environmental and social justice partners to ensure that HOT lanes create more transportation choices and support access for low-income residents.
The Bay Area could have a regional roadway network with transit and high-occupancy vehicle lanes seamlessly connecting the region’s jobs centers, providing convenient and swift transit connections through the Bay Area. Planned as a transit system, one that sells excess system capacity to non-carpool vehicles, we could meet our region’s goals, the SCS targets, while providing new transportation choices. In fact, even Los Angeles is already planning such a network.
Express Lanes, particularly if done through the conversion of existing HOV and all-purpose highway lanes, may be a good step towards equitable road pricing. However there is a lot of devil in the details. We will need to be satisfied on a range of equity, transportation and transportation funding issues before we could support a final project.
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission is currently seeking authorization for express lanes for 270 lane-miles of regional highways as part of a larger express lane network. This will be a key input into the 2013 Sustainable Communities Strategy and Regional Transportation Plan.
September 28, 2011: MTC moves forward with CTC application for Bay Area Express Lane network. TransForm releases independent analysis critiquing the plan's climate impact and lack of equity analysis. For details read our blog post here: MTC Express Lanes: Flawed Plan, Needs Public Planning
The Bay Area’s very first express lane, on I-680 South, opened on September 20, 2010. Additional express lanes are scheduled to open in 2011 on I-580 and Rte 287 , and in the following years on US101 and Rte 85.
TransForm's report, World-Class Transportation for the Bay Area, outlined TransForm’s support for well-designed express lanes that invest funds generated by the lanes to expand transportation access for low-income individuals, provide greater transportation choices for all travelers in the corridor, and maintain the ability of carpools and buses to avoid congestion.
For more information contact Jeff Hobson.