San Francisco Chronicle
New toll express lanes now open on Highway 101
New toll-based express lanes between Interstate 380 in South San Francisco and Whipple Avenue in Redwood City on Highway 101 opened Friday, transportation officials said.
The opening extends 101’s existing toll-based express lanes, which ran from Whipple Avenue to North Mathilda Avenue in Sunnyvale.
Officials said tolls, which are paid using FasTrak, will use “dynamic pricing” which will go up or down based on how busy the express lane is. Vehicles will need a FasTrak or FasTrak Flex tag in order to use the lane. Depending on the volume of traffic on the road, the cost of the tolls will range from 50 cents to $12.
Cars with three or more people, including buses and vanpools, will get to use the lane for free, while two-person carpools will receive a 50 percent toll discount, and solo drivers in a clean air vehicle — those with a valid clean air decal from the California Department of Motor Vehicles — will also get half off the toll.
Two-person carpools in a two-seat car will also get to use the lanes for free. Solo drivers in regular vehicles using the lane will have to pay the full toll. Drivers who use the lane without a FasTrak account will receive a toll violation notice in the mail, which will include the total toll fee as well as a $10 penalty.
Officials said the project was meant to reduce traffic congestion and encourage carpooling and transit use on 101, and that revenue from the tolls will also go to a program that will help qualifying San Mateo County residents cover some of their transportation costs.
That program, called the Community Transportation Benefits Program, will provide qualifying residents with either a Clipper Card with $100 provided annually or a FasTrak toll tag with $100 provided one time only.