680 SB EXPRESS LANE PROJECT |
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680 Southbound Express Lane Project
(Martinez to Walnut Creek)

bay area express lanes map

About the Project

The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA), in cooperation with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), proposes to construct a total of 11 new miles of express lane on southbound I-680 from south of Marina Vista Avenue in Martinez to Rudgear Road in Walnut Creek. Of the 11 miles, eight miles of an existing HOV/Carpool lane will be converted to an express lane and the remaining three miles will be constructed as a new HOV/Carpool lane that will open as an express lane. This lane will connect to MTC’s express lane between Walnut Creek and San Ramon providing 24 miles of continuous express lane in Contra Costa County between Martinez and the Alameda County line. This project is part of Plan Bay Area, MTC’s Regional Transportation 2035 Plan. Please see the Project Limits Map below.

This project will include:

• Installation of lighting and tolling equipment (electronic toll tag readers)

• Signage (static and dynamic) and sign structures

• Re-striping and new lane markers

• Upgrading CHP enforcement capabilities

EXPRESS LANE EXAMPLE PICTURE
Express lanes are converted carpool lanes that provide travel choices for the motoring public, improving mobility and freeway operations. They remain toll-free to carpoolers and other eligible vehicles and are available to solo drivers for a fee.

Why Express Lanes?

Bay Area highway traffic congestion ranks among the worst in the U.S. and is forecast to increase with future demand. Peak period congestion increases travel times and reduces highway speed and trip reliability. With limited right-of-way and resources to add roads, the region must look for ways to get the most out of the existing transportation system.

Express lanes have proven to be effective in managing freeway congestion, and:

• Are free to carpools, vanpools, transit and other eligible vehicles

• Allow solo drivers a choice to pay a toll to use the lanes

• Have dynamic tolling – tolls increase as express lane traffic increases and decrease as traffic decreases

This project intends to:

• Maximize the capacity of the High Occupancy Vehicle lane

• Provide reliable travel times for customers

• Better manage the lane to keep traffic moving

The hours of operation for the express lane and the HOV lane will match.

why express lanes are needed graphic
HOW EXPRESS LANES WORK GRAPHIC

How Express Lanes Work

1

Dashed Lines show where it is OK to enter and exit the express lane.

2

All Vehicles must have a regular or FasTrak Flex® toll tag to drive in the express lane during hours of operation.

3

Carpools, vanpools, and other eligible vehicles with FasTrak Flex® travel toll-free. Carpool occupancy requirements may vary by lane.

4

Pricing signs display the express lane toll for travel to specific destinations.

5

Electronic toll tag readers automatically charge the appropriate tolls to a vehicle’s FasTrak account.

6

A solid double white line shows restricted access area buffers where it is illegal to enter and exit the express lane. These access limitation improve traffic flow.

Project Cost & Current Schedule

The 680 Southbound Express Lane Project, from Marina Vista to Rudgear Road, will cost approximately $110 million, including planning, design, construction, utilities and express lane toll system. Project schedule may be impacted by other improvements planned in the I-680 corridor. Check the construction schedule for planned activities.

Dynamic Pricing

SOLO DRIVERS

Tolls for solo drivers increase as express lane congestion increases.

OPERATION

Traffic in the express lane will be managed to provide reliable express lane travel times.

dynamic pricing graphic
RESTRICTED ACCESS MAP

Restricted Access (Buffer)

The express lane will allow mostly “open access” where motorists can freely move between the express lane and general purpose lane. Where substantial merging into and out of the express lane is expected “restricted access” areas improve traffic flow, manage operations, and improve safety. A solid double white line indicates restricted access (also called a buffer), where merging in and out of the express lane is prohibited.  Signs will notify motorists of restricted access.

SOLID DOUBLE WHITE ROAD MARKING LINES PICTURE
A solid double white line indicates restricted access (also called a buffer), which prohibits merging in and out of the express lane.

Fastrak Flex®

To travel in the express lane, all vehicles must have a FasTrak® or FasTrak Flex® toll tag. Carpools, vanpools, motorcycles and other toll free eligible vehcles must have a FasTrak Flex® switched to the proper setting to travel free.

How to use your toll tag:

Before driving, move switch to show number of people in vehicle. Solo drivers can also use regular FasTrak® tags.

How to get your toll tag:
ONLINE
Open a FasTrak® account online and receive a ready-to-use toll tag in the mail.

LOCAL RETAILER
Pick up at a participating Costco, Safeway or Walgreens location near you.

MAIL
Order by mail or pick your toll tag up at the Service Center.

Visit www.bayareafastrak.org for more information

FASTRAK FLEX PICTURE
EXPRESS LANE ENFORCEMENT GRAPHIC

Express Lane Enforcement

1

Toll system reads FasTrak Flex® toll tag in carpool setting (2 or 3+)

2

Toll system illuminates beacon to alert CHP officer to presence of carpool

3

As vehicle passes, CHP officer assesses whether carpool has required number of people inside to travel toll-free

4

CHP pursues violators as appropriate