Starting Tuesday at 5 a.m., solo-drivers on State Route 237 can share previously carpool-only lanes—for a cost.
During commute hours, solo commuters who choose to use the new express lanes—four miles of converted carpool lanes—will have money deducted from their FasTrak transponder, according to VTA spokeswoman Brandi Childress.
The device can be purchased from the device’s website, or at select retail locations around the Bay Area, including select Walgreens, Safeway and Costco stores.
The tolls range from 30 cents to $6 one-way, but are adjusted according to the level of congestion, according to Childress, with an average toll of $3. Cars with two or more passengers, clean air vehicles with a special decal, motorcycles, and public transit will continue to be able to use the lanes for free.
Solo commuters heading southbound on the I-880 can enter the new route 237 Express Lanes in Milpitas, south of Dixon Landing Road, according to Childress. They can then continue westbound on Route 237 to Mountain View, ending after the North First Street Exit.
Eastbound, from Mountain View to San Jose, commuters can enter the express lane between North First Street and Zanker Road, and continue to northbound I-880.
“Since the express lanes have limited entry and exit points, motorists are advised to plan ahead,” said Childress in an advisory about the lanes, which are marked by double solid while lines.
Commute hours will for the eastbound morning commute are 5 a.m. to 9 a.m., with the time stretching to 10 a.m. on the westbound commute. Afternoon commutes maintain the same time in both directions: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The VTA has been implementing the Silicon Valley Express Lanes program since 2008, working to convert 180 miles of carpool lanes in Santa Clara County to provide congestion relief during rush hours.
The express lanes were originally slated to open Thursday, March 15, according to Childress, but were postponed due to rainy weather.