Carpooling & Transit in the Express Lanes
Carpoolers can expect some changes once the I-680 Contra Costa Express Lanes open this summer. Most significantly, carpoolers, clean air vehicles and other toll-exempt vehicles must get FasTrak Flex® toll tags to travel toll-free in the lanes.
Carpoolers can also expect improved enforcement of the lanes. When set in the 2 or 3+ position, the FasTrak Flex toll tags cause overhead beacons to flash and alert the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to visually verify that the vehicle is eligible for toll-free travel. Express Lane toll revenue will be used to pay for increased CHP lane enforcement.
Another benefit to carpoolers and transit riders is the change in operating hours of the lanes to be from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.; consistent with the express lanes on I-580 and I-680 in Alameda County. The buses that travel I-680 between Dublin and Walnut Creek include County Connection routes 92X, 95X, 96X, and 97X and Wheels route 70X.
Toll system installation on the I-680 Express Lanes is nearly complete. Testing of the electronic toll signs and the overall toll system continues through opening, currently scheduled for summer 2017. Motorists can expect to see dots, test toll amounts, and notification that testing is underway on the electronic signs. All toll system signs are affixed with static “Under Construction” stickers. While motorists will see prices on the signs, cars will not be tolled during the tests. Nighttime lane closures on I-680 continue throughout the next month.