Highway 101 toll-based express lanes open on Peninsula, stretching 16 additional miles

ByLena Howland KGO logo
Friday, March 3, 2023
Hwy 101 toll-based express lanes open on Peninsula
Tolling began Friday morning on the new U.S. Highway 101 express lanes between South San Francisco and Sunnyvale.

SAN MATEO COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- New Express lanes debut along US-101 in San Mateo County on Friday.

It's a project that's been under construction for three years and has gone through nearly a year of delays.

The new Express lanes stretch 16 miles along 101 between I-380 in South San Francisco and Whipple Avenue in Redwood City.

They connect with the existing express lanes which run to North Mathilda Avenue in Sunnyvale.

As if Bay Area commuters didn't already have enough on their plate in this day and age, from the grocery bill, to the price at the pump, they commented on the new lanes.

"The stores and everything, the prices are going up, everything is going up in price," Darrnell Miller, a San Jose resident said.

MORE: Hwy 101 express lanes in San Mateo Co. to open 3 months early due to I-Team investigation

South Bay drivers will now have to buckle up for another charge if they want to take the new Express lanes, to cut down their time in traffic.

"I think it's ridiculous that we've gotta pay now for commuting and all of this other stuff," Miller said.

"I think that's a lot of money that's gonna come out of people's pockets, so people have got to be careful when they go to work because they've got to get over to the other lane," Pierce Cosey, a Modesto resident said.

The lanes are free if you're a carpool with three or more people and have a Fastrak Flex.

Solo drivers, however, will pay the price, using a regular Fastrak tag, during the hours of 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. every weekday.

And although prices will vary, depending on how much traffic there is, Cosey, a super-commuter from Modesto says for him, it's not worth it.

MORE: Thousands of Bay Area drivers dispute unfair FasTrak charges on freeway express lanes

"That is a lot, I'll probably be avoiding the lanes as much as possible, and staying away from that lane so because I didn't know the tolls were going up," Cosey said.

CHP officials said they will not be doing anything extra to help enforce these new lanes.

Instead, they say, that's primarily done through license plate readers and pictures along the Express route.

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