Bay Area Express Lanes FAQ

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Express Lanes are specially designated highway lanes that offer drivers a choice to save time by paying a toll while rewarding carpoolers with the same time savings at a lower cost. During operating hours, the toll price may change due to the amount of drivers in the express lanes to manage demand. As demand increase, the price increases. As demand decreases, the price decreases. Express Lanes are free for all drivers outside of operating hours.

Need more information? Watch our 2 minute explanation video.

Population and jobs are growing in the Bay Area, but the region does not have the funding or room to build much additional roadway capacity. Express lanes make sure that any unused space in carpool lanes can be filled with vehicles. At the same time, the lanes encourage carpools, vanpool and transit, getting more people through congested corridors. Bay Area Express Lanes:

  • Provide a choice for solo drivers to use lanes they could not use in the past.
  • Reward carpoolers, vanpoolers or transit users with faster trips in Express Lanes at a lower cost.

Some express lanes have specific designated entry and exit points, while others allow drivers to freely enter and exit where they choose, just like today’s carpool lanes. A good ‘rule of thumb’ is that drivers can enter and exit express lanes wherever there are dashed lines, but should never cross solid double lines. Learn more about getting in and out of Express Lanes.

Express Lanes are toll-free for qualifying carpools, vanpools, buses and other toll-exempt vehicles (e.g., motorcycles). For solo drivers with a valid FasTrak® toll tag, the tolls to drive to specific destinations are posted on signs above the express lane. Tolls increase as traffic increases and decrease as traffic decreases. The toll you see on the sign when you get into the lane is guaranteed, even if the toll changes while you are in the lane. Watch this short video to learn more about tolling prices.

Learn more about available discounts for carpools and clean air vehicles.

Tolls are collected electronically using a valid FasTrak® toll tag. Tolls are collected only during the express lane hours of operation (Mon – Fri 5:00 AM to 8:00 PM). Overhead electronic pricing signs show the toll rates to use the express lane to specific destinations. Learn more about Pricing and Pricing Signs.

Yes, FasTrak® is required on all Bay Area Express Lanes. Carpools, vanpools and motorcycles can use the lanes for free or pay half-price tolls with FasTrak Flex toll tags set to 2 or 3+. Eligible clean air vehicles (CAVs) can use the lanes for free or pay half-price tolls with FasTrak CAV toll tags. Learn more about the express lanes FasTrak® requirements.

There are three ways:

  1. Sign up for an account and order a ready-to-use toll tag to be mailed to you;
  2. Pick up a toll tag at a convenient retail location and activate it by completing the account enrollment process; or
  3. Add a tag to an existing account.

One account can register up to four tags under the same account deposit. For new accounts, learn more about getting started with FasTrak®.

You can access additional information at the FasTrak® website.

Carpoolers can access time savings in Express Lanes at a lower cost with either discounted or free tolls. Learn more by reading our Carpool and Vanpool FAQ.

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