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New I-580 express lanes open eastbound; westbound set for Monday

$55 million project designed to ease congestion on heavily-traveled freeway

The Interstate 580 toll express lanes opened in the eastbound direction at 5 a.m. Friday and are set to open Monday at 5 a.m. westbound, completing a $55 million project that has been underway for more than a year.

The new lanes through the Pleasanton, Dublin and Livermore corridor will give carpool drivers a chance to skirt heavy commute-hour traffic and, for solo drivers, the same opportunity for a fee.

The new lanes will feature "near-continuous" access so drivers can enter and exit at almost any point instead of waiting for dedicated entry and exit zones.

The lanes will be free for carpools, van-pools, clean-air vehicles, buses and motorcycles who use a new version of the FasTrak transponder, called a FasTrak Flex toll tag, and set the transponder to 2 or 3+. That will send a signal to overhead monitors not to charge that vehicle.

Solo drivers can also use the toll lanes, using their current FasTrack transponders or by setting the new ones to 1. They will be charged at the solo driver rate.

The new FasTrak Flex toll tags can be purchased at Costco, Safeway or Walgreens stores or online at www.bayareafastrak.org.

Operated by the Alameda County Transportation Commission and enforced by the California Highway Patrol, the express lanes feature two eastbound lanes and one westbound express lane through the Tri-Valley corridor between San Ramon Road/Foothill Road and Greenville Road. They will operate Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Drivers may enter or exit the express lanes anywhere there is "skip striping" but must not cross the portions of the express lanes where there are double white lines.

Drivers in the westbound express lane will need to exit the toll lane before Hacienda in order to access I-680.

A period of adjustment and associated delays are expected as drivers familiarize themselves with the new lanes. Ongoing testing is anticipated during the first weeks of operation. Speeds are expected to normalize as drivers adjust to the lanes.

"We understand that it might take time for drivers to become accustomed to the new lanes," said Art Dao, executive director of the ACTC.

He added, "We are working on making this new facility operate as smoothly as possible and will make adjustments along the way to address real-time traffic conditions to make the corridor move more efficiently."

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Comments

10 people like this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Alamo
on Feb 19, 2016 at 6:13 am

I could think of better ways to spend 55 million dollars.
We have added nothing to 580 or 680. The carpool lane that was at a stand still is now still going to be at a stand still, only we are paying for it. If we actually added a lane it would be worth getting excited over.


Like this comment
Posted by Vicki C
a resident of Alamo
on Feb 19, 2016 at 7:44 am

I couldn't find how much the toll is going to be, only the 55 million this cost us. How much more are they going to charge to be able to drive in this toll lane?


4 people like this
Posted by PSMacintosh
a resident of Danville
on Feb 19, 2016 at 11:35 am

As the old adage goes, "If you have to ask, then you can't afford it."
You are not a part of the Rich Club........of Cal Trans Elitists.

I searched all over the site at www.bayareafastrak.org.
NO WHERE DOES IT STATE THE PRICE OF THE NEW FASTTRACK TAG (at least not before you sign up for an account). What terrible customer service and poor marketing! Another fine example of how a monopolistic Government operates a business website versus how a private business would operate it.


2 people like this
Posted by PSMacintosh
a resident of Danville
on Feb 19, 2016 at 11:38 am

Even if you have 2 or more people in your car, you can't use the I580 carpool lane UNLESS YOU BUY a Fastrack Tag AND signup an online account.

Now they can track your whereabouts and speed and whatever.
The number on my Fastrack is "666".


Like this comment
Posted by Noway
a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 19, 2016 at 12:01 pm

I got my new "Flex Pass" transponder in the mail yesterday. Ordered online at NO COST! You have to mail your old one(s) back. It's easy.

I agree with "Citizen"..it's just a money grab and we would be so-o-o-o much better with another lane that ALL of us have paid for!


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Charlotte Wood Middle School

on Jul 24, 2017 at 10:11 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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