Bay Area Express Lanes | Plans + Projects | Our Work | Metropolitan Transportation Commission

Bay Area Express Lanes

Bay Area Express Lanes are carpool lanes that are free for carpools, buses, motorcycles and other eligible vehicles. Solo motorists — who choose to pay a toll — can use express lanes, too.

Express Lane on I-680
Express Lane on I-680.
Noah Berger

Bay Area transportation agencies are developing a 550-mile network of Bay Area Express Lanes that will be completed in 2035. Lanes already are open on I-580 in Dublin, Pleasanton and Livermore, I-680 southbound from Pleasanton to Milpitas and on State Roure 237 between Milpitas and San Jose. MTC's efforts will convert 150 miles of existing High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes to express lanes and add 120 miles of new lanes to close network gaps. Ultimately, MTC will operate 270 miles of Bay Area Express Lanes.

Get the who-what-where-and-why at the Bay Area Express Lanes website.

Want to know where express lanes are planned for the Bay Area? View the network map.

MTC Express Lanes Projects

MTC in 2015 began construction on its first Express Lanes project with the conversion of the carpool lanes on I-680 between Walnut Creek and San Ramon.

MTC eventually will operate 270 miles of the 550-mile Bay Area Express Lanes network; converting 150 miles of existing carpool lanes to Express Lanes and adding 120 miles of new lanes.

Future conversion projects will include:

  • I-680 between Walnut Creek and Martinez
  • I-880 in Alameda County
  • I-80 in Solano County


I-680 between Walnut Creek and San Ramon

MTC began construction of the I-680 Express Lanes project between Walnut Creek and San Ramon in August 2015.

The project converts existing HOV lanes to express lanes on I-680 from Rudgear Road to Alcosta Boulevard in the southbound direction and from Alcosta Boulevard to Livorna Road in the northbound direction. It will result in 23 express lane miles through San Ramon, Danville, Alamo and southern Walnut Creek. No widening or additional lanes will be added to the highway.

Construction work includes installation of variable message signs and overhead toll gantries/readers, building concrete foundations for overhead freeway sign structures and CHP enforcement areas, and laying conduit and fiber optic communications cables for traffic management system communications. MTC is scheduling construction work so that it will have minimal impacts on traffic. Construction will mainly occur at night, although there may be occasional activity on the shoulder and on arterial streets adjacent to the highway during the day to complete the communications network. Night time construction will typically involve closing one or two highway lanes depending on the nature of the work.

I-680 Communications Network

In February 2016, crews began construction of the first section of a regional communications network to support MTC’s express lanes. The project will enable real-time communications between toll system equipment along I-680 from Martinez to Dublin and a network hub at the Benicia-Martinez Toll Plaza Administration Building.

Construction activities include the laying of conduit and the installation of fiber-optic cable and network hubs along the I-680 corridor, and in the City of Walnut Creek near the BART station.

I-680 Walnut Creek to San Ramon Construction Notices

I-680 Martinez to Walnut Creek Construction Notices

I-880 between Oakland and Milpitas

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission plans to convert the existing I-880 HOV lanes that run from Hegenberger Road to Dixon Landing Road in the southbound direction and from Dixon Landing Road to Lewelling Blvd. in the northbound direction to an express lane. The conversion involves lane striping and installing sign gantries, signs, FasTrak® toll tag readers, traffic monitoring video cameras and CHP observation areas. It will result in 51 express lane miles from Oakland to Milpitas. This project is coordinated with Caltrans’ project to replace the median barrier on I-880. Work will start in the south and move north up the corridor. The express lane conversion will follow the progression of the median barrier replacement.