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Home>Getting Around>Using Express Lanes>How to Use Silicon Valley Express Lanes

How to Use Silicon Valley Express Lanes

What is an Express Lane? 

An Express Lane is a left-most highway lane or connector ramp with distinctive striping that helps manage congestion in a corridor or interchange. It is a marked lane or connector ramp that is monitored to ensure that a minimum of a 45 mph speed is maintained.

VTA currently operates Express Lanes on State Route 237. Learn more about the planning and history of VTA's Silicon Valley Express Lanes Program and the 237 Express Lanes project page.​

Who Can Drive in Express Lanes?

Express Lanes can be used by carpoolers, motorcyclists, and clean-air vehicles (with applicable decals) for free, AND single occupant vehicles that pay a toll with a FasTrak transponder. During HOV ONLY mode, only vehicles with 2 or more passengers, clean air vehicles with appropriate decals, and motorcyslists can use the Express Lane. Single drivers with FasTrak are not allowed in Express Lanes during HOV ONLY mode.

What are the Benefits of Express Lanes? 

  1. The 237-880 Express Lanes currently in operation can save a driver approximately 14 minutes when traffic in the general purpose lanes is backed up.
  2. Express Lanes are a more efficient use of the roadways because they can bring an underutilized carpool lane to full capacity during peak commute periods.
  3. Express Lanes provide a new, reliable travel option for solo drivers when they need it.
  4. Dynamic toll pricing helps limit overcrowding in express lanes.
  5. Express Lanes provide a new revenue stream for transportation and corridor improvements.

When are Express Lanes in Operation? 

The 237 Silicon Valley Express Lanes operate on the following schedule Monday through Friday:
  Morning Evening
(Milpitas to Sunnyvale)
5AM to 10 AM 3PM to 7PM
(Sunnyvale to Milpitas)
5AM to 9AM 3PM to 7PM

Outside of these hours, the Express Lanes are open to all traffic for free.

Where are the Silicon Valley Express Lanes?

VTA currently operates Express Lanes at the 237 interchange with interstate 880 in Milpitas, California. Express Lanes go from South of Dixon Landing Road to East of North 1st Street, in both directions (237 Express Lanes are in red in the below map).

Map showing location of VTA's 237 Express Lanes

Where Can I Enter and Exit the Silicon Valley Express Lanes?

As you approach an Express Lane you will see a series of signs in the median indicating the oncoming express lane, hours of operation, and the current toll rate. All signs are similar to any freeway sign, except for the current toll rate sign which is digital and changes depending on the toll rate. You will also see a two-foot wide double white solid lines, and signs reminding drivers not to cross the double white lines.

When driving southbound on I-880, you may enter the express lane in Milpitas, south of Dixon Landing Road. As you continue westbound on SR 237 toward Mountain View, the double white lines will end after the North First Street exit. Toll paying drivers will have until Lawrence Expressway to exit the express lane before it becomes an HOV lane.

When driving eastbound on SR 237, you may enter the express lane between North First Street and Zanker Road. The double white line striping begins just after Zanker Road and will continue through northbound I-880, ending south of Dixon Landing Road in Milpitas. Toll paying drivers will have until Dixon Landing Road to exit the express lane before it becomes an HOV lane.

Map showing where drivers can enter and exit the 237 Express Lanes

Express Lane Features

  1. The Double White Stripe that separates the General Travel Lane, and the Express Lane.
  2. The Express Lane Signs indicating that the Express Lane is up ahead. There is also a digital sign that indicates the price of the toll, which changes dynamically based on congestion in the lane. Sometimes the lane will be HOV only, which will be displayed on the digital sign.
  3. The FasTrak Electronic Transmittal System.
A highway sign which shows the Express Lane.

Express Lanes Customer Service

Please contact the FasTrak Customer Service Center for customer service information including any toll disputes or questions you may have about the charges on your FasTrak account: 


[Callers outside of California should dial: 415-486-8655]

Other Express Lanes in the Bay Area

The Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) operates the I-580 Express lanes in Alameda County.
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) provides information about the Bay Area Express Lanes regional network.