Officials are studying the potential impacts of adding a carpool lane on a notoriously congested section of Highway 101 on the Peninsula that would double as a toll lane for single drivers. As ABC 7 reports, the San Mateo County Transportation Authority is looking into the idea at the urging of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission which says that a pay-to-play express lane is the only way to go.
The thinking is that a traditional carpool lane can potentially do less to alleviate congestion while a dynamically priced, toll-based express lane, the likes of which are currently more common in Southern California, would allow motivated single drivers to buy in and thereby help lighten traffic. Buses and carpools would both get to use the lane for free.
The carpool/express lane would extend from SFO and the Interstate 380 interchange to the Whipple Avenue exit in Redwood City.
This would be the second such pay-to-play lane in the Bay Area* the first on the I-580 corridor through Dublin, Pleasanton, and Livermore opened this past February and it's sure to spark some controversy from those who see it as unfair to the poor and working class who can not afford extra tolls. San Mateo officials say they will be looking into multiple options, including a traditional carpool lane.
* This post has been corrected to show that express lanes on I-580 were the first to exist in the Bay Area, opened in February 2016.