How bad will traffic get on Highway 680 with Express Lanes operating?
The morning commute will last later (into the 9 o’clock hour) and the evening commute will start earlier (at 2:15 pm). If you don’t pay the toll, you can expect your travel time to increase 6% or more, according to a study by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC).
Off-peak weekday drivers (9 am-3 pm and 7 pm-8 pm) will see the most congestion, as the carpool lane won’t be available for general use, as it was before. The lane removal represents a 25% decrease in roadway capacity. Currently, I-680 flows freely during these times, as noted by the A and B “Level of Service” in the time band traffic data chart below, pulled from the Caltrans PeMS database.
The MTC wants you to pay or suffer, all while ignoring their own data. And they are creating congestion where there once was none, to persuade you to use the Express Lanes.
Who decided to install Express Lanes on Highway 680?
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is investing in a region-wide network of Express Lanes. The Bay Area Infrastructure Financing Authority (BAIFA) paid to build the lanes. And the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) will be operating it.
All of them are regional governmental agencies based in San Francisco that don’t understand San Ramon Valley commute congestion.
Where Does My Money Go?
MTC and BATA say the money will go to pay for CHP enforcement and operation of the lanes. But as tolls rise, there is no plan in place to deal with excess revenue. Your toll dollars could be used to fund projects outside of the area or elsewhere in California!