9/17/2010: TransForm Comments on I-680/Sunol Express Lane Opening


John Knox White

The Bay Area’s very first Express Lane, on I-680 South, will be opening on September 20. Additional Express Lanes are scheduled to open in 2011 on I-580 and Rte 287 , and in the following years on US101 and Rte 85. Currently, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission is currently beginning planning on a 460-mile express lane network.

The 2000 report, World Class Transportation for the Bay Area outlined TransForm’s support for well-designed Express Lanes that invest funds generated by the lanes to expand transportation access for low-income individuals, provide greater transportation choices for all travellers in the corridor, and maintain the ability of carpools and buses to avoid congestion. This strategy would enable the Bay Area to squeeze more efficiency out of regional roadways by reducing the need to expand highways at a huge financial and environmental cost. It would also guarantee the highest use of our regional freeway system, while providing an important funding source for regional transit.

TransForm Statements
“Once people start using Express Lanes, they will spread quickly, so we need this first one to be a model for the region” said John Knox White, a Program Director for TransForm, “Being a model means using revenues to give people new transit choices, providing discounted transit to low-income commuters, and promoting more carpooling.”

According to Carli Paine, TransForm’s Transportation Program Director, "If this truly becomes a way to squeeze more efficiency out of our system it could save us billions by reducing the need to expand roads, while funding more transit and carpooling to reduce congestion and air pollution.”

About TransForm
TransForm (formerly the Transportation and Land Use Coalition) works to create world-class public transportation and walkable communities in the Bay Area and beyond. TransForm builds diverse coalitions, influences policy, and develops innovate programs to improve the lives of all people and protect the environment.