San Francisco area toll express lanes network begins toll systems procurement for nearly 90 miles of express lanes: I-880, I-680, I-80

September 21, 2013
By Peter Samuel

2013-09-20: Bay Area Infrastructure Financing Authority (BAIFA) is beginning procurement of toll systems for nearly 90 directional miles of toll express lanes and expects to be tolling a total of 270 miles within a few years. BAIFA was given legal form as a joint powers authority of the area's Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Bay Area Toll Authority back in 2005, and is being activated to develop toll express lanes following agreement on a regional network in which all the area's HOV lanes will be tolled for single and two occupant vehicles.

Announced this week is the start of a competitive procurement of a Toll System Integrator (TSI) to design and provide toll systems for three initial projects:

- in Alameda County in the southeast of the Bay area 34 miles, 55km on CA/I-880 including 28 miles, 45km each direction on the mainline and two 3 mile, 5km westbound-only spurs to the San Mateo CA92 and Dumbarton CA84 bridges

- in Contra Costa County in the east of the region 12 miles, 20km of CA/I-680

- in Solano County to the northeast 11 miles, 18km of CA/I-80

These are all single express lane each direction on the inside, and mostly open access with dashed lane markings, and only operational in peakhours.

They plan to issue  a draft RFP mid-October and look to have one-on-one meetings with proposers late October/early November, issue the final RFP November with proposals due January 2014, BAFOs March and a contract award April 2014.

Start tolls spring 2016

Tolling is due to start in the spring of 2016 on I-680, spring 2017 on I-880 and early fall 2017 on I-80.

Key features of the express lanes network or ELN include:

- generally open access/egress over a dashed lane marking

- no access/egress segments to have double white striped lines

- they are to be operational in peak traffic hours 5am to 9am or 10am and 3pm to 7pm Mondays thru Fridays and unrestricted and untolled other times

- HOV2+ go free but must have a DMV issued decal or FasTrak transponder account

- HOV2 will be tolled in the future if and when traffic volumes regularly hit 1650/lane/hour threatening slow traffic

- electric and other 'inherently low emission vehicles (ILEVs) go free

- toll read points will be about a mile apart and will require vehicle detection, transponder readers and cameras so there will likely be 80 to 100 toll points

- the system must provide for dynamic pricing in real time based on traffic density, as well as the option to do flat rate or zero tolls at times

- pricing will be by zones of roadway between interchanges so will each be covered by five or six read points

- the system integrator will provide for variable message signs displaying current toll rates at many points in the highways

- the system will add the tolls by zone to post them to accounts as tolls for a trip from entry to exit

- the existing FasTrak regional customer service center (run for NATA by Xerox) will maintain the accounts and issue transponders

- the express lanes tolls covering approaches to bridges will be tolled quite separately and posted separately from bridge tolls

- this will be an independent toll system from existing bridge and existing express lanes systems

- not required are any of the civil works (gantries,vaults) any backhaul communications network, operations or transponders

The procurement documents will be published at:
project materials:

business rules:

detailed description of current HOV operations and proposed conversion to toll express lanes:

TOLLROADSnews 2013-09-20

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