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  • Which CA Express Lanes Can a Motorcyclist Use for Free, and Are They Safe?

    Which CA Express Lanes Can a Motorcyclist Use for Free, and Are They Safe?

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    Which CA Express Lanes Can a Motorcyclist Use for Free, and Are They Safe?

One of the major perks of riding a motorcycle in express lanes is getting to your destination quickly during peak traffic hours. Just like any other vehicle, using express lanes can be costly due to the toll it has. Below, our best Los Angeles motorcycle lawyer, Michael Ehline, discusses HOV lanes and motorcycles in CA.

However, not all express lanes in and around Los Angeles County charge motorcyclists the full toll amount; some may even be free for riders. Let’s explore and learn about the different toll-free express lanes with Ehline Law and our personal injury attorneys to help interested drivers travel toll-free on California roads.

How to Use Express Lanes as a Motorcyclist

The FasTrak Flex Transponder is the latest electronic toll collection technology that works similarly to a standard toll tag. Still, it comes with a three-position switch that can be adjusted to signal whether you are traveling as a carpool or alone.

As a motorcyclist, you should get a FasTrak Flex Transponder and mount it on the motorcycle where the antenna can read it. You can also put it in your front pocket, and the antenna may read it anyways. It is important to note that holding up a transponder while going through the express lane is illegal and can get you in trouble, so keep it in a secure location.

View the overhead signs to check the current toll rates for each motorcycle lane and decide which lane to use before the dashed lines transition to solid double lines. Crossing afterward from one lane to another can get you a ticket. Choose one lane and stick to it until you exit from that lane.

Which CA Express Lanes Can a Motorcyclist Use for Free

If all motorcycle lanes had the same toll rates or were completely free, life would be much simpler for motorcyclists. Unfortunately, that is not the case, so we’ve put together information about free express lanes and some for which you may need to pay.

Interstate 10 and Interstate 110 Metro Express Lanes

If motorcyclists have a standard-issued license plate, they can use the I-10 and I-110 express lanes in Los Angeles County free of charge without the need for transponders. 

Avoid using these lanes if you have a personalized motorcycle license plate, as it can get you a ticket.

State Route 237 Express Lanes

Motorcycles with proper decals can use SR-237 express lanes in Santa Clara Valley for free during peak hours. It is important to note that there may be tolls for carpools and motorcycles during later hours.

If the SR-237 express lanes categorically mention “HOV only,” they’re HOV lanes where motorcyclists can enter and use them for free. The following are the timings that motorcyclists can use SR-237 express lanes, but it will cost them:

  • Westbound (towards Sunnyvale): 5 AM – 10 AM & 3 PM – 7 PM
  • Eastbound (toward Milpitas): 5 AM – 9 AM & 3 PM – 7 PM.

Outside of the hours mentioned above, motorcyclists can use the SR-237 express lanes free of charge.

State Route 125 South Bay Expressway

On the SR-125 South Bay Expressway in San Diego County, motorcyclists must pay the same toll rates as 2-axle vehicles, and there are no timings for a free toll.

Interstate 15 Express Lanes

The I-15 express lanes in San Diego County are toll-free for motorcyclists, and there is no requirement for a FasTrak Transponder.

91 Freeway Express Lanes

The 91 Freeway express lanes in Orange County are not free for motorcyclists, but they can apply for a special access account to get discounted toll rates.

Interstate 580 Express Lanes

If motorcyclists have their FasTrak transponder set to two or three people, they can use the I-580 express lanes in Alameda County without paying any toll.

Interstate 680 Sunol Southbound Express Lane

There is no need for a FasTrak transponder to access the I-680 in Alameda County for free. However, motorcyclists must set their standard transponder to two or three plus people for toll-free access.

Interstate 680 Express Lanes

Motorcyclists can use the I-680 express lanes in Contra Costa free of charge, but they would have to set their FasTrak transponder to two or three plus people.

Bay Area Bridges

A FasTrak Flex transponder can provide free access to the express lanes in Bay Area Bridges in San Francisco County.

Golden Gate Bridge

During HOV dedicated times (around 5 AM – 9 AM on weekdays & 4 PM – 6 PM on weekends), motorcyclists can access the Carpool Toll Lane #2 on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco County for free. However, they must pay a toll at other times even when transporting in regulated vanpools.

Are Express Lanes in Los Angeles or CA Safe for Motorcyclists?

Express lanes are an excellent way for motorcyclists to avoid traffic without lane splitting. After all, personalized motorcycle plates won’t stop carpool vehicles from striking you, Fastrak Flex Transponder and cameras. Just because motorcycles pay doesn’t mean the overhead antenna will save them from getting hit. Lane splitting can lead to accidents, especially when drivers transition from their lane to another without checking their blind spot.

However, even with the reduced lane-splitting techniques on express lanes in Los Angeles or CA, these lanes are much wider, allowing motorists to drive at higher speeds. A negligent, drunk, or distracted driver can crash into the motorcyclist, causing serious injuries.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Ehline Law Motorcycle Lawyers

If you’ve suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident in Los Angeles or anywhere in California due to another’s negligence or recklessness, contact us at (833) LETS-SUE for a free consultation, as you may be able to seek compensation in a full and fair amount. We are ready to help you understand your rights to justice and ensure you get a full case analysis in a variety of road accident cases.

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Michael Ehline

Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients. We pride ourselves on being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride and a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.