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High Occupancy Toll Lane SR237/I-880 Connector

Santa Clara County, California

Market Sector

Mobility, Planning, and Management


Electrical Systems/ITS

Services Provided

Design, Planning



In order to determine the feasibility of High Occupancy Toll Lanes for Santa Clara County, the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) retained T.Y. Lin International to evaluate 70 miles of HOV freeway network in Santa Clara County to assess the design, operational, and financial feasibility of HOT Lane operations as well as the public’s acceptance of this advanced concept.

Project Highlights:

  • Recommendations made by T.Y. Lin International in the feasibility study were implemented
  • First design-build project in Santa Clara County and a pilot project for the VTA Express Lane Program
  • Electrical design services
  • Multiple agency coordination

The study identified candidate corridors for demand forecasts and operational considerations including types of separation between High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV)/HOT and mixed-flow lanes, dynamic toll determination, FasTrak program management, equipment installation and maintenance, customer service, and enforcement systems. The study also assessed the financial feasibility of the proposal including capital cost and potential funding resources, toll schedule, estimated revenue, and operating cost.

This study was adopted and is now being implemented for the State Route (SR) 237/I-880 HOT Lane direct connector. The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) has undertaken this as a design-build project to convert existing carpool to carpool (HOV – High Occupancy Vehicle) direct connector ramps at the SR237/I-880 interchange to Express Connectors. Carpools with two or more occupants, motorcycles, transit buses and eligible hybrids will continue to use the Express Connectors free of charge. Solo drivers will be given the option of paying a toll to use the Express Connector during commute hours.

SR237/I-880 Express Lane tolls will be collected electronically using FasTrak already in use on Bay Area bridges. Tolls for solo drivers will vary based on the level of congestion and will be adjusted to maintain a free-flowing ride on the Express Lanes. The SR237/I-880 Express Connectors Project is the first design-build project in Santa Clara County covering a span of seven miles.

For this project, T.Y. Lin International is responsible for electrical design of the system, including developing equipment layout, definition, and plan details. T.Y. Lin International is also responsible for coordinating with the Contractor for ITS equipment requirements and local utilities and obtaining Caltrans approval.