Solo drivers in the Bay Area who want to travel in the carpool lane without the worry of getting a ticket will soon be able to do just that -- for a price.
Caltrans announced Wednesday that the Bay Area's first express lanes, which are still under construction, will be ready for drivers on September 20.
Drivers with no passengers on southbound Interstate 680 along the Sunol Grade will pay weekday 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. tolls ranging from 30 cents up to $6 to travel carpool lanes along the 14-mile stretch between Pleasanton and Milpitas. Carpoolers, motorcyclists and hybrids with special stickers still get a free ride.
Drivers will need FasTrak transponders to take advantage of the express lane. Cheaters risk a $381 ticket, and $200,000 a year is being set aside for additional California Highway Patrol enforcement.