OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Express lane tolls on Bay Area freeways are being suspended through at least April 7 due to a dramatic decline in traffic caused by the shelter-in-place order that took effect this week to address the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The change began at 5 a.m. Friday said officials of the Alameda County Transportation Commission, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

READ MORE: Fast-Moving Fawn Fire Near Shasta Lake Grows To 1,200 Acres; Evacuation Orders Expanded

Officials said another reason for the decision was that the promotion of carpooling is not consistent with the urgent need for social distancing during the public health crisis.


The agencies jointly made the decision to suspend the tolls on Interstate Highway 580 in Alameda County; Interstate Highway 680 in Contra Costa County; State Route 237 in Santa Clara County; and southbound I-680 over the Sunol Grade in Alameda and Santa Clara counties.

READ MORE: Newsom Signs Bill Targeting Productivity Quotas At Warehouses Run By Amazon, Major Retailers

Electronic signs over the Express Lanes will read “Open to All.”

ALSO READ: Uber Suspends Pool Rides, Urges ‘Travel Only When Necessary’ To Curb Coronavirus Spread

The toll moratorium will continue unless congestion on the corridors warrants reinstatement, officials said in an announcement.

“The decision to temporarily suspend tolling on Bay Area Express Lanes will free California Highway Patrol officers from Express Lane enforcement duties to perform more urgently needed duties during the current public health emergency,” the announcement said.

MORE NEWS: 'Highway Slingshot Shooter' Using Ball Bearings To Vandalize Windows Along San Jose's Guadalupe Freeway

© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.