FUNDING: California MTC seeks federal dollars to ease congestion on San Mateo highway

July 18, 2016

The funding would be used to study how effective carpool lanes or an express lane will be to ease traffic congestion on Highway 101

A San Mateo Highway 101 carpool study jeopardized by a lack of state funding is expected to move forward as regional transportation officials seek federal dollars to fill in the gap.

Express lanes are being eyed to ease the commute on the San Mateo County stretch of the increasingly clogged highway, but a drop in state gas tax revenue forced the California Transportation Commission to pull about $9.6 million that was set aside for the study back in May.

To jumpstart the planning process, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is seeking to pull federal dollars away from area transportation projects that are languishing to focus on solving one of the region’s most important traffic corridors.

The commission voted to redirect about $8.9 million in federal transportation funds to study whether express lanes will be viable from Whipple Road to the San Francisco border.

The California Department of Transportation must approve the MTC request to pool the money from other projects to continue the Highway 101 carpool lane study.

Environmental studies are already underway to study whether carpool lanes and a possible toll lane/express lane will work to ease congestion on Highway 101.