SSF Residents Speak Out on Phase 2 of the San Mateo 101 Express Lane Project

South San Francisco, February 9, 2022 – ESC Correspondent Allie S.

The Express Lane opens this FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 11th, 2022 from the San Mateo/Santa Clara County line to Whipple Avenue. This project is aimed at improving travel times, reducing congestion and encouraging carpooling, among others.

Reactions to this opening generally criticize the project, and many drivers have had enough of the extra money they have to pay just to get to work. Comments on our Facebook post include:

Mike White
“Your Tax Dollars Hard at Work” Cal-Tran signs. Class action lawsuit to get our tax money back. This state has me ready to bail. Taxes on gas, increase on registration renewals and then them crack heads cutting off our catalytic converters.”

Tiffany Joe
“Company should start allowing workers to work from home more, so less traffic, less people going to use the ” Express lane”… no mater what we do, the City is going to take our money from our pockets in this way or the other ways… That’s why so many people are moving out the city. We can’t afford to live in anymore. Everything is so costly even on the road that many of us are driving regularly. Sadly”

Our recent article on the changing landscape of South San Francisco brought to light some of the same concerns as this does. With these new toll lanes, roads that have already been “paid for” again charge just for the use. Couple that with the rising prices of homes, the new multi-family home designs on otherwise single family plots, and SSF has become unlivable for many longtime residents. These developments have built quite a bit of resentment among residents and they’re voicing their frustrations through social media and discussing protests. Those who are able to move out of the city do so in favor of states such as Texas, Idaho or Tennessee, who have seen a huge housing boom in the last few years due to the influx of those fleeing the rising cost of living.

With all of these changes taking place, we have to ask, “Where is the equity?” It’s talked about, but the reality is that there is no equity in this at all. With this change, those who work lower paying jobs MUST be at work at specific hours and will now have one less lane they can travel in. The “working class” is being forced to take another hit, leading to one more level between the “have” and the “have nots.”

Adding insult to injury, there are those who have more flexibility in their work and higher paying jobs that will potentially benefit with the tech companies they work for picking up their travel expenses. Residents are left wondering….”who does this really benefit?”

Here are more of their thoughts:

Freeman Cilla
We pay high taxes to build the roads now we have to pay to drive on it

Efren Chavez
They took away a lane from us that we already pay for, it will increase the traffic for the other lanes and conveniently they offer us the lane they took away, for a cost….

Diane Mondani Gretter
Efren Chavez I couldn’t agree with you more.

Todd Baker
Another scam. Wonder where that money will go.

Mary DeMars
In the greater Pasadena/Los Angeles area there is a commute lane for 2 or more passenger that’s in effect 24/7 with no charge. Seems to work for them. Rather than toll roads wish we had something like that in the Bay Area

Carlos Gonzalez
this thread lol smh

LynnandButch Shoglow-McMahon
It’s just pushing that lane of cars to the next causing more traffic, and putting more money in the states pocket

Alan Alonso
Shady to make people pay to use there own roads.

Robert Neena
Alan Alonso yes

Ron Welch
pretty soon you won’t be calling it a freeway starting to get like the east coast their called toll roads

Erik Kessler
Using my tax dollars to charge me to use the roads, i am already paying for.
If traffic is the problem a vast improvement in public transportation is needed. And not with bigger busses or trains just more of them and where people want to go

Nancy Mascioli
Erik Kessler on a schedule that can satisfy the majority. I’ve never taken a survey but better caltrain times would get me off the road SSF to San Carlos.

Adele Escoto
There’s research that shows adding more lanes doesn’t help with traffic in the long run (look up research on traffic and induced demand, there are some good YouTube vids too on it). We need to look at places world-wide that handle traffic well.

Josephine Ghiglieri
Adele Escoto really? Because adding the extra lane from Novato to Petaluma does help with traffic

Andrea Carey Villa
Don’t we already pay to drive on roads? Now there is a payment lane ! Just an excuse for more income. Why didn’t the money used for this project go to upkeeping the poorly maintained roads ???
I’m not paying extra to drive in a lane and I’m not purchasing an electric car either !!!

Diane Mondani Gretter
Andrea Carey Villa AMEN!!! I’m with you.

Cherise Wilson
Just the most stupidest thing I’ve ever seen that San Mateo county is doing greasing their pockets

Karen Romano
Even in L.A. it’s only 2+ for the commute lane. The state needs to be the same NorCal or SoCal. More people would use the lane in NorCal at 2+

Peps Padilla
Karen Romano absolutely

Karl Sichlinger
Just another way to fleece us. Taxpayers paid for that express lane.

Evie Gonzalez
Karl Sichlinger exactly!! It sucks to pay twice!

Evie Gonzalez
Pay to drive! I remember when we bought our electric car 6 years ago, we got a special sticker to drive in lanes like this for free. This was because we were helping the environment. Now we have to pay. I believe $’s were the long term plan from the beginning. And we also installed solar 8 years ago for the same reason. Now PG&E has changed the rules on that, so we are now penalized with paying way more! Trying to help be environmentally responsible is expensive, when the rules keep changing!

Mark August
Evie Gonzalez wait until you have to buy a new battery for the car

Brian Anderson
Mark August …and the “ feel good green tree huggers” never looked to where these batteries came from, how they were made and who made them, and what happens when the life expectancy ends

Evie Gonzalez
Mark August that might be when we quit using an electric car!

Evie Gonzalez
Mark August do you look forward to everything you do…most likely not, just sayin!

Josephine Ghiglieri
Brian Anderson exactly!! People don’t do their research on issues. They just jump on the issue because it sounds good

Debbie Edwards
Evie Gonzalez We have solar and always paid less than $100 at true up. Last year PG&E did change not only the rules but also the time of use hours. Last year we owed almost a thousand dollars and we’re on course to owe more this year.

Mark August
It’s lame, the construction has broke many windshields in the morning and they deny the claim

Meg Simi
Mark August YES!!! So annoying and frustrating.

Kim Carney
Mark August a piece of plywood flew towards my windshield last Spring. Luckily, it hit the hood and spun out and hit my passenger door and left a huge dent. I said “Luckily” because my kids and I would be seriously injured or dead if the plywood didn’t change its course. It was a huge piece of plywood and about a 1/4” thick. Caltrans and its contractors would not take responsibility even though the piece of plywood came from its construction site.

Gerry Marn
Mark August driver window shattered near sfo

Bruna Ching
Mark August happen to us too

Cathy Burton-Meza
Are we not already paying by our taxes and registration?

Terrence Mullady
How nice of our government to charge us more for something we already paid for, I wonder what segment of society will be affected most by this? Time for a complete reset on some of our leadership people, nothing like catering to Google for their buses!

Mark Sieben
El Camino is going to turn into an American Graffiti parking lot. Bring back the Car Hops and root beer floats.

Boyd Ferry
So all the “for the roads” taxes are actually for road taxes. Stand up people!!!!

Robert Riccomini
I read SSF doesn’t want Caltrans to add an additional lane when they eventually extend it through SSF and instead use an existing lane. I think this is a bad idea. Since the rest of the system relies on that extra lane drivers will cause gridlock when they realize the lane they have been driving in suddenly turning into a express lane and the need to move to another lane if they don’t want to pay the extra fee no matter how many signs they put up warning of the lane change. What kind of system is this? You would have an extra lane and then go down a lane when driving in SSF and then back to that extra lane when leaving SSF.

Max Cel
It’s all about revenue and they want u to take public transportation

Lyn Luis
Does this not heighten the disparity between those who can afford to pay extra and those that also need to go to work or time but do not have the extra $ to pay but also need to go work on time?

Josephine Ghiglieri
Lyn Luis ya what happened to social equity here??

Irvin David Uy
I voted no when this was on the ballot

Cherise Wilson
Just one more way of money hungry people

Yesenia Esquivias
This is just the start. The “bi-partisan” infrastructure bill (the only thing Biden has passed) will do more of this since that bill was a huge handout to privatize our roads and bridges and create more tolls nationwide.


What are your thoughts on this project? We’d love to hear them! 




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steve m
steve m
1 year ago

well stop talking about it and go down to redwood city and protest . may as well .
once they get there hands on your money they won’t stop. california has been taking advantage of the average working people for ever . damm commies . good to see people finally getting it.

steve m
steve m
1 year ago

just get on a bike like mayor Pete! what are you crying about? just don’t fall off it .
like the commander in chief. complete shit show. the whole bunch of clowns.
with there stupid ideas .

William K Bomberry
William K Bomberry
2 years ago

The toll roads on the peninsula are not working and its only made traffic worse. Tax dollars at work to take more of your money

2 years ago

Isn’t it grand, those wonderful gas taxes and registration taxes now go to building road to fleece the poplulation more, and to think we had the chance to repeat the gas/reg tax, but no one seemed to understand how to votej “YES” to repeal it. and did anyone read the fine print where it says the punks in Sac can increase the taxes without the approval of the people. Learn to understand and comprehend ballot measures before you vote people!