California FasTrak System

May 20, 20 by Jorian Goes

California FasTrak System

Understanding California’s FasTrak System

What is the FasTrak system? The FasTrak is a system that is in place to quickly pay for tolls at bridges, express lanes, and parking at the San Francisco International Airport. A valid FasTrak account makes it quick and convenient to pay tolls because you don’t need to carry cash. It also saves you time by letting you cross bridge toll plazas nonstop, allows carpools to use the carpool lanes and receive discounted rates on toll bridges, lets solo drivers use the Express Lanes, and gives you the option to bypass the parking pay booth at the airport.

In order to use the FasTrak system, you must have a toll tag or transponder

The transponder is a small battery-powered device that transmits a radio signal. The radio signal that is transmitted is read by lane equipment and the information is used to deduct funds from your pre-paid account balance.

This is not a pay as you go system, rather you will pre-pay funds into your FasTrak account. You can pay as much as you’d like into your account and funds will be deducted from your account when your FasTrak device is scanned via radio signals.

How to Use the FasTrak System

When using a FasTrak device, vehicles are not allowed to cross the double white lines. Drivers should instead look for the dashed or broken lines. These are pre-determined lane openings where vehicles are allowed to enter or exit express lanes.

Toll prices vary depending on traffic, the number of axels on the vehicle, and the time of day that the vehicles are traveling. The prices also vary depending on if the vehicle is going over a toll bridge, using a carpool lane, or if you are driving a clean air vehicle. Solo drivers may also pay a toll to use the carpool lane when they are not carpooling.

If you have a standard FasTrak toll tag, it will continue to work, and you don’t need to get another tag unless you want to travel toll free as a carpool or motorcycle in express lanes or get a clean air vehicle (CAV) discount. If you would like to utilize traveling toll free as a carpool or as a motorcycle in an express lane, you may upgrade your FasTrak transponder. If you do not use express lanes as a carpool, motorcycle, or eligible CAV, a standard FasTrak toll tag will serve all your needs. The vast majority of FasTrak users only need a standard FasTrak toll tag.

The FasTrak CAV toll tag is only issued to eligible clean air vehicles and is required for discounted single-occupant CAV travel in the SR-237 express lanes. The FasTrak CAV toll tag also has a three-position switch to signal whether you are traveling alone or as a carpool. The FasTrak CAV toll tag works at all toll bridges and in all Bay Area express lanes, and it also can be used to pay for parking at San Francisco International Airport.

FasTrak Rules and Regulations

When traveling as a single-occupant vehicle in the SR-237 express lanes, eligible CAVs will receive a 50% discount off the toll if they use a FasTrak CAV toll tag. It is the only toll tag that will communicate the correct discount to roadside equipment.

The FasTrak Flex toll tag has a three-position switch to signal whether you are traveling alone or as a carpool. The FasTrak Flex toll tag works at all toll bridges and in all Bay Area express lanes, and it also can be used to pay for parking at San Francisco International Airport. A FasTrak Flex toll tag is required for carpools, motorcycles, and eligible CAVs* to travel toll free in the I-580, I-680 Contra Costa, and SR-237 express lanes.

If you received a new or replacement toll tag after September 2019, please be advised the new toll tags will not beep while driving through a toll plaza or express lane. These toll tags can be identified by the tag number which starts with ‘101’. You may check your statement or transaction history online to confirm that toll charges posted to your FasTrak account. The FasTrak Flex toll tag has a three-position switch to signal whether you are traveling alone or as a carpool. The FasTrak Flex toll tag works at all toll bridges and in all Bay Area express lanes, and it also can be used to pay for parking at San Francisco International Airport.

A FasTrak Flex toll tag is required for carpools, motorcyles, and eligible CAV’s* to travel toll free in the I-580, I-680 Contra Costa, and SR-237 express lanes.

If you received a new or replacement toll tag after September 2019, be advised that the new toll tags will not beep or make any noise while driving through a toll plaza or express lanes. These toll tags can be identified by the tag number which starts with ‘101’. You can check your statement or transaction history online to confirm that toll charges posted to your FasTrak account.