Is This True?

I-880 Carpool Lanes Improve Commute by 30 Minutes

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KCBS) — The recently added carpool lanes on northbound I-880 are saving commuters from Fremont to the South Bay a lot more time than officials originally predicted.
CalTrans reports that traffic congestion has been reduced by one-third with carpoolers saving as much as 30 minutes on their commute.

For the entire story, click here for podcast and here for print.

Not sure how they get their figures, and I haven’t driven south of Warm Springs in about a year. But it usually seems like HOV lane restrictions further clog rush hour traffic in Hayward south to Fremont.

Matt Artz


  1. The widening of 880 should help to relieve some traffic on 880. But still have more work to do. The traffic on Auto Mall, Mission Blvd and 680 are still pretty bad during rush hours;-( BTW, they might need to compare the traffic with “normal days”, as there is usually less traffic during November/December holiday season. Many people are taking time off, and lots of companies are shutting down now. I still remembered my commute from Fremont to south bay was pretty smooth back in 2003, when the economy was not so good;-(

  2. It is much better, especially around the Misson exit, both North and Southbound

  3. I have a 12-mile commute between Mowry Avenue and Montegue Expressway. Before the holiday short-weeks started, I was seeing a dramatic increase in traffic *beyond* the Mission interchange, in both directions.

    Northbound in the evening, the formerly-moderate backup from Stevenson and Auto Mall, now was stop-and-creep all the way back to Mission overpass. This _nearly_ offsets the elimination of the Dixon Landing jam.

    Southbound, the 5MPH line from 237 interchange (which seems to block *all* 880 lanes for some reason), extended all the way north past Dixon Landing, sometimes nearly back to Mission, adding 10 minutes or so to my morning commute.

    However, that was only for a week or so before the short holiday weeks began… gods, I wish this could continue forever! I’ve had a 30 minute commute each way during the holidays.

    We’ll see what happens next week, as we get back to normal traffic…

  4. I commuted to Santa Clara from Fremont for two years, 1974-1975, via the Nimitz and 237. It was stop-and-creep then. So 34 years later, after adding car pool lanes, metering lights, fly-overs, etc., sounds like nothing has changed.

  5. I’ve got Doug beat. I commuted from Fremont to Lockheed from 1963 to 1994. When 237 became a freeway, during the formal ceremony I calculated that I had spent a year and a half of my life on 237 (45 minutes each way, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year for god knows how many years.)

    237 was one lane each way when I started and it backed up to 880 (then 17) every morning and every evening. Lanes were added, traffic eased for a while and then clogged again. More lanes were added with the same results. When it became all freeway, 237 was fine, but the backup went to 880. Car pool lanes helped and were effective, but the back ups just kept moving.

    I would guess the only way to have free flowing traffic would be simply to pave everthing and paint lanes on it. That makes as little sense as anything we have tried for the last 40 years or more. The answer is a network of transit options, all tied together, buses, trolleys, light rail, heavy rail, running frequently, conveniently, comfortably, and cheaply.

    Maybe once we get people into transit, there will be enough lanes for the rest of us (joking.)

  6. Gus, you’re bringing back my bad memories. After my SC commute I switched to Redwood City via the old two-lane Dumbarton Draw Bridge. No one would believe it now, but if the skipper of a small pleasure boat out of Alviso headed up the Bay the operator of the draw bridge would stop the commute traffic and raise the bridge, allowing him to pass. Many a morning I remember shutting off my car, getting out and hanging over the bridge rail to wave at the passing boat. No, I don’t mean the middle-finger wave either.

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