MTC is seeking volunteers to help test RideFlag Technologies’ carpool verification smartphone app –Express Carpool Check – in a pilot program to verify the number of people in a carpool vehicle on the Interstate 680 Contra Costa Express Lanes between Martinez and San Ramon.
Today, people who carpool in Bay Area Express Lanes must use a FasTrak® Flex toll tag to indicate the number of people in the vehicle. Carpools with two or more people and a FasTrak Flex toll tag set to 2 or 3+ can use the I-680 Express Lane without paying the toll.
In the Express Carpool Check Pilot Program, MTC is testing RideFlag’s Express Carpool Check app to see how well it counts the number of people needed to qualify for a carpool discount. Pilot program volunteers who are traveling in valid carpools, as verified by the Express Carpool Check app, can use the I-680 Express Lane without paying a toll during the pilot period. Volunteers with an existing FasTrak account must set their FasTrak Flex toll tag to 2 or 3+ to travel toll-free while participating in the pilot.
Bay Area Express Lanes provide an option to get you where you need to go faster. The RideFlag app hopes to make carpool verification easier, which would make the whole Express Lanes system work better for everyone.
Drivers can participate in the Express Carpool Check Pilot Program if they have a FasTrak account and Flex toll tag or if they register their license plate number. To receive carpool discounts in other Bay Area Express Lanes, drivers must have a FasTrak Flex toll tag.
Participants in the program are required to use the app (along with their FasTrak Flex toll tag or license plate number) and complete brief surveys to earn $100 per month in Amazon e-gift cards. Pilot program volunteers can earn up to $300 total for their participation.
Watch this video that explains more about the pilot program, and shows how easy it is to use the Express Carpool Check app.
Pilot program volunteers must:
- Be 18 years or older
- Have an Apple or Android smartphone
- Carpool on I-680 between Martinez and San Ramon for at least eight trips per 30-day trial period
User data privacy is a top concern for MTC, and for this study participants must sign a pilot participation agreement that explains data usage and privacy.
If the Express Carpool Check Pilot Program is successful, Express Lanes customers may someday be able to use a mobile app as an alternative to the FasTrak Flex toll tag.