US-101 Express Bus Feasibility Study

SamTrans US-101 Express Bus Feasibility Study

US-101 through San Mateo County is one of the most congested freeways in the Bay Area. The SamTrans US-101 Express Bus Feasibility Study is exploring the role express buses can play in providing mobility options on US-101 that strengthen connectivity to jobs and housing hubs throughout the region. Together with other improvements and transportation demand management initiatives, the implementation of viable, time-competitive public transit options on US-101 has the potential to help meet the region’s future transportation demands. This project has been made possible by a grant from the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) and a grant from the Regional Planning grantmaking strategy of Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

What are Express Buses?

Express bus service can provide faster transit service to key commuter destinations than traditional local bus services. In general, express bus routes make few inter­mediate stops, reducing travel time. Riders benefit from the reliable travel times offered when buses travel in high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes.

About the Study

The Study is currently examining the financial and operational feasibility of a network of long-distance express buses operating on US-101 through San Mateo County, potentially integrated with managed lanes that provide access to high-occupancy vehicles. The results of the Study will help SamTrans determine if there is a viable market for long-haul express bus services through San Mateo County serving adjacent cities. The express bus routes considered as part of this Study will primarily serve San Mateo County, but will likely include stops at job and housing hubs located in San Francisco and Santa Clara counties due to the regional nature of commuter traffic in the Bay Area. This project complements the San Mateo 101 Managed Lanes Project (click here for more information).

The Study team is conducting the following tasks:

  • Assess the financial and operational feasibility of a network of long-distance express bus service along the US-101 freeway corridor.

  • Identify key regional travel markets located in or traveling through US-101 in San Mateo County.

  • Define transit performance objectives within the corridor.

  • Engage community members and stakeholders in developing potential express bus routes that expand their mobility options for long-haul trips.

  • Develop transit ridership forecasts and conceptual operating plans for potential express bus routes.

  • Identify potential transit-supportive facilities, including park & ride lots (PNR) and multimodal access facilities or hubs, to help close first-mile/ last-mile gaps.

  • Explore alternative funding and/or financing opportunities

  • Evaluate alternatives and select a preferred alternative to move forward for further study.

  • Share findings and lessons learned in a Final Report. 

Please see this fact sheet for more information about the project.

Opportunities to Participate

Implementation partners, stakeholders, and members of the public will be invited to engage in the planning process throughout the project. The Study team conducted community outreach on this project in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties in Summer 2017 at the following events:

  • July 16, 2017: Pop-up Tabling at the Sunday Streets fair in the Mission, San Francisco
  • July 17, 2017: Traditional community meeting at SamTrans Headquarters
  • August 5, 2017: Pop-up Tabling at the San Jose Flea Market.

Our team plans to conduct a second route of outreach in Spring 2018, where we will share route alternatives and other project findings. Plans for that round of outreach will be communicated on this webpage and sent to stakeholders who complete the comment form linked below.

You can also let us know your comments on the 101 Express Bus Study HERE. Include your contact information if you would like to be kept informed throughout the project by e-mail.


The study launched in late April 2017. The final report is anticipated to be ready in mid- to late-2018.