Major hikes proposed for 7 Bay Area toll bridges

Staff wants $1 more for all bridges, $2 during commute hours, tolls for carpoolers,

Staff members of the agency that oversees the Bay Area's state-owned bridges Wednesday recommended raising car tolls by at least a dollar on all seven bridges and imposing a charge for carpoolers for the first time since the 1970s.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission's Bay Area Toll Authority Oversight Committee also is recommending that car tolls be increased by $2 on the Bay Bridge during commute hours and increasing tolls for trucks on all bridges by higher amounts.

Staff members first proposed a toll hike in October and the idea has been discussed at a series of public hearings throughout the Bay Area.

The Oversight Committee is scheduled to vote on a toll hike on Jan. 13 and the full Bay Area Toll Authority is scheduled to vote on Jan. 27.

If a toll hike is approved, it would take effect next July 1.

The staff proposal presented at the Oversight Committee's meeting today combines elements of three options that were first presented in October.

The proposal calls for car tolls on six of the seven state-owned to increase from $4 to $5 at all times.

On the Bay Bridge, car tolls also would increase from $4 to $5 most of the time but they would increase an extra dollar, to $6, during peak commute hours, which are from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays.

In addition, carpools would have to pay $2.50 during commute hours on all seven bridges. Carpools now cross the bridges for free during commute hours.

For trucks, the charge per axle would increase to $5. Consequently, three-axle trucks would have to pay $15, four-axle trucks would pay $20 and five-axle trucks would pay $25.

MTC spokesman Randy Rentschler said the reason staff members are proposing a higher percentage toll increase for trucks is that trucks "have had a free pass for years" because previous toll increases were smaller for trucks on a percentage basis than they were for cars.

Jeff Shuttleworth, Bay City News

We can't do it without you.
Support local journalism.


Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Amador Estates
on Dec 10, 2009 at 8:40 am

Wonderful, just wonderful! The state can't control their spending and so they try to bleed us even drier than ever.

Like this comment
Posted by digitalFlack
a resident of Stoneridge
on Dec 10, 2009 at 9:47 am

The new bridge will cost $13B, who should pay for it.

Nobody like taxes or toll increases, but a lot of people seem to want things (like new bridges) for free.

I would like to see (continued) reduced tolls for car pools of 3+ and super efficient cars 40-50 mph or better.

Lastly, how many people that commute to SF or the Peninsula are really going to miss that extra $200/year?


Like this comment
Posted by Joe Crosslin
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Dec 10, 2009 at 11:03 am

The bridge and I arrived on the scene the same year. I recall my Dad telling me on one trip across the bridge that the 25 cent toll (there were toll booths in both directions then) would cease once the debt on the bridge was paid.

Another fiscal promise broken. All the bums in Sacramento have to go!

Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Amador Estates
on Dec 10, 2009 at 7:36 pm

It's not a question of wanting something for nothing. Rather, it is about California spending money wisely to avoid extra taxes. Instead of spending money on the s-curve and associated modifications, they should have rebuilt the bridge immediately after the quake in '89.

Like this comment
Posted by Rick
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 11, 2009 at 8:34 am

There are no patriots in government only criminals in California and Washington. I don't see a patriot almost anywhere and when we have, they don't run for office.

Like this comment
Posted by Qwerty
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 11, 2009 at 9:25 am

To Rick:

Agreed. Many of them won't run for office because they would have to compromise their integrity to survive in the political arena.

Like this comment
Posted by Mary
a resident of Country Fair
on Dec 11, 2009 at 10:56 am

It won't be long now before the complete collapse of this state. No one is working and those who are are taxed to death so they just vote with their feet and leave.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Be the first to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Couples: Reading List
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,186 views

New Donlon school is at least four years away
By Tim Hunt | 1 comment | 776 views