"Nobody likes higher tolls," MTC Chair Jake Mackenzie said after the vote Jan. 24. "But nobody likes traffic jams or crush-loaded train cars either."
The Regional Measure 3 plan was developed last year by the State Legislature in conjunction with MTC, as a way to deal with congestion issues and pay for highway and transit improvements. In October 2017, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 595, authorizing the measure to be placed on the June ballot. The BATA vote Wednesday confirmed the measure for the ballot.
If Measure 3 is approved, the proposed toll increases would begin with a $1 increase on the seven state-owned toll bridges beginning Jan. 1, 2019, followed by a $1 increase in January 2022 and another $1 increase in January 2025.
The Golden Gate Bridge is owned and operated by the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, which sets its own tolls.
A handful of Tri-Valley highway and transportation improvements are among the projects that would benefit from the measure:
* Interstate 680/Highway 84 Interchange Reconstruction — $85 million.
* Interstate 680/Interstate 880/Route 262 Freeway Connector — $15 million.
* Bay Area Corridor Express Lanes (regional program) — $300 million.
* Tri-Valley Transit Access Improvements — $100 million.
"The Bay Area has been blessed by several consecutive years of strong economic growth," Mackenzie said. "If our region is going to maintain its economic leadership, we have to invest in projects that will keep businesses and their workers moving."
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