Nearly every driver crossing San Francisco Bay Area bridges will need to pay a higher toll starting July 1.
Wednesday (Jan 27), the Bay Area Toll Authority bumped the cost of crossing the Bay Bridge to $6 during commute hours, and the price for driving across the other six bridges to $5, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The move will also impact carpoolers for the first time and those who pull recreational vehicles. Truck drivers will also see their tolls increase – but not for awhile.
The Golden Gate Bridge, which is owned and controlled by an independent district, is not affected.
The package of toll hikes unanimously approved by the authority after months of public hearings brings to the Bay Area congestion-based tolling and carpool tolls for the first time. About a dozen speakers asked the commission either to kill or reduce the toll increases. Among the opponents were casual carpoolers, and recreational vehicle and boat users.
On the Bay Bridge, drivers crossing during weekday commute hours – from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m – will have to pay $6. During other weekday hours, the toll will remain at $4. On weekends, it will rise to $5. The toll will increase to $5 at all other times on the Dumbarton, San Mateo, Richmond-San Rafael, Carquinez, Benicia-Martinez and Antioch bridges. Carpoolers on all bridges will see their free ride end, as they’re charged $2.50.
Truck drivers will see the steepest increases, but in an attempt to soften the blow to struggling truckers, their increases will be delayed for a year to allow them to negotiate with their customers to cover increased costs. Trucks and other multiple-axle vehicles will be charged $5 per axle. They now pay between $6 for a three-axle vehicle to $13.50 for a seven-axle vehicle.