Toll hikes on Bay Area bridges take effect today, with the Antioch, Benicia-Martinez, Carquinez, Dumbarton, Richmond, and San Mateo bridges going up to $5, and the Bay Bridge getting a unique and confusing sliding scale toll which starts at $4 for off-peak hours on weekdays, $5 on Saturdays and Sunday, and $6 during commute hours, 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 to 7 on weekdays. Also, carpooling is no longer free, and will cost $2.50 -- Fastrak required.

Though this is certain to elicit moans of, "aww, fuck," from a fair number of drivers approaching the toll plaza in the coming days, SFGate reports that traffic is light so far today despite the change, and SF Appeal reports that this rollout was planned purposely for this light-traffic holiday weekend.

BART officials have been sending outreach personnel to casual carpool pickup spots the East Bay encouraging people to use the trains rather than pay the toll, but this is unlikely to sway the minds of people who live too far from BART stations to walk there, and who lost hope years ago of ever finding a parking spot at a BART station after 7 a.m.

(Photo by Troy Holden.)