Folks crossing the Golden Gate Bridge will be paying a little more to get into San Francisco starting Wednesday. That's the day the GGB's toll will rise by 25 cents, all part of the plan to get tolls to as high as $8 by 2018.
The GGB last raised tolls in April 2014, upping fees for FasTrak users to $6 and drivers without transponders to $7.
Since the bridge doesn't take any cash tolls — drivers must either use FasTrak or pay-by-plate (in which your license plate is photographed and you're billed) — there's no fear of lines while drivers fumble for change, making an incremental increase like this one possible. We'll see another quarter increase in July 2016, 2017 and 2018, which is when we'll hit the $7 FasTrak/$8 pay-by-plate goal.
These five years of increases is expected to raise $138 million, which officials hope will make a dent in the bridge's projected five-year, $33 million deficit.
“Our capital needs for our aging buses, ferries, facilities and the bridge itself necessitated we set aside more money for those improvements, along with the movable median barrier,” Denis Mulligan, bridge general manager, told the Marin Independent Journal.
But Susan Deluxe, described by the IJ as "a longtime critic of the bridge district," takes the bridge's Board to task for the uptick.
“A quarter toll increase here, a quarter increase there and there is no accountability," she says.
“This is an easy way to slip a new toll under the radar...It’s a small amount and doesn’t raise the hackles of the public. But it adds up, of course.”