Bay Area bridges eye toll hikes
|Seven San Francisco area toll bridges may see toll hikes that would increase a five-axle truck’s tolls from $11.25 to either $23 or $35.
The Bay Area Toll Authority will hold hearings on the issue Dec. 3 and Dec. 7 before voting on a toll increase in January.
The California-owned area bridges that would be affected are the Antioch, Benicia-Martinez, Carquinez, Dumbarton, Richmond-San Rafael, San Francisco-Oakland Bay and San Mateo-Hayward bridges. The toll proposal does not affect the Golden Gate Bridge because it is owned and operated by an independent authority.
The proposal, likely be effective July 1, would be instituted to raise an additional $160 million. The main need for the extra funds is to finance $750 million in seismic retrofit projects on the Antioch and Dumbarton bridges. Also, toll-paying traffic has declined for five years and operational expenses and debt have jumped because of upheaval in the municipal bond markets.
Currently passenger vehicles pay $4 and carpools nothing during commute hours. Trucks pay $6 to $13.50, depending on the number of axles.
The BATA Oversight Committee meeting presented funding options at its Oct. 14 meeting. All options charge $5 for the first two axles of any vehicle. Option One would charge $6 per additional axle and Option Two would charge $10 per additional axle and Option Three is the same as Option One for truckers.
The authority will hear comment at the meeting on the proposals, but it will also receive comment until 4 p.m., Dec. 21 by accepting:
• Mail sent to BATA Public Information Office, 101 Eighth St., Oakland, Calif., 94607-4700.
More information is available at www.mtc.ca.gov.
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