Higher tolls set for San Francisco area bridges

Truckers’ one-year exemption from last year’s toll hike will end July 1 on San Francisco’s toll bridges.

The Bay Area Toll Authority said the two-phase toll increase for multi-axle vehicles takes effect on July 1 and July 1, 2012. The authority administers toll revenues for the Bay Area’s seven state-owned toll bridges.

Cash tolls for five-axle vehicles will climb to $18 from the current $11.25. In July 2012, cash tolls for vehicles or combinations with three or more axles on these bridges will increase to $5 times the number of axles, so a five-axle truck driver will pay $25.

FasTrak rates for truckers using BATA bridges after July 1 are not yet available.

Toll revenues from the Golden Gate Bridge are administered by the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, which joined with BATA to operate a single regional FasTrak customer service center.

On the Golden Gate Bridge, drivers of five-axle trucks currently paying $15 cash will fork out $22 in July and $30 the following July. The same truck on the Golden Gate Bridge using FasTrak now paying $12.50 will pay $18.75 beginning this July and $25 starting the next July.

The toll hike went into effect in July 2010 for most vehicles, but the increase for multi-axle vehicles was delayed to allow trucking firms to incorporate higher tolls into new contracts with shippers.

BATA approved the higher tolls to pay for seismic retrofits of the Antioch and Dumbarton bridges, the increased cost of debt financing and to compensate for revenue losses from the decline of toll-paying traffic in recent years.