Carpools continue to slip since bridge toll start 

click to enlarge Within a week there was a 26% drop in carpoolers crossing Bay Area bridges after the $2.50 toll was implemented in July 2010.
  • Within a week there was a 26% drop in carpoolers crossing Bay Area bridges after the $2.50 toll was implemented in July 2010.

The number of carpoolers crossing the Bay Area’s seven state-run bridges continues to drop nearly two years after a toll was enforced.

In July 2010, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which oversees all regional spans except the Golden Gate Bridge, implemented a $2.50 charge for multiple-passenger vehicles, which were previously allowed to cross for free.

A week after the toll was enforced, the number of daily carpoolers dropped 26 percent. The latest numbers from the MTC show carpoolers continue to avoid the bridges.

Through the first nine months of this fiscal year, which ends June 30, bridge carpooling dropped 9.8 percent compared to the prior year — which amounts to 440,284 fewer carpools.

Conversely, overall traffic on those seven bridges increased during that time by about 1.4 percent. If levels remain steady, the Bay Area could see increased traffic on its bridges for the first time since 2004, said John Goodwin, an MTC spokesman.

Goodwin said the MTC will be releasing a congestion management report in the upcoming months that could shed more light on why carpoolers are abandoning the bridges.

wreisman@sfexaminer.comw

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Will Reisman

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