Board to address Golden Gate Bridge toll raise proposal

Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesWorkers use a crane to lower a new LED sign onto the top of the Golden Gate Bridge toll plaza on March 25

Plans for a possible toll increase on the Golden Gate Bridge that could come as soon as next spring will be discussed at a board meeting Friday.

The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District board of directors will be discussing and possibly voting on putting five toll-increase options up for public comment.

The district is considering the toll increase in order to offset a five-year deficit projected at $142 million.

One option would be to raise an estimated $86 million over five years by bumping up the toll from $6 to $7 starting in April, and incrementally increasing the discounted $5 toll now paid by FasTrak users. Under that proposal, the FasTrak price would increase by 75 cents in April, and would go up another 25 cents to $6 a year later.

Another option would raise the toll for both FasTrak and non-FasTrak users by $1 starting in April. That proposal would bring in about $89 million over the next half-decade, according to the district.

The other three options call for staggered, incremental toll increases over the next five years. All three would result in an $8 toll by July 2018 for non-FasTrak users. FasTrak users would pay either $6.50 or $7 by 2018, depending on the proposal.

Those three proposals would bring in $93 million to $123 million in revenue over the next five years, district officials said.

District Auditor-Controller Joseph Wire said public opinion will be an important factor for the board in determining which toll increase plan to pursue.

The earliest that one of the plans could be implemented would be April, district spokeswoman Mary Currie said.

The last toll increase came in September 2008, when the toll was bumped up from $5 to $6.

Friday’s board meeting will be held at 10 a.m. at the district office on the south side of the bridge.Bay Area NewsGolden Gate BridgeHighway and Transportation DistricttollsTransittransportation

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