Transit officials eye cameras to recoup lost FasTrak tolls

With FasTrak violators driving away with $7 million in unpaid tolls last year, regional transportation officials will decide today on security improvements geared at slicing that total in half.

Up for approval in the Metropolitan Transportation Commission is a $7.5 million contract authorizing the installation of a new camera system capable of snapping photos of passing automobiles’ front and rear license plates, MTC spokesman Randy Rentschler said. The contract — with New York-based TRMI Systems Integration — is worth $7.5 million.

“We look at it like this — this contract will cost $7.5 million, we lost about $7 million last year in unpaid fines and we expect to cut that number in half with the new technology,” Rentschler said. “That’s about a two-year return on our investment.”

The MTC operates seven Bay Area bridges that collect roughly $400 million in toll revenue annually, but FasTrak violators have been a persistent problem. According to the MTC’s most recent monthly study, which detailed statistics from November, more than 112,000 automobiles illegally passed through FasTrak tolls without being caught.

If the security contract is approved, implementation of the new system would be complete in about a year, Rentschler said.

Automobiles using the FasTrak lanes without transponders arefined $25 for their first offense, and $70 for ensuing infractions.

Also up for approval in today’s MTC meeting is a demonstration study that would investigate the potential of video tolling systems on Bay Area bridges, which may eliminate the need for tollbooths.

wreisman@examiner.com  

Bay Area NewsLocalTransittransportation

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Uber, Lyft and DoorDash bring their battle against AB5 to November ballot

Measure would classify app-based drivers as independent contractors, offer some additional benefits

Small, impassioned crowd celebrates the Fourth of July with protest for affirmative action

Lawmakers and marchers urge voters to pass Proposition 16 in the November ballot

Union threatens legal action after Police Commission expands use-of-force policy

San Francisco’s police union is pursuing legal action after the Police Commission… Continue reading

Giants announce health guidelines for Oracle Park

The San Francisco Giants announced Friday that the organization’s maintenance team will… Continue reading

Restorative art on the inside and out

Curator Ericka Scott organizes exhibition of works by prisoners

Most Read