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

Just Posted

The fate of San Francisco nicotine giant Juul remains to be seen, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reviewing whether to allow certain flavored vape products on the market. <ins>(Jeenah Moon/New York Times)</ins>
How the vape king of teen nicotine addiction rose and fell in San Francisco

‘Hey, Juul, don’t let the door hit you on the way out’

Cabernet sauvignon grapes sat in a container after being crushed at Smith-Madrone Winery in St. Helena. (Courtesy Smith-Madrone Winery)
San Francisco’s ‘Champagne problems’ — Wine industry suffers supply chain woes

‘Everywhere you turn, things that were easy are no longer easy’

Glasses behind the bar at LUNA in the Mission District on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Glassware is just one of the many things restaurants have had trouble keeping in stock as supply chain problems ripple outward. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF restaurants face product shortages and skyrocketing costs

‘The supply chain crisis has impacted us in almost every way imaginable’

A Giants fans hangs his head in disbelief after the Dodgers won the NLDS in a controversial finish to a tight Game 5. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Giants dream season ends at the hands of the Dodgers, 2-1

A masterful game comes down to the bottom of the ninth, and San Francisco came up short

<strong>Workers with Urban Alchemy and the Downtown Streets Team clean at Seventh and Market streets on Oct. 12. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins> </strong>
<ins></ins>
Why is it so hard to keep San Francisco’s streets clean?

Some blame bureaucracy, others say it’s the residents’ fault

Most Read