Golden Gate Bridge District Looks To Ditch Toll Takers

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The Golden Gate Bridge District is slowly taking steps to eliminate toll takers from the span.

The District was the first in the Bay Area to adopt FasTrak and now may also be the first to get rid of toll takers. Under the plan, cameras will take pictures of license plates of cars not using FasTrak.

Golden Gate Bridge District spokeswoman Mary Currie said the process of weeding out toll takers may start later this year.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

“The idea of moving to all-electronic tolling is something that the entire toll collection industry is doing. The technology is there to do it and so that’s where the industry is going,” said Currie. “Essentially what will happen at the Golden Gate Bridge is that everyone that has FasTrak will continue to receive the $1 discount at this point and then pay the $5 toll.”

The Bridge District is trying to eliminate an $87 million budget deficit. Currie said that at this point next year, they may not have any toll takers at all, but will still look to find other jobs for the 35 who are there now.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • Josh Stewart

    What “other” jobs could there possibly be? At least it is only 35 people, not hundreds. Hope they have an easy time finding a job, or at least be eligible for unemployment benefits.

  • Sue I.

    Who is going to collect from all the out-of-state drivers crossing the bridge then going back to their own state? Why should they pay, especially if they never come back to California?

  • perry adams

    If the reason to eliminate human toll takers is to reduce the $85M budget deficit but in another report Currie or a spokesperson said they would try to find positions for them in the district. Doesn’t wash. The plan is to reduce human overhead. Along with this is the fact that those with FasTrac will soon be paying $6 rather than the Buck savings, a necessity to further reduce the deficit…and on top of that raising the regular toll by another $1. There is not end to the problems the district has. Start charging pedestrian, using a turnstile to walk across the bridge…just $.50 would bring in a huge amount of revenue as the Bridge is a destination and tourists will pay it.

  • apenzott

    I like the way that Florida handles their toll collections at the unattended turnpike stations. At these empty toll booths, there are self-addressed envelopes where you can fill out the date and license plate of your vehicle and enclose a check for payment. The original use of this was to cover the case of malfunctioning equipment.

  • Bay Area Guy

    Who else is tired of these advertisements that force the page down for a few seconds then collapses? They person who thought of this type of advertisement should be fired. Its’ so annoying. Worst than an in your face pop up advertisement. I quit coming to this site for that reason. I come back every week or so to see if they’ve changes but No! Same obnoxious behaviors. Guess I’ll stay away for a month next time. Sf gate- folks no moving advertisements there.

    See ya in a month or so.

    • tn

      Someone has to pay for the CEO, Board of Directors, CFO, VPs, etc. It doesn’t look like this website hires journalists who were trained in reporting, and leaving the copy editors to the commentators. The reporting is bush league. Also, the videos that you click on are preceded with an advertisement and the one following, is even louder and more obnoxious (plus you have to click the back button multiple times to get out! Whereas, it takes only one mouse click to link to your news video…). Someone has to pay the upper management and it mine as well be the advertisers. You and I are just the flock.

  • montana mike

    Now all we have to get rid of is the Golden Gate Bridge District

  • Brent

    Drive anywhere on the East Coast or Midwest. You haven’t seen toll-takers in booths for years. Odd that the home of electronic innovation han’t been able to figure this out yet.

  • adam

    This is the perfect solutions. I hate paying the toll takers twice, one to cross the bridge and their salaries! A monkey can do their job and much faster and better at it too!

  • Deborah Gregson

    I remember laying in the back seat of the car at night when I was a kid on our way home from my grandparents. I could see the jewel lights out of the car windows pass by as we drove toward home, Mom and Dad talking quietly, a mix of 30s, 40s, 50s music on the radio. As our car drove up 19th Avenue to make The Bridge approach I could see the houses, smell the pines and eucalyptus, notice as the lights turned from white to yellow. I’d sit up to see the clock on the Toll Plaza wall and to greet the Toll Taker as we turned over our .25 cents to them (or was it a dime?). The people in the booth were always nice, had a friendly word to say, and we always looked forward to seeing them because it was part of the experience.

    Going over The Bridge is an experience, even when you do it every day. For those of you who do you must count it as a blessing. I still love the memories of watching those tall gold orange towers as they stand with powerful grace while we ride under them at night on our way home, leaving SF as it sparkles like thousands of jewels flung on the hills. I know it’s expensive to maintain, but it was built by the citizens of SF and Marin for their use, to unite them together. It’s a symbol of strength by coming together in a cause of agreement. More important, The Bridge is a symbol of Home to many who have had to leave SF, and the HUMAN TOLL TAKERS are there, at the Plaza, to greet you as you re-enter the city. Machines just can’t do that.

    Deborah Gregson

  • Can Activists Shut Down The Golden Gate Bridge? |

    […] district is facing an $87 million budget deficit and has considered eliminating toll takers and switching to an automated system as a way to cut […]

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