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About The Bay: Surprise! Tourists In Rental Cars Mailed Bills For Crossing Golden Gate Bridge

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Cars pass through the Golden Gate Bridge toll plaza. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Cars pass through the Golden Gate Bridge toll plaza. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Tourists visiting San Francisco like to rent cars and head to the Golden Bridge overlook in Marin County so they can snap photos of the themselves with the iconic landmark in the background as a lasting reminder of their trip. But many are receiving another reminder when they come home, a bill for the toll.

Roger Eddy, his wife and three daughters were visiting from Springfield Illinois and rented a car and took some pretty good pictures. So what’s going to happen when they notice there is no toll takers to take their $6?

“I noticed there was a toll but I didn’t see anywhere to pay it,” Eddy said. “When I rented the car they mentioned nothing at all about FasTrak or anything else.”

So what happens?

I went to several rental car agencies and asked at the counter if I needed anything else to drive around the Bay Area and I was always told “no.”

“Rental cars will be a challenge for a while in the San Francisco market,” said Golden Gate Bridge spokeswoman Mary Curry. “People don’t know to say, ‘Hey, what’s the tolling program?’”

Tourists are often surprised, she said, when they get a bill from their rental car company—a $6 dollar toll and a processing fee, which can range between $2.95 and $9.95.

That can cost about $16 to cross the bridge.

If you opt to rent a FasTrak, it can cost up to $10 per day whether you use it or not. You can also prepay at some kiosks but that is kind of pain when you are on vacation.

San Francisco is an expensive place to visit—even more so when checking out the view from the Golden Gate Bridge from a rental car.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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