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GG Bridge District Considering Toll Hikes

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Northbound traffic stopped on the Golden Gate Bridge following a multi-vehicle crash, April 24, 2012. (CBS)

Northbound traffic stopped on the Golden Gate Bridge following a multi-vehicle crash, April 24, 2012. (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District will hold public meetings Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday on proposed incremental toll hikes on the bridge over the next five years.

The district is considering four options that would raise between $93 million and $138 million, depending on the increases, to offset a $142 million budget shortfall over the next five years.

The Fastrak toll would rise from $5 to $6.50 or $7 over five years. The current $6 pay-by-plate toll would rise to $8 by July 2018.

The incremental toll increases have been used on the district’s bus and ferry transit systems since 1998.

“If we increase the tolls in smaller increments over a five-year period, the impact to our customers’ budget won’t be as hard as one large increase every five to 10 years,” district spokeswoman Mary Currie said.

The district relies on tolls, transit fares, grants and advertising and concessions for its revenue, most of which comes from tolls, Currie said.

Tolls also pay half the operating costs of the bus and ferry systems, Currie said.

Tuesday’s public meeting is 5 to 7 p.m. at The Whistlestop’s Caboose Meeting Room, 930 Tamalpais Ave. in San Rafael.

The Wednesday meeting is 6 to 8 p.m. in the Petaluma Community Center’s Activity Room, 320 N. McDowell Blvd. in Petaluma.

On 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday the public comment meeting will be at the Forth Mason Center, The Gatehouse, 2 Marina Blvd. in San Francisco.

A formal public hearing is at San Rafael City Council chambers, 1400 Fifth Ave. in San Rafael at 7 p.m. on Feb. 12.

© Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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