SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — A trip over the Golden Gate Bridge could soon cost drivers more. The Golden Gate Bridge District board will hear five proposals Thursday to raise the toll over the next five years.
The hike would help the district meet a $75 million dollar budget deficit it faces thanks to increased cost of labor, materials, demand on transit and more.
There are five toll fare options. The most conservative simply fills that $75 million dollar hole in the budget. The most aggressive would bring in an additional $25 million dollars. Golden Gate Bridge District spokesman Paolo Cosulich-Schwartz said the additional revenue will “cover the needed revenue to maintain existing service, as well as to invest in some of the major capital needs that we have here at the bridge.”
If the steeper increase passes, it would go towards a new ferry boat, seismic retrofit of the bridge and painting the south tower. FasTrak drivers currently pay $7. The conservative hike would take that to $8.25. The highest could go all the way to $8.75
“I’m not in favor of it,” said San Francisco driver Jaime Watson. “I was here when it was just four dollars … and it already seems pretty high.”
The bridge district knows convincing drivers to pay more could be a hard sell, but it said the money keeps commuters’ drives sane by funding buses and ferries, something it couldn’t sustain at the current level with the current toll fare.
The bridge district hasn’t tackled a toll hike since 2013, when public input was about half in favor, the district said. Open houses for this round begin next month before the board makes its final decision in March.