SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Weekday crossings on the seven state-owned toll bridges in the Bay Area have dropped by half compared to last year, as many adhere to the shelter-in-place order brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Caltrans compared toll crossing data from March 24, 2020 and March 26, 2019, which were both the 4th Tuesday of the month of March.
The agency found 187,683 crossings took place on toll bridges last Tuesday, compared to 398,293 crossings on the Tuesday in March 2019, a decline of 52 percent. During the morning commute, 47,670 crossings took place compared to 102,557, down 53 percent.
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On the Bay Bridge, which is normally packed every weekday morning, the number of crossings during the a.m. peak dipped 40 percent, from 41,698 to 24,648. Total crossings on the Bay Bridge, the busiest of the state owned bridges, dropped from 132,590 to 65,311, a dip of 50 percent.
The figures from Caltrans do not take account the Golden Gate Bridge, which is owned and operated by the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District.
Bridges have not been staffed with toll takers accepting cash since March 20th, when Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the workers off the bridges to help slow the spread of the virus. Drivers without Fastrak are receiving notices in the mail to pay their tolls.
Tolls on the Express Lanes on Highway 237, Interstate 580 and Interstate 680 have also been suspended during the shelter-in-place.