On Friday, the Golden Gate Bridge Transit District Board of Directors voted to raise tolls over the next five years, a proposal that will add $1.75 in extra fees for FasTrak users by 2023.
The district’s Finance-Auditing Committee voted in 2018 to explore toll hikes as a response to what it calls the rising cost of maintaining the world-famous span.
“Over the past five years, since the last toll increase plan was implemented in April 2014, costs have risen for goods and services,” district staff noted at the time. The majority of the bridge district’s revenue comes straight from driver tolls.
Presently, it’s $7 for most FasTrak users to cross the bridge from Marin County into San Francisco. Other forms of payment, like cash, cost $8.
Five different plans were up for consideration, each of them raising tolls anywhere between 25 cents and 35 cents per year for five years. Transit staff’s report favored either a 30 or 35 percent yearly hike.
In the end, the board went with the priciest option of 35 cents per year until 2023. The proposal should net the district roughly $100 million during that period.
Notably, the district projects a $74 million budget deficit over that period with the current tolls.
Accountants write that the hike is necessary for “meeting operating expenses,” “purchasing or leasing [...] materials,” and “projects necessary to maintain service.”
In short, just as it’s gotten more expensive for most people in SF since 2014, so too has it gotten pricier to keep up the bridge.
The first 35-cent increase will kick in on July 1, and tolls will increase every July 1 for five years.