SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) – The seven state-owned Bay Area Bridges bridges are about to join the Golden Gate Bridge to get rid of cash payment lanes and go alone with FasTrak.
"There is a lot of evidence that what we have now is imperfect and we will try to improve it a bit," said Randy Rentschler of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.
"Imperfect" is one of the best words used to describe the disorder in the Bay Bridge toll plaza when drivers realize they are in the FasTrak lane, but must quickly merge into a cash lane or vice versa.
"We have enough FasTrak customers where cash toll payers get in everyone's way," says Rentschler.
That is one reason why the Metropolitan Transportation Commission took a big step on Wednesday to accept only one type of payment to cross the seven state bridges in the Bay Area. This means that you will have to obtain a FasTrak transponder.
"It's going to take a couple of years and the Bay Bridge could take three years," he says.
The MTC approved a contract on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 to begin converting toll crossings on all local bridges only to FasTrak, which has already been at Golden Gate Bridge for several years.
MTC says fully electronic tolls will save some money and help facilitate backups at critical times. But some drivers who pay in cash with whom we talked did not seem anxious to change. Bay Bridge pilot Michael Davis says: "It's not a good idea … on a personal level, I'd rather deal with someone human"
Scott Free works as a messenger.
"I pay in cash every time because I receive a receipt and it is proof that I crossed the bridge."
Ben Duncan drives the Golden Gate quite frequently. He says it's time for the other bridges to follow suit.
"It has been something really good for my business and my family and they bill it directly to my credit card, so I don't have to worry about that. Just check and see that there is another FasTrak."
But what happens to those who charge tolls when everything is FasTrak? Rentschler says: "Those who charge tolls are all CalTrans employees and everyone will get a job at CalTrans."
See more stories and videos on how to build a better area of the bay.
Copyright © 2019 KGO-TV. All rights reserved.
. (tagsToTranslate) bay bridge (t) san francisco bay bridge (t) bay bridge traffic (t) bay bridge tolls (t) bay bridge toll increase (t) how much it costs to pay the bay bridge (t) bay bridge fastrak price