Bay City News Service
All-electronic tolling on the Golden Gate Bridge will take effect by the morning commute on March 27, Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District officials announced Thursday.
The switch to all-electronic toll collection will save the district $16 million over eight years, bridge district spokeswoman Mary Currie said.
The electronic toll collection options include the current FasTrak and three pay-by-plate options - opening a license plate account, making a one-time payment, or paying a toll invoice.
For two-axle vehicles, the pay-by-plate toll will be $6. The FasTrak toll will still be $5 and the carpool toll remains at $3.
Of the 28 full-time toll collectors who were employed in January of 2011 when the decision to collect tolls electronically was made, all but nine have transitioned to another job with the district or are retiring, Currie said.
An advertising campaign about the electronic tolling that is tied to the 1960s began Wednesday, Currie said. Its tagline is, "Drive on through to the other side. All-Electronic Tolling on the Golden Gate Bridge. No Stopping, Ever. Trippy."
The Golden Gate Bridge was the first to develop and institute one-way toll collection on Oct. 19, 1968, Currie noted.
All lanes on the bridge will accommodate all electronic toll collection options, she said. The second toll lane from the right on the western side of the bridge will be dedicated as the "Carpool Only" lane, for southbound vehicles with three or more persons and motorcyclists who use FasTrak between 5-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. on weekdays, except holidays.
FasTrak will be required to use the carpool lane, Currie said.
The district will also hold a public hearing on March 21 on a proposal to raise the speed limit through the toll plaza from 5 mph to 25 mph, which is the current speed limit in FasTrak lanes at other CalTrans-operated toll bridges in the Bay Area.
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