Golden Gate Bridge won't accept cash soon

February 20, 2013 8:45:44 PM PST
On Wednesday the bridge started a couple of projects to educate the paying public about the change, which is coming at the end of March.

By the end of March, cash will no longer be accepted at the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead, all-electronic tolling will be done through the existing FasTrak or through license plates.

Bay Area resident Tyler Hanley asked, "So credit cards? What are people going to use?"

The bridge district started educating its cash-paying customers with a flyer.

"They'll be getting these handy little take-one in the lanes, handed directly to them. We'll be distributing these during off-peak hours, which is when we see most of our cash-payers," said Mary Currie, the bridge spokesperson.

The bridge says there are 20 million southbound vehicles every year. Of those 14 million have FasTrak and don't have to do anything, six million use cash.

Their options include: getting FasTrak -- which also gives a $1 discount per toll -- setting up a payment or account linked to their license plate, paying cash at one of 150 a to-be-announced locations, or do nothing.

"If you do nothing, you're completely confused, you don't understand anything I'm telling you, you don't want to do anything, a toll invoice will get mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle," said Currie.

An invoice, not a violation, will be sent to you with 21 days to pay the $6 toll. After that it becomes a violation. The same camera system in place now to catch violators will be used to send invoices.

"Even up to speeds up to 20 miles per hour, if you're driving through that quickly, which we don't advise, yep," said Jessica Handcock from Traffic Technologies, Inc.

The cash-less system should keep traffic moving better.

"I think that's a good idea. I think it takes too long and it's going to make things a lot more efficient. So I'm all for it," said Bay Area commuter Noel Natividad.

Getting rid of cash should save the bridge district a lot of cash. The existing 14 human toll-takers should be absorbed into other district jobs.

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