Golden Gate Bridge officials unveil pre-pay toll kiosks

March 1, 2013 6:39:58 PM PST
The day you can no longer pay cash at the Golden Gate Bridge is fast approaching. The switch to all-electronic tolling is set to happen at the end of the month. Instead of cash booths, there will be a variety of ways to pay, including touch-screen computers at locations across the Bay Area.

Inside a San Rafael gas station is a new kiosk that allows drivers to use cash to make FasTrak or new Golden Gate Bridge license plate toll payments.

"It's anyone that really does not want to have a credit card on file; they want to pay with cash, and it requires their license plate number, that is the one identifier that is required," Golden Gate Transit spokeswoman Mary Currie said.

Ten such pilot kiosks are now in place in Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties.

By the end of March, when the Golden Gate Bridge switches to electronic-only tolling, there will be 150 of them all across the Bay Area. Cash, and the toll takers who collect it, will be gone.

It's a cost-savings move by the bridge district, which hopes traffic will also move better through the toll gates since no one will have to stop to pay.

The bridge says 70 percent of bridge traffic already has FasTrak accounts and that number is increasing every day.

But for those who prefer, or are limited to cash, or who miss the human interaction, that will still be available.

The bridge realizes there will be glitches as the bay area, and the world learn about the new system.

"If you're coming from Massachusetts and you're not going to be home for three weeks, we're going to have to have a little grace and be gentle and kind because people are not going to know," Currie said.

There is not yet a specific date for the switch to all-electronic tolling.


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