Would you pay $9 to cross the Bay Bridge?

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A $3 toll hike at Bay Area bridges is something regional leaders are carefully crafting to win the support of voters. Those same leaders got some encouraging news when they met Wednesday -- people are willing to pay more at the toll booths for projects designed to ease gridlock. (KGO-TV)

A three dollar toll hike at Bay Area bridges is something regional leaders are carefully crafting to win the support of voters. Those same leaders got some encouraging news when they met Wednesday -- people are willing to pay more at the toll booths for projects designed to ease gridlock.

The Bay Bridge is one of the bridges where tolls could go up by as much as three dollars, which means during commute hours, motorists could end up paying $9 to cross the bridge. A new poll found that 54 percent of likely voters would support a $3 toll increase at Bay Area bridges, excluding the Golden Gate.


"Bay Area residents are sick of being stuck in traffic. They need congestion relief," said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and member of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

The poll results were presented in San Francisco today to the elected leaders that make up the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

The question now is, how to craft the toll hike proposal for the June ballot. A phased-in approach seemed to be the most popular idea: A dollar hike in 2019, another in 2023 and the last one in 2027.

RELATED: As traffic increases, lawmakers call for possible new bridge to help Bay Area traffic

"If you had three dollars coming straight out of the gate, you wouldn't be able to spend all of it all at once anyway, just because of the number of projects and the size of the projects," said Jake Mackenzie, Metropolitan Transportation Commission Chairperson.

The projects number in the dozens, which would affect everything from BART to ferries. But at least one member of the public isn't impressed.

RELATED: Bay Area commuters may have to pay up to ease traffic congestion

"All of these are going to take a very, very long time and they're using old existing technologies. San Francisco Bay Area is supposed to be the home of innovation. You wouldn't know it from this list," Jonathan Gohstand of San Francisco.

Despite that feedback, it appears the projects, already approved by the legislature, will stand and so will the push to put the $3 toll hike proposal before voters in June.

Commissioners meet again on Jan. 24 to take a formal vote.

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