Subcommittee to vote on Golden Gate toll takers

January 13, 2011 12:12:10 PM PST
A vote could put the Golden Gate Bridge District on the road to eliminating toll takers. That could make the Golden Gate the first bridge in the state, and maybe the country, to be all electronic. A subcommittee vote is scheduled for later on Thursday. The district wants to do it to save $2 million a year.

A camera would photograph license plates and then the bill would be sent to the registered owner.

Some experts are saying that within the next 10 years fully one half of toll bridges in the U.S. will be all electronic.

"The industry standard is going all electronic tolling across the world," said Golden Gate Bridge spokesperson Mary Currie.

"They're taking away our jobs, our livelihood. Now the people who come through the bridge have to deal with what, a machine?" said toll taker Ben Ramirez.

The vote from the full bridge district board is expected January 28. The district hopes to find jobs for all 32 toll takers who would lose their jobs. They have landscaping positions, clerical, management - as well as openings from a number of people who are retiring.

If approved it would go into effect sometime next year.