Bay Area bridge tolls to increase July 1

The toll increase for vehicles with three or more axles was approved in January 2010 as a two-step increase, with the second step set to take effect July 1, the Bay Area Toll Authority announced Friday.

On the region's seven state-owned bridges, those multi-axle vehicles will pay $5 times the number of axles, up to $35. For example, the toll will be $15 for three-axle vehicles and $20 for four-axle vehicles, while rigs with seven or more axles will pay $35.

The toll hike for most vehicles took effect July 2010, but BATA, which approved the toll changes, voted to delay the price increases for multi-axle vehicles.

BATA took this approach to allow commercial trucking firms to account for higher tolls in new contracts with shippers, which typically carry 18- to 24-month terms.

BATA administers toll revenues from the Bay Area's seven state-owned bridges, while the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District administers toll revenues for its namesake crossing.

Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge will also cost more come July 1, following toll increases approved by the transit district board in 2010.

Multi-axle vehicles will pay $6 times the number of axles, or $5 per axle for FasTrak customers, a rate that is twice what those users paid in 2010, when those vehicle paid $3 per axle using cash and $2.50 per axle using FasTrak.

The maximum toll, however, has been capped, with vehicles with seven or more axles paying the same rate. In 2010, a 12-axle vehicle crossing the Golden Gate Bridge would have paid a $36 cash toll. The same vehicle will now pay only $6 more, or $42.

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