Drivers react to increased Bay Area bridge tolls

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A toll increase has taken effect for most of the Bay Area's bridges, and Wednesday was the first day most commuters felt the impact as they headed back to work.

That's outrageous. $7 and gas? Wow. It's easier to take the bus," said Oakland driver Vince Lopriore.

TIMELINE: Bay Area bridge toll increases

But transit officials don't think Lopriore's reaction will be the typical one, pointing out this wasn't imposed on drivers. The toll increase was approved by voters in the June election.

"Everyone knew it was coming and it was voted on in the Bay Area about six months ago. But it's not real until it's real and I do think people need to remind themselves it is going up a dollar," said Randy Rentschler of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

This dollar toll increase at state owned bridges like the Bay Bridge is just round one. The price will go up $1 every three years for a total of $3 in nine years. The money will go toward transportation projects like new BART cars, new carpool lanes and more ferry service.

Ferry riders like that idea.

RELATED: Fare hikes, Golden Gate bridge toll increase now in effect in Bay Area

"I would love all the ferry service I can get. I have been taking it since 2010 from Alameda and it is the best way to commute," said Kelly Griswold.

The tolls went up at the San Mateo, Dumbarton, Antioch, Carquinez, Benicia bridges, the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, and the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge.

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