SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- FasTrak used to be a simple convenience. You could stop and pay the toll, or just zip past in the FasTrak lane. Now the toll booths aren't staffed and FasTrak, while not a necessity, is certainly an easier way to go.
However, the amount of money moved into your account can sometimes be a surprise.
Michael Zanzoni lives in San Francisco.
"Right now, if you saw my screenshots, I have over $170, for what? $8 and $7 bridge tolls," he says.
The screen shot he's talking about has his FasTrak account. There is $170.45 on account.
The last time the Bay Area Toll Authority added money, it added $115. The account already had $57.50 in it.
Zanzoni says it used to take a lot less.
So what changed? 7 On Your Side asked John Goodwin of the Toll Authority who said when drivers sign up for FasTrak, $25 is put on account and is replenished when your account total falls to $15. After that, your bridge crossings are tracked and an algorithm applied.
"Every customer's account is evaluated once a quarter," Goodwin says, "and the replenishment amount is adjusted, or not, based on use in that previous quarter."
So what if Zanzoni does not want that much taken from his account. Is there a workaround?
"There is a workaround," Goodwin says. "He can drop the threshold to as little as $15 and he can drop the replenishment amount to as little as $25."
If you want the FasTrak account to take less out of your account, call Fastrak. It will change how much it takes.
Also drivers can rely on the Toll Authority to track bridge crossings using a vehicle's license plate number. They can then go online and pay in advance or within 48 hours after a crossing. If drivers do neither, a bill will come in the mail.
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