Cost of driving across Golden Gate Bridge going up: Here's when, why, how much

Golden Gate Bridge tolls going up by $0.50 a year through 2028

ByLena Howland KGO logo
Monday, March 25, 2024
Cost of driving across Golden Gate Bridge going up: Here's when
The drive over the Golden Gate Bridge will cost drivers more starting in July.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The drive over the Golden Gate Bridge will cost drivers more starting in July.

On Friday, the board overseeing the bridge voted to raise the tolls by $0.50 a year through 2028.

The money from the toll increases is meant to provide funding for bridge operations and maintenance, as well as bus and ferry transit services.

"It adds up over time and there's a lot of costs that are adding up right now so that's just one more," Juliette Velez, a Sausalito resident said.

On July 1, it will be $10.25 for a two-axle vehicle, which essentially covers all cars and most trucks.

If you have Fastrack, it will be $1.00 less, at $9.25

For drivers who have a "pay as you go" account, the toll will now be $9.50.

"That kind of like rapid increase especially year over year over year, I think it might have an impact on certainly the commute, certainly the experience that some of the visitors have coming to town because it's an expensive place to visit to begin with," Tony Barlow, a Sausalito resident said.

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A bill that would raise the toll on Bay Area bridges for a five-year period to fund public transportation has its first committee hearing Wednesday.

Paolo Cosulich-Schwartz, a spokesperson for the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District says the increase in tolls are to help cover a projected $220 million deficit.

The five-year toll program is expected to generate a fraction of that, at $139 million.

"Understanding the financial needs of the golden gate bridge and our transit services, we still have a lot of work to do to make up the rest of that shortfall but our board through it prudent to select the option that would get us just a little further toward making up that 220 million," Cosulich-Schwartz said.

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Transit officials are asking Bay Area residents to weigh in on the practicality of an all-lane freeway tolling system.

After the pandemic, they say bridge traffic is still down by 15 to 20%.

With weekly revenue last year down by about $900,000, compared to pre-pandemic levels.

"Today, about two thirds of bridge tolls go to fund the maintenance and protection of the golden gate bridge," he said. "That's the workers out there everyday painting, replacing steel, helps fund the last phase of the seismic retrofit that we're going to embark on soon."

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Still, drivers like Juliette Velez out of Sausalito say, she'll be taking the ferry using her clipper card as a cheaper route.

"Well the bridge tolls, I'm learning, keep increasing so now with this recent news, I think it's even more of a good option because that add to the commute cost is not great," Velez said.

The bridge toll increases will go into effect starting July 1.

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