Golden Gate Bridge Board of Directors votes to lay off 146 employees to avoid toll hikes

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- On Friday, the Golden Gate Bridge District Board of Directors voted 11-5 to approve laying off 146 bus and ferry employees in an effort to stay afloat financially amid dwindling federal stimulus funds.

The layoffs will take effect on Jan. 4, and the board resolves that an additional 56 open positions with the district will go unfilled into 2021.

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Officials say the alternative to the job cuts was to raise tolls and fares by as much as $2 for vehicles, representing a roughly 20% increase in price.

The board also ordered a 10% pay cut for those in upper management positions to stay afloat.

The cuts will save the district more than $16 million, which means the board still has to make up more than $32 million in lost revenue to cover its shortfall.

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District management says the bridge agency has been losing $2 million a week through a combination of reduced toll revenue and fares from bus and ferry passengers.

Officials say they will run out of $50 million in federal funds by the end of the month, which it has been using to pay its employees since the start of the pandemic.

The district can call an emergency meeting before Jan. 5 to reconsider the decision if another federal relief bill is passed, or employee labor unions come forward with a plan to furlough staff.

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