Golden Gate toll increase: Gimme me five

| 9/6/2002

The tolls on the Golden Gate Bridge jumped on Labor Day to five bucks from $3. According to The (San Francisco) Examiner, drivers are very unhappy with the change even though it is the first increase in 11 years.

The toll increase is part of a five-year plan to reduce a projected $441 million deficit the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway, and Transportation District is facing. On June 27, district directors voted overwhelmingly to support the jump. Bridge maintenance and daily operation of the bridge has an annual budget of $39 million, which is funded by tolls.

Mary Currie, spokesperson for the Bridge division of the transportation department, said there is a way to get a discount off the new $5 toll. Users of the FasTrak electronic toll-paying system are charged only $4, Currie said. Since the bridge directors voted in the toll increase more than 5,000 people have signed up.

Reportedly, the directors also are considering waiving the toll altogether for environmentally conscious "green" cars.