FasTrak(R) Toll Tags Now Available at Walgreens Stores
OAKLAND, Calif., May 13 /PRNewswire/ – With a toll increase on the Bay Area’s seven state-owned bridges going into effect on July 1, 2010, the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) has expanded its FasTrakÃ‚® retail distribution network to make it easier than ever for motorists to enjoy a faster commute. New FasTrak customers can now obtain toll tags at more than 125 Walgreens stores around the Bay Area as well as at some 100 Safeway supermarkets and two dozen Costco warehouses. New customers who pick up a FasTrak toll tag at a participating retailer from May 15 to July 15 can get up to $10 in free tolls. A complete list of participating locations is available on the FasTrak website at bayareafastrak.org.
“With the toll tags available at Walgreens, Costco and Safeway, FasTrak enrollment becomes a lot more convenient for a lot more people,” said Napa County Supervisor and Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) member Bill Dodd, who chairs the Commission’s BATA Oversight Committee. “And convenience is really what FasTrak is all about. Because FasTrak customers prepay their tolls, they don’t have to stop to pay cash at a toll booth. The correct toll is deducted electronically from a customer’s prepaid account when they pass through the toll plaza. Having the tags available at Walgreens is especially timely for carpool commuters because they will have to use FasTrak to qualify for the new discounted carpool toll that begins July 1.”
The new $2.50 carpool toll, which is half of the new $5 regular toll (and a $3.50 discount off the new $6 peak-period toll on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge), will be assessed for carpool vehicles that cross the region’s state-owned toll bridges in designated carpool lanes on weekdays from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
July 1 also will mark the debut of congestion pricing–also known as time-of-day pricing–on the Bay Bridge, which is by far the region’s busiest toll bridge. Beginning July 1, auto tolls on the Bay Bridge will vary from $4 during weekday off-peak hours, to $5 all day on Saturdays and Sundays, and to $6 from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays. The regular auto toll will rise to $5 from the current $4 at all times on the six other state-owned toll bridges: the Antioch, Benicia-Martinez, Carquinez, Dumbarton, Richmond-San Rafael and San Mateo-Hayward bridges.
BATA began distributing FasTrak toll tags through Costco warehouses and Safeway stores in 2007 as part of a comprehensive plan to expand and improve electronic toll collection in the Bay Area. Currently, there are more than 900,000 FasTrak account holders in the nine-county region. During peak periods, FasTrak-equipped vehicles account for more than 60 percent of peak-period traffic on Bay Area toll bridges. FasTrak can be used in all lanes at all Bay Area toll plazas.
BATA, which is directed by the same policy board as the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), administers toll revenues from the Bay Area’s seven state-owned toll bridges. Toll revenues from the Golden Gate Bridge are administered by the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, which joined with BATA to operate a single regional FasTrakÃ‚® customer service center in San Francisco. MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.
SOURCE Bay Area Toll Authority