Trucks’ Toll Hike Waiver Expires
OAKLAND, Calif., July 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ – The Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) reminds drivers of big-rig trucks and other vehicles or combinations with more than two axles that their one-year exemption from the 2010 toll increase on the region’s toll bridges has now expired. The first step in the two-phase toll increase for multi-axle vehicles took effect at 12 a.m. this morning and will remain in place through June 30, 2012.
During this period, the toll for three-axle vehicles or combinations on the region’s seven state-owned toll bridges rose from $6 to $10.50. Tolls for four-axle vehicles rose to $14 from the previous $8.25; tolls for five-axle vehicles climbed to $18 from the previous $11.25; tolls for six-axle rigs went up to $21 from the previous $12 and tolls for vehicles with seven or more axles increased to $24.25 from the previous $13.50.
On the Golden Gate Bridge, toll rates for customers who pay cash are now set at $13 for three axles; $18 for four axles; $22 for five axles; $27 for six-axles; and $31 for vehicles with seven or more axles. Discounted tolls for customers who pay their tolls with FasTrakÃ‚® are now $11.25 for three axles; $15 for four axles; $18.75 for five axles; $22.50 for six axles; and $26.25 for vehicles with seven or more axles.
Beginning in July 2012, tolls for vehicles or combinations with three or more axles on the seven state-owned toll bridges will be fully indexed at $5 times the number of axles, or $15 for three-axle vehicles; $20 for four axles; $25 for five axles; $30 for six axles; and $35 for rigs with seven or more axles. The fully indexed toll rate on the Golden Gate Bridge will be $6 times the number of axles, with a $5-per-axle rate for FasTrak customers.
BATA approved the two-step increase in tolls for multi-axle vehicles on the state-owned bridges in January 2010 as part of a comprehensive toll increase package to finance seismic retrofits of the Antioch and Dumbarton bridges, to help offset the increased cost of debt financing resulting from financial market turmoil that began in 2007, and to counter revenue losses caused by a decline in toll-paying traffic on the bridges since fiscal year 2003-04. While the toll hike went into effect in July 2010 for most vehicles, the increase for multi-axle vehicles was delayed for one year to allow commercial trucking firms to incorporate the higher tolls into new contracts with shippers. These contracts typically carry 18- to 24-month terms. California state law (Streets & Highways Code Sec. 30150.2) requires that tolls on state-owned toll bridges be based on the number of axles on a vehicle or the total number of axles on a vehicle plus the total number of axles on a drawn trailer or vehicle.
BATA encourages all motorists — including drivers of big-rig trucks and recreational vehicles –to take advantage of the FasTrakÃ‚® electronic toll collection program to make toll payment easier and more convenient. FasTrak can be used in all lanes at all Bay Area toll plazas. FasTrak toll tags are available at Costco, Safeway and Walgreens stores throughout the Bay Area. Customers also can enroll in the FasTrak program online at 511.org; by calling 511 and asking for “FasTrak” at the first prompt; or in person at the FasTrak customer service center at 475 The Embarcadero in San Francisco. Currently, there are more than 1 million FasTrak account holders in the Bay Area.
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 FasTrak customer service center in San Francisco. MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.
SOURCE Metropolitan Transportation Commission