Capitol Alert

Bay Area bridge tolls could rise another $3

Your bridge tolls may be going up soon.

Gov. Jerry Brown announced Tuesday that he signed a bill requiring San Francisco and eight Bay Area counties to hold a special election where voters would decide whether to increase the toll on state-owned bridges in the region. That would be in addition to the $5.2 billion annual fuel tax and vehicle registration increase to pay for roads and transit.

Senate Bill 595, by Jim Beall, a Democrat from San Jose, would allow the Bay Area Toll Authority to determine how much to raise the toll – up to $3.

Currently, Bay Area motorists traveling over the seven Bay Area bridges typically pay $5, though the Bay Bridge’s toll structure varies based on so-called “congestion pricing,” with tolls varying from $4 to $6, depending on peak and non-peak travel times.

Others are the Antioch Bridge, Benicia-Martinez Bridge, Carquinez Bridge, Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, Dumbarton Bridge and San Mateo-Hayward Bridge.

The Golden Gate Bridge is not state-owned and not covered by the bill Brown signed.

Beall, in a prepared statement, said his bill includes over 30 projects that were supported by businesses and various counties. “With more new jobs on the horizon, the Bay Area must invest in ways to get commuters off the road,” he said.

Beall added that it calls for an independent oversight committee, in addition to an Independent Office of the BART Inspector General, to make sure bridge toll fares are used efficiently.

These projects would be funded if voters approve the toll increase:

▪ BART Expansion Cars ($500 million)

▪ BART to San Jose Phase Two ($375 million)

▪ Caltrain Downtown Extension ($325 million)

▪ Bay Area Corridor Express Lanes ($300 million)

▪ Ferry Enhancement Program ($300 million)

▪ Goods Movement and Mitigation ($160 million)

▪ San Francisco Bay Trail/Safe Routes to Transit ($150 million)

▪ MUNI Fleet Expansion and Facilities ($140 million)

▪ Capitol Corridor ($90 million)

▪ Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District ($40 million)

Christopher Cadelago: 916-326-5538, @ccadelago