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Thu Nov 12, 2020, 11:08 PM

CA: Golden Gate Bridge tolls may go up as district faces financial crisis: 'It's quite brutal'

Nov. 10—The agency that operates the Golden Gate Bridge is in crisis: The transit district will run out of federal emergency funds it has been using to pay its employees at the end of this month, officials said Monday.

The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, which oversees the bridge, buses and ferries, must cut a quarter of its positions, raise tolls on drivers coming from Marin to San Francisco or a combination of both to avoid spending capital reserves and keep the agency afloat, the agency told its board of directors in a letter Monday. But even those measures won't entirely fill its looming $48 million shortfall this fiscal year, with toll lanes less busy and ferries and buses still mostly empty as North Bay commuters work from home.

"All transit agencies all across the country are struggling, but we're hitting the fiscal cliff much sooner than others," the district's general manager Denis Mulligan said Monday. "For us, it's quite brutal."

Eight months after shelter-in-place orders shuttered the Bay Area, Golden Gate Bridge traffic is still down 30%, bus ridership dropped 75% and ferry ridership plummeted 96%. The transit district has experienced about a $2 million a week drop in tolls and fares, officials said. The district is unique in that tolls are its largest source of revenue to fund bridge, bus and ferry operations, the letter to the board of directors read.

As revenue plummeted, the district received about $52 million in CARES Act federal funding, but it is running out soon, the letter said. At the start of this fiscal year in July, the district faced a budget deficit of $98 million, which it reduced to $48 million by using some of the CARES Act funding, freezing hiring, cutting 75% of weekday and all weekend ferries and ending almost all bus commute trips. Mulligan said he had been "cautiously optimistic" for more federal funds before the election, but as negotiations for a relief bill dragged on between Democrats and Republicans in Washington, and then stopped, hope faded.

https://www.masstransitmag.com/management/news/21162173/ca-golden-gate-bridge-tolls-may-go-up-as-district-faces-financial-crisis-its-quite-brutal

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Response to Klaralven (Original post)

Thu Nov 12, 2020, 11:19 PM

1. Oh well. Last time I was on it, it was $8.40 (for cars). It might likely shoot to $10, maybe more.

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Response to alwaysinasnit (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 12, 2020, 11:32 PM

2. Is that 8.40 to go over the bridge once or was it weekly or monthly?

I mean, holy shit that's expensive.

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Response to Humanist_Activist (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 12, 2020, 11:33 PM

3. Just once. You get charged heading southbound into San Francisco.

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Response to alwaysinasnit (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 14, 2020, 07:03 PM

6. Holy fucking shit, that's nearly an hours wage, one way, for me, how the fuck can anyone...

in the working class afford to do that?

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Response to Humanist_Activist (Reply #6)

Sat Nov 14, 2020, 08:31 PM

7. Yup. Commute costs in the San Francisco Bay Area are quite expensive, but at least there is a

variety of public transportation available. Thank goodness I am now retired and don't have to deal with that any longer.

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Response to alwaysinasnit (Reply #7)

Sun Nov 15, 2020, 12:02 AM

9. Ugh, unless you live within city limits here in St. Louis...

or within walking distance of a metrolink station both from home and work, you can look at hours waiting to get on buses, our public transport system sucks. But I couldn't imagine them installing tolls on any of our bridges/chokepoints, it would be a nightmare. There's been rumors of such things happening, but they are such a regressive form of taxation, that any such talk is quickly squashed.

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Response to Humanist_Activist (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 13, 2020, 06:49 AM

4. Verazzanno Bridge is $12.24 charged on E-Z Pass going Brooklyn to Staten Island

If you don't have E-Z Pass, it's a $19.00 toll by mail.

There are sharply discounted rates for Staten Island residents.

Beginning 12/1/20 the tolls will be halved, but collected in both directions. https://new.mta.info/article/split-tolling-verrazzano-narrows-bridge

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Response to Klaralven (Original post)

Fri Nov 13, 2020, 07:01 AM

5. Wow

I had no idea that they charged people to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge. Do they also charge pedestrians? When I visit New York City, I love walking back and forth across the Brooklyn Bridge. I'm hoping to visit San Fran in the near future when things settle and walking across the G. Bridge is on my SF list (and visiting the nude beach I read was somewhere in the vicinity - hee hee). I'll definitely pay if they charge, of course.

Hopefully, there are alternate routes for those who couldn't afford to pay.

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Response to Keth (Reply #5)

Sat Nov 14, 2020, 08:33 PM

8. No charge for pedestrians or bike-riders.

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