December 9, 2003

Bay Area Bridge Toll Raise

Category: Urban Planning

San Francisco: Remarkably, people seem to be greeting a proposed rise in bay-area bridge tolls with a degree of enthusiasm.

Even if the toll goes up to $3, as proposed, the Bay Bridge is probably among the cheapest bridges of it's kind in the world, which has always puzzled me, given it's location between some of the world's most expensive real estate.

Anyway, no end of quality projects will benefit from the extra money, most notably BART extensions, the transbay terminal [PDF], and additional ferries.

Posted by Nick at December 9, 2003 9:30 PM

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Sorry I can't find a classy article to link to - but this is reminiscent of the buzz a year or so ago when they were talking about putting tolls on the three bridges from Brooklyn to Manhattan in order to raise money for the city.

As I remember it, many local residents near the bridges were happy about the likelihood of reducing traffic in the neighborhoods, but a big sticking point was that this would basically be a tax on Brooklyn-ites (as Manhattan dwellers are far less likely to drive into Brooklyn, or even own a car) but the toll money was earmarked for all sorts of things throughout the city, primarily in Manhattan.

Not that a toll would have made a difference, but soon thereafter public transport took a blow when the subway fare dubiously went up to $2.

Putting a toll on the Bay Bridge to enhance BART, both of which primarily are used by outer Bay Area residents, seems like the right idea.

Posted by: spencer at December 15, 2003 9:32 PM