Bay Area residents are taking a stand against a measure to raise tolls on seven bridges in order to fund transportation projects.
The Bay Area Toll Authority Oversight Committee voted to raise the Bay Bridge toll to $9 and to $8 for others last week, sending the measure to the full authority for an expected vote on Jan. 24. Increases would add $1 in 2019, another in 2022 and the last in 2025.
The $6.75 Golden Gate Bridge toll would not change while FasTrak holders will pay half the regular toll fee on the second bridge in a single workday, according to the memorandum.
Since the commission vote, a Care2 petition against the measure garnered more than 19,000 signatures. High housing costs have already forced people to move to affordable areas that BART may not reach, says petition author Rebecca Gerber.
“The cost of living in the Bay Area is already obscene,” Gerber says. “We cannot allow it to become completely unaffordable for anyone but the wealthy to live and work.”
The “Bay Area Traffic Relief Plan” promises to reduce traffic, relieve crowding on BART, improve local transportation and unclog freeway bottlenecks. Should the Bay Area Toll Authority approve the measure, voters in all nine counties would have to approve it on June 5.
But the petition may have to convince more people to prevent the measure from passing.
A phone and web poll conducted in 2017 by EMC Research reports that 54 percent of likely June voters approve of the measure. When told about projects it would fund, support grew to 60 percent.