Bridge Carpoolers to Start Paying Tolls

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Carpools will no longer cross the Bay Bridge for free and will have to start paying $2.50 per trip under a plan approved by a committee of the Bay Area Toll Authority, according to the Chron. The move, which could conflict with efforts to lower greenhouse gas emissions because it may prompt fewer carpool trips, was opposed by authority member Tom Bates, mayor of Berkeley and leading advocate of fighting climate change. After Bates realized he couldn’t kill the plan, he proposed limiting the carpool toll to $2.00, but failed to garner enough votes.

The authority committee also approved a plan to raise commute-hour tolls for everyone else to $6 and raise the weekend toll to $5. The toll for non-commute weekday hours would remain at $4, while the toll for all hours would be raised to $5 on all other Bay Area bridges, except the Golden Gate, which will remain $6. The toll proposals are aimed at raising funds for seismic strengthening of the Antioch and Dumbarton bridges. The full authority board will take up the plan later this month.

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