The Bay Area Toll Authority voted to eliminate free carpools on the Bay Bridge yesterday, and decided to charge carpoolers $2.50 to cross the span beginning July 1. According to the Chron and the CoCo Times, the authority also voted to raise the bridge toll to $6 for everyone else during commute hours and to $5 on weekends. The Bay Bridge toll will remain $4 during non-commute hours on weekdays. In addition, the authority raised the toll to $5 on all other Bay Area bridges at all times, except the Golden Gate, which is not under its jurisdiction.
Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates and San Francisco County Supervisor Chris Daly, who both serve on the authority, had attempted to set the carpool toll at $2, but could not muster enough votes to get it passed. The toll increases are designed to finance $750 million of earthquake retrofit work on the Dumbarton and Antioch bridges.