Will Congestion Pricing Cause Slow-Downs?

The Bay Area's first experience in peak-hour road tolling starts July 1. At 10 am, the Bay Bridge toll decreases to $4 from the $6 commute toll that starts at 5 am - will motorists intentionally slow to save $2 as they approach the tolls at 10 AM?

As Planetizen reported June 1, the toll schedule for the seven state-owned, Bay Area bridges (not including the Golden Gate Bridge) changes on July 1 (to finance seismic safety projects on Antioch and Dumbarton Bridges), marking the end of the 'free ride' for carpoolers.

"[T]he $2 toll savings could cause some commuters approaching the toll plaza just before 10 a.m. to pull over onto a shoulder and wait - or drive very slowly. CHP spokesman Trent Cross said his agency does not anticipate widespread trouble - or gridlock - on Thursday, but will be prepared."

From SF Examiner: Bay Area bridge tolls climb higher: "The $2.50 car-pooling surcharge and the $6 toll on the Bay Bridge will be applied from 5 to 10 a.m. and 3 to 7 p.m. during the workweek. To apply for the car-pooling discount, motorists are required to purchase a FasTrak transponder. The $6 Bay Bridge toll has been touted by BATA officials as a congestion management tool, with the price hike projected to decrease the maximum delay time on the bridge from 27 minutes to 21 minutes."

Thanks to MTC Headlines

Full Story: Toll changes may lead to tie-ups on Bay Bridge



Irvin Dawid's picture

"Casual Carpooling" on Bay Bridge - who pays now?

Bay Citizen's Zusha Elinson speculates on June 30, the day before the dreaded toll increase on all 7, state-owned toll bridges, including the first-time charge for carpooling, and the peak-hour commuter surcharge on the Bay Bridge toll are implemented, how the new, $2.50 carpool charge will affect the Bay Bridge phenomenon known as 'casual carpooling' in Tomorrow's Carpool: Not So Casual :

"The casual carpool — in which people with a fear of commitment line up and hop into complete strangers' cars for a free ride across the Bay Bridge — could forever be changed this week. With all the unspoken rules of casual carpool culture — riders don't speak unless spoken to, drivers get to pick the radio station — there will also have to be an awkward truce reached over how to split the new toll."

My own speculation is that each rider pays the driver a buck...but that means the driver pays 50 cents....unless 3 riders are picked up....which could mean that drivers mights want to increase their load by one as a carpool=3 occupants, and the driver pockets 50 cents:-(

Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $25.
Currently on backorder
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."