A Congestion Pricing Plan For America's Most Famous Bridge

<p>Plans call for raising the tolls on the San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge depending on the time of day, but commuters have so far reacted negatively to the plan, arguing there are too few alternatives.</p>
May 11, 2008, 9am PDT | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
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"Drivers crossing the Golden Gate Bridge will pay as much as $7 during the morning and evening commutes and on weekend and holiday afternoons if bridge directors approve a congestion-based toll unveiled Thursday.

The district already plans to increase by a dollar its current toll of $5 for those who pay with cash and $4 for those who use FasTrak. The congestion-based toll would add a dollar more during the periods of 7 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 3 to 7 p.m. on weekends and holidays.

"The idea is to incent people to leave a little earlier or come back a little later so that they don't have to travel in those peak periods," said Celia Kupersmith, general manager of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District."

"Not surprisingly, drivers reacted angrily to news of a $7 toll, saying it would penalize working people who have no choice but to drive during commute hours.

"This is pathetic," said Jose Archimede, a salesman who said the public should "be allowed to vote on these excessive and exorbitant charges."

"The U.S. Department of Transportation, which is pushing congestion pricing nationwide, set a goal for the Golden Gate Bridge of reducing congestion during the busiest periods so that the average speed on the bridge and its approaches doesn't drop below 10 mph under the speed limit more than 10 percent of the time."

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Published on Friday, May 9, 2008 in The San Francisco Chronicle
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