San Francisco's iconic Golden Gate Bridge could see toll hikes over the next five years, a move that the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway & Transportation District (District) Board of Directors says is necessary to keep the beloved structure well-maintained and public transit services operational. According to Patch.com, the Board called for public input on several proposed toll options to address a projected funding shortfall of up to $471 million.
To keep things running smoothly, revenue from the proposed toll increases will be split down the middle, with one half going toward the maintenance and operation of the Golden Gate Bridge and the other half to the operation of transit services like Golden Gate Transit and Ferry. This financial strategy came to light after a public hearing was scheduled for Feb. 22, as reported by a statement on the District's official website found at goldengate.org/toll-increase/.
The District has presented four toll hike plans, with options ranging from a 35-cent to a 50-cent annual increase. The first option is expected to generate approximately $139 million over half a decade. In contrast, the modest 35-cent uptick of the fourth option would accumulate around $101 million during the same period, detailed in the Patch.com report.
Aside from in-person hearings, the Board has taken to the digital realm, hosting webinars this Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. and again on Thursday from 7-8 p.m., where the public can weigh in with their thoughts. In a bid for inclusivity, materials and assistance in multiple languages, including Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese, are being offered, a nod to the bridge's globally recognized status and diverse community of commuters.
Public comments are not limited to these events, as the District has extended the courtesy for feedback to be sent through email at [email protected], or by traditional mail to district secretary Amorette Ko-Wong, or through an online form. The deadline for these submissions is pegged at 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 23, ensuring that the community's voice is heard loud and clear before any decisions are stamped, following the instructions given by Patch.com.