Posted February 11, 2011

1/28/11 Board of Directors vote to convert to All Electronic Tolling at the Golden Gate Bridge in 2012

Frequently Asked Questions About

Golden Gate Bridge Conversion to All Electronic Tolling (AET) in 2012

 

(1)  When will the Golden Gate Bridge convert to AET and eliminate cash toll collection?

The anticipated timeline for conversion to AET at the Golden Gate Bridge is no earlier than September 2012. You are encouraged to learn more as AET conversion develops at www.goldengate.org.

 

(2)  With no toll collectors in the toll booths, how do you pay the toll when the Golden Gate Bridge is converted to AET?

With AET, there will be three types of payment for Golden Gate Bridge tolls:

  • Opening a FasTrak account and using a FasTrak tag with a pre-paid toll balance for toll payment:
    • Online at www.bayareafastrak.org
    • By phone via (877) BAY-TOLL (1-877-229-8655)
    • In person or by mail-in application with the FasTrak Regional Customer Service Center (475 The Embarcadero at Broadway, San Francisco)
  • Registering your vehicle’s license plate and using a credit or debit card for toll payment; this option does not require a pre-paid toll balance. Customers will have the following options for registering a license plate:
    • Online: At a website location to be announced with AET implementation
    • By phone: At a number to be announced with AET implementation
    • In person: At a location to be announced with AET implementation
  • Receiving a toll invoice in the mail, based on your vehicle’s license plate. A picture of your license plate is taken when you pass through the toll plaza and an invoice is sent to the registered owner of the vehicle.

See below for more information on these AET toll payment options.

 

Questions about FasTrak Toll Payment and AET

(3)  What changes are in store for me if I have a FasTrak account?

FasTrak customers who currently maintain a pre-paid FasTrak account with a valid credit or debit card will see no changes to their accounts or their travel on the Golden Gate Bridge.

Customers preferring to maintain the required pre-paid toll balance in their FasTrak account using cash will be able to do so in more locations. Currently, cash payments are only accepted at the FasTrak Regional Customer Service Center (475 The Embarcadero at Broadway, San Francisco).

With AET, FasTrak customers will be able to replenish their FasTrak account toll balance with cash at various retail locations throughout the Bay Area, such as convenience stores and gas stations. Customers preferring an anonymous FasTrak account, without providing a name or address or other personally identifiable information, will also be able to use this payment option.

 

(4)  I only cross the Golden Gate Bridge about once a month; I can’t use FasTrak, can I?

FasTrak is open to anyone. If you use the Golden Gate Bridge once or twice a month, you may open a FasTrak account; this requires a minimum pre-paid toll balance that ranges from $25 to $50.

With AET, less frequent Bridge users may prefer to register their license plate for automatic toll payment, as they would not have to maintain a pre-paid toll account balance or use a FasTrak transponder. Customers who register their license plate with a valid credit or debit card pay the toll as they go and do not have to maintain a pre-paid toll balance.

 

(5)  How do I pay the toll if I decide to register my license plate, and not use FasTrak?

You may register your license plate with a valid credit card or debit card:

  • Online: At a website location to be announced with AET implementation
  • By phone: At a number to be announced with AET implementation
  • In person: At a location to be announced with AET implementation

 

(6)  Will there be locations that accept cash payment for FasTrak in Marin, Sonoma, Napa and San Francisco counties?

Yes, retail locations such as convenience stores and gas stations throughout the Highway 101/Golden Gate Corridor will accept cash for FasTrak account replenishment. Details regarding specific locations will be announced with AET implementation.

 

(7)  What is the pre-paid toll balance required to open a FasTrak account?

The initial pre-paid toll balance for FasTrak accounts opened with a valid credit or debit card is $25, this is the minimum balance and may be adjusted based on usage. The minimum pre-paid toll balance for an account replenished with cash, check or money order is $50 and may be adjusted based on usage; a $20 refundable tag deposit is also required.

 

(8)  Where may I learn more about FasTrak and how it works?

    • Online at www.bayareafastrak.org
    • By phone via (877) BAY-TOLL (1-877-229-8655)
    • In person at the FasTrak Regional Customer Service Center (475 The Embarcadero at Broadway, San Francisco)

 

Questions about License Plate Toll Payment Options and AET

(9)  How will I pay the toll if I don’t have FasTrak when you convert to AET?

If you do not have a FasTrak account and you don’t wish to open one, a photo will be taken of your license plate when you drive through the toll plaza. Then, there are two options for toll payment:

  • Within two calendar days of crossing the Bridge you can register your license plate with a valid credit or debit card. Then, the Bridge toll will be charged to the credit or debit card on file. Once you’ve registered your license plate you can continue to cross the Bridge, with no further action, as long as you keep your credit or debit card information current. The toll will be assessed to the valid credit or debit card on file after you pass through the toll plaza. Details regarding how to register your license plate will be announced with AET implementation.
  • If you do not register your license plate with a valid credit or debit card for toll payment, then about two weeks after crossing the Bridge a toll invoice will be mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle. The invoice may then be paid by credit or debit card, check or money order, or in cash using the same payment network available to FasTrak customers at retail locations such as convenience stores and gas stations throughout the Highway 101/Golden Gate Corridor.

 

(10)  When the Golden Gate Bridge converts to AET, how will tourists and visitors crossing the Bridge pay the toll if they don’t have a FasTrak tag and there are no longer toll collectors in the toll booths?

Visitors from outside the Bay Area will have several options to pay the toll, including:

  • By phone, using a valid credit or debit card.
  • Online, using a valid credit or debit card.
  • In cash, at retail locations such as a convenience stores and gas stations throughout the Highway 101/Golden Gate Corridor.
  • By invoice sent via U.S. Mail to the address of the registered owner of the vehicle. Invoices may then be paid using any of the options listed here as well as by check or money order.

 

(11)  With AET, how will people with rental cars pay their Golden Gate Bridge toll?

Right now, all major rental car companies have pre-paid toll payment accounts for their vehicles. For a fee, customers can drive directly through the toll plaza and have the toll assessed to their credit card on file with the rental car company.


With AET, the same service will be available. Customers wishing to avoid the processing fee charged by the rental car company can pay the toll directly by phone or online using a valid credit or debit card.

 

(12)  After you convert to AET, where can I pay cash for a toll invoice that is mailed to me?

To pay a toll invoice using cash, customers will be able to go to a retail location such as a convenience store or gas station throughout the Highway 101/Golden Gate Corridor.

 

(13)  With AET, how will people who don’t have a bank account, debit card or credit card and who do not want to receive an invoice be able to pay their toll? What will be available for customers that prefer to pay their toll using cash?

There are two toll payment options for customers who don’t have a bank account, debit card or credit card, as well as those who choose to pay by cash:

  • Customers who do not want to receive an invoice via U.S. Mail may open and maintain a FasTrak account and maintain their pre-paid toll account balance using cash at retail locations such as convenience stores and gas stations throughout the Highway 101/Golden Gate Corridor or in person at the FasTrak Regional Customer Service Center (475 The Embarcadero at Broadway, San Francisco); or,
  • Customers will receive a toll invoice, via U.S. Mail, sent to the registered owner of the vehicle. Invoices may be paid using cash at retail locations such as a convenience stores and gas stations throughout the Highway 101/Golden Gate Corridor. Details regarding specific locations will be announced with AET implementation.

 

(14)  With AET, if I am at the Golden Gate Bridge and want to pay my toll in cash, why can’t I just pull over somewhere at the Bridge and pay?

Once conversion to AET is made, cash will no longer be accepted at the toll plaza. With AET, those wishing to pay the toll in cash will be able to go to retail locations such as convenience stores and gas stations throughout the Highway 101/Golden Gate Corridor and use cash to pay the toll or maintain a FasTrak pre-paid toll account balance.

 

(15)  How will you collect tolls from drivers in new vehicles with no license plate?

We will accept toll payment from vehicles without license plates. In addition, the Golden Gate Bridge and other California toll roads are pursuing legislation that will address concerns about new vehicles without license plates by shortening the timeframe that vehicles can be without a license plate and expediting the registration process.

 

(16)  How will you collect tolls from out-of-state vehicles?

About 2.5% of the 20 million vehicles crossing the Golden Gate Bridge (southbound) each year are from another state or a foreign country. The Bridge currently works with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in several other states and will send toll invoices to registered owners of those out-of-state vehicles that don’t have a FasTrak account or register their license plate.

 

(17)  With AET, won’t you lose toll revenue? Won’t most people ignore their toll invoice?

If a toll invoice isn’t paid by the due date a violation notice will be sent to the registered owner of the vehicle. If the violation notice remains unpaid, then the registration of the vehicle is put on hold at the California DMV (for vehicles registered in California) until it is paid, or it is sent to a collections agency (for vehicles registered in other states).

 

(18)  Will invoice generation, mailing and payment processing cost more than collecting tolls in cash?

The costs to generate and mail toll invoices and toll violation notices, as well as payment processing functions, are automated. While these will need to be expanded to accommodate additional demand the estimated costs for these processes are less than the cost of manual toll collection.

 

(19)  I am a person with a disability and currently pay a reduced toll when I give my ID to the toll collector. If toll collectors will no longer be present how will I make a toll payment and continue to receive the discount?

This is one of the operational aspects of AET that we will be investigating. We will develop recommendations for accommodating all special toll categories that currently require toll collector action, including carpools, and communicate directly with these customers about how they will continue to receive the special toll.