Posted February 11, 2010

 

Carpool and Multi-Axle Toll Rate Increase Proposal

 

Read the staff report presented to GGBHTD Finance-Auditing Committee on February 11, 2010, and approved by the Board of Directors on February 12, 2010, authorizing staff to initiate a Public Outreach Process on a Proposal to Modify the Carpool Toll and Multi-Axle Toll Rates.

Review Open House Materials (6MB)

Why is There a $132 million 5-Year Budget Shortfall?

What is Proposed?

How Much Revenue will the Proposal Generate?

When and Where are the Open House Informational Meetings and Public Hearings?

What are the Next Steps in the Process?

How May I Comment on the Proposal?

Comparison of GGB Carpool Toll Rates and Other Facilities

Why is There a $132 Million 5-Year Budget Shortfall?

There are three key very RECENT developments that have created the projected 5-year shortfall of $132 million: (1) The current recession has lead to reduced traffic and transit ridership, which in turn results in lower revenues to support the services provided (bridge, bus, ferry); (2) The State of California has taken away $6 million in annual transit operating funds; (3) The GGBHTD committed to providing the Doyle Drive reconstruction with $75 million. The updated Financial Plan (Plan) adopted by the Board of Directors on October 30, 2009, includes 33 specific initiatives for returning the GGBHTD to stable financial status.

 

What is Proposed?

The following proposal is made with the understanding that the GGBHTD intends to maintain a toll incentive for carpools and clean air vehicles while requiring their financial support of District operations and maintenance and that the elimination of the multi-axle vehicle toll disparities between the Golden Gate Bridge and the Caltrans state-owned bridges is appropriate.

Increase Carpool Toll Rate from $0 to $3 effective July 1, 2010; FasTrak Required for Payment

Establish a carpool toll rate of 50% of the current cash toll. The cash toll is $6 so therefore the carpool toll rate would be $3 per carpool vehicle. For the Golden Gate Bridge, carpools include 2-axle vehicles with 3 or more passengers, motorcycles and buses during the GGBHTD defined carpool hours of 5 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 6 pm on weekdays.

Clean air vehicles with WHITE California DMV Clean Air decals qualify for the carpool toll during GGBHTD-established carpool hours. It is proposed that this continue, but at the new rate, if adopted. Vehicles with YELLOW California DMV Clean Air decals do not qualify for a carpool discount and this practice will continue.

The carpool rate would continue to NOT apply on specific holidays when the full Cash/FasTrak toll rates are in effect: New Year's Day, Presidents' Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Vehicles eligible for the carpool toll will be required to open a FasTrak account and use a transponder to pay their carpool toll. Requiring FasTrak for carpool toll payment will ensure that the current flow of traffic through the toll plaza is maintained. Qualifying carpool vehicles with FasTrak will still be required to stop in a staffed lane for manual verification.

If left unchanged at $0, the Golden Gate Bridge would be the only major toll facility in the USA that provides a 100% discount for carpools. The industry norm is a 50% discount and is based on the premise that while carpooling is excellent for environmental reasons, all who travel on the toll facility should participate to some degree in its operation and upkeep.  FY 2009 (July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009): 432,872 or 2.3% of the total 19,066,406 total southbound crossings were carpools.

FY 2009 (July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009): 432,872 or 2.3% of the total 19,066,406 total southbound crossings were carpools.

 

Increase Multi-Axle Vehicle Tolls in Two Phases: on July 1, 2011, and on July 1, 2012

It is proposed that the Toll Rate for Multi-Axle Vehicles be increased as follows:

  • FasTrak Toll Rate: The per axle toll rate is currently set at 50% of the established FasTrak toll rate for two-axle vehicles, or $2.50 per axle. It is proposed that the FasTrak toll rate be increased to $5.00 per axle for vehicles with 3 or more axles, with a maximum toll of $35.00 for vehicles with 7 or more axles.
  • Cash Toll Rates: The per axle toll rate is currently set at 50% of the established Cash toll rate for two-axle vehicles, or $3 per axle. It is proposed that the Cash toll rate be increased to $6 per axle for vehicles with 3 or more axles, with a maximum toll of $42 for vehicles with 7 or more axles.
  • 50% of the toll rate increase would be implemented July 1, 2011, and the remaining 50% of the toll increase amount would be implemented July 1, 2012

 

 
Current 2010
July 1, 2011
July 1, 2012

Toll Increase

from 2010 to 2012

Axles

FasTrak

Toll

Cash

Toll

FasTrak

Toll

Cash

Toll

FasTrak

Toll

Cash

Toll

FasTrak

Toll

Cash

Toll

3
$7.50
$9
$11.25
$13
$15
$18
+$7.50
+$9
4
$10.00
$12
$15.00
$18
$20
$24
+$10.00
+$12
5
$12.50
$15
$18.75
$22
$25
$30
+$12.50
+$15
6
$15.00
$18
$22.50
$27
$30
$36
+$15.00
+$18
7
$17.50
$21
$26.25
$31
$35
$42
+$17.50
+$21
8
$20.00
$24
$26.25
$31
$35
$42
+$15.00
+$18
9
$22.50
$27
$26.25
$31
$35
$42
+$12.50
+$15
10
$25.00
$30
$26.25
$31
$35
$42
+$10.00
+$12
11

$27.50

$33
$26.25
$31
$35
$42
+$7.50
+$9
12
$30.00
$36
$26.25
$31
$35
$42
+$5.00
+$6

Staff is concerned that the current multi-axle rates charged at the Golden Gate Bridge could lead to increased traffic as multi-axle vehicle drivers adjust travel to avoid the higher state-owned bridge toll rates. This could lead to increased congestion impacts in the Golden Gate Bridge and Doyle Drive corridors, which would be particularly challenging during Doyle Drive reconstruction activities. While multi-axle traffic on the GGB is significantly less than on the Bay Bridge, staff recommends that a multi-axle toll rate consistent with that of the state-owned bridges is advisable. Similar to the approach taken on the state-owned bridges, the multi-axle vehicle toll increase would be implemented in stages: 50% of the increase going into effect on July 1, 2011, and the full increase going into effect on July 1, 2012.

In FY 2009 (July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009): Only 18 vehicles with MORE THAN 7 axles crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, and out of the total number of southbound crossings (19,006,406), the number of multi-axle vehicle crossings were 136,814, or 0.72% of ALL southbound traffic.

 

How Much Revenue Will the Proposal Generate if Adopted?

Carpool toll rate change is projected to generate $1.3 million in additional annual toll revenues in FY10/11. Multi-axle vehicle toll rate change is projected to generate approximately $600,000 in additional toll revenues in FY 11/12 and $1.2 million in additional annual toll revenues upon full implementation in FY 12/13.A one-time cost of approx. $80,000 will be required to enable the GGBHTD’s toll collection system to collect the carpool toll.

 

When and Where are the Open House Meetings and Public Hearings?

Review Open House Materials (6MB)

Informational Open Houses

Marin County
Wednesday, April 7, 2010, 4 pm to 7 pm, @ Embassy Suites Hotel, 101 McInnis Pkwy, San Rafael (get directions and view map)

Sonoma County
Tuesday, April 13, 2010, 4 pm to 7 pm, Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds, E. Washington St & Fairground Dr, Petaluma, CA (get directions and view map)

City and County of San Francisco
Thursday, April 15, 2010, 4 pm to 6 pm, second floor Board Room, Golden Gate Bridge Toll Plaza Building, San Francisco, CA (get directions and link to map)

Public Hearings

Wednesday, May 12, 6:00 pm, Whistlestop Wheels, 930 Tamalpais Ave, San Rafael, CA (get directions and view map)

Friday, May 14, 2010, 9:30 am, Board Room, Golden Gate Bridge Toll Plaza Building, San Francisco, CA (get directions and link to map)

 

What are the Next Steps in the Process?

May 27, 2010: Staff will analyze public comments and bring a final recommendation regarding the proposed toll rate increases to the Finance Committee for consideration and on May 28, 2010: Full Board would receive a recommendation from the Finance Committee. July 1, 2010: Earliest possible implementation date, if the proposal is adopted.

 

How May I Comment on the Proposal?

  1. Submit comments to publichearing@goldengate.org
  2. Submit comments on our online comment form (the comment period is closed)
  3. Attend one of the Informational Open Houses or Public Hearings
  4. Send letter to District Secretary, PO Box 9000, Presidio Station, San Francisco, CA 94129

Comments are due by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, May 14, 2010.

Comparison of GGB Carpool Toll Rates and Other Facilities

 

Current

Cash Toll

Current

FasTrak Toll

Current

Carpool Toll

Carpool

Occupancy

Carpool

Hours

Golden Gate Bridge
$6
$5 all hours
$0
3+, plus motorcycles and buses
weekdays
5 to 9 am
4 to 6 pm
Caltrans
SF-Oakland
Carquinez
Benicia-Martinez
Antioch
$4
(increases July 1)
$4
$0
3+
weekdays
5 to 10 am
3 to 7 pm
Caltrans
Richmond-San Rafael
$4
(increases July 1)
$4
$0
3+
weekdays
5 to 10 am
3 to 6 pm
Caltrans
San Mateo-Hayward
Dumbarton
$4
(increases July 1)
$4
$0
2+
weekdays
5 to 10 am
3 to 6 pm
Verrazano Narrows Bridge
$11 car and
$5 motorcycle
$9.14 cars and $3.98 per motorcycle
with EZPASS
$2.66*
3+
N/A
Port Authority NY/NJ
(Bridges/
Tunnels)
$8
$8**
$2.00***
3+
N/A
TCA
(Southern CA Toll Roads)
Varies by roadway
$5.50
PEAK TIMES
Varies by roadway
$5.50
PEAK TIMES
No carpool discount is offered
N/A
N/A

* Carpool toll available only for Staten Island residents, registration is required.
** EZPass is required to receive special discounts such as the carpool toll & other unique plans.
*** Carpools must register, use staffed lanes for verification and pay via EZPass.