November 1, 2012

What Are You Waiting for?
Golden Gate Bridge Encourages Customers to Move to FasTrak Now

Why Get FasTrak Now?  |  How Does FasTrak Work? |  Open a FasTrak Account  |  Maintain a FasTrak Account  |  Additional Stats

Under the tag line “What are you waiting for?” the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District launched an awareness campaign for the month of November 2012 aimed at encouraging customers to take advantage now of the conveniences and savings afforded when using FasTrak.

Why now, why FasTrak? What are you waiting for? With all electronic tolling coming to the Golden Gate Bridge soon, now is the perfect time to open a FasTrak Account.

  1. Take advantage of the discounted toll rates at the Golden Gate Bridge that comes with having a FasTrak Account; refer to the discounted toll rates shown below.
  1. Improve traffic flow through the toll plaza on weekends and weekday evenings. If you are a weekend Bridge user and get caught in the traffic into San Francisco on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday late afternoons and evenings, open a FasTrak Account now and watch the traffic congestion decrease as more and more people move to FasTrak. It worked for the morning commute, so why not make your weekend travel work better for you. Traffic flow is expected to improve by eliminating the need to drive through a specific toll plaza lane and stop at the toll plaza.

The greater the number of motorists using FasTrak, the better the traffic flows through the toll plaza. Today, during the morning commute with 86% of motorists are using FasTrak, and traffic moves smoothly. Make the weekends and weekday evening traffic flow faster with more FasTrak users. Today, during the weekday evening peak commute period the FasTrak market share is 74%. Open a FasTrak Account and see this percentage grow and the traffic flow improve!

  1. No more stopping at the toll plaza when using FasTrak; no more fumbling for cash.
  1. FasTrak is for anyone, it is not just commuters that cross more frequently. Anyone can open a FasTrak account for use on the Golden Gate Bridge, the state-owned Bay Area toll bridges, the Express Lanes on I-680 and SR 237, and the southern California toll roads. If you cross the Golden Gate Bridge (along with any of the other Bay Area toll bridges or Express Lanes) more than 10 times a year, FasTrak is for you too!

How does FasTrak Work?

As your vehicle enters the toll plaza, a signal from the toll tag mounted properly on your vehicle's windshield is read by the antennae. As your vehicle passes through the toll plaza, you hear a beep and your FasTrak Account is charged the proper toll rate (discounted at the Golden Gate Bridge). If the toll tag signal is not detected as you go through the toll plaza, cameras capture images of your vehicle license plate. And, if you have a FasTrak Account associated with this license plate, your FasTrak Account is automatically charged the proper toll.

Open a FasTrak Account Now, Don’t Wait a Minute Longer

Opening a FasTrak Account requires a minimum pre-paid toll balance that ranges from $25 to $50. Using a valid credit card, the initial pre-paid minimum toll balance to open a FasTrak Account is $25. Using cash, check, or money order, the initial pre-paid minimum toll balance to open a FasTrak Account is $50. After establishing a FasTrak Account, the amounts may be increased based on the frequency of your crossings.

  1. Online at www.bayareafastrak.org;
  2. By phone via 511 or (877) BAY-TOLL (877-229-8655); outside CA (415-486-8655);
  3. In person at the Bay Area FasTrak Customer Service Center, 475 The Embarcadero at Broadway, San Francisco; Monday - Friday 8:30 am to 5:30 pm and Saturday 9 am to 1 pm
  4. Get your FasTrak toll tag at a Bay Area retail location

Your FasTrak toll tag is provided at no charge and requires a $20 refundable toll tag deposit when opening your FasTrak Account. Once you open a FasTrak Account, you can set up your own personalized access to monitor your account activity online at www.bayareafastrak.org.

Once the conversion to all electronic tolling is made at the Golden Gate Bridge (click for current schedule), FasTrak customers, who currently maintain a pre-paid FasTrak account, 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 still be able to do so at new cash payment locations in the Bay Area. Customers preferring an anonymous FasTrak account, without providing a name or address or other personally identifiable information, will also be able to use FasTrak.

Maintain Your FasTrak Account Pre-Paid Toll Balance

Your account replenishment amount depends on the type of replenishment method you chose at the time you opened your account. After you open your FasTrak Account, there are several ways to maintain the required pre-paid toll balance:

Using Credit Card for Account Replenishment: When the prepaid toll balance falls below $15 or your personalized minimum threshold, for all FasTrak Account tied to a credit card, automatic charges are made to your credit card to replenish your FasTrak Account

Using Cash/Check/Money Order for Account Replenishment: When the prepaid toll balance falls below $30 or your personalized minimum threshold, for all FasTrak Account tied to cash/check/money order you are responsible for depositing prepaid tolls into your FasTrak Account. You must replenish your account You can deposit prepaid tolls using cash into your FasTrak Account in person at the Bay Area FasTrak Customer Service Center, 475 The Embarcadero at Broadway, San Francisco; Monday - Friday 8:30 am to 5:30 pm and Saturday 9 am to 1 pm. [NOTE: Once the conversion to All Electronic Tolling is made at the Golden Gate Bridge, there will be a number of Cash Payment Locations established around the Bay Area where you will be able to maintain your FasTrak Account using cash.]

Additional Stats

Number of Vehicles Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge Using FasTrak

Just under 20 million southbound vehicles annually pay the Golden Gate Bridge toll. About 70% (14 million) of the 20 million use FasTrak now; about 30% (6 million) of the 20 million use CASH today.

30% are paying with CASH now:

  • 10% are crossing more than 4 times per month; this audience will likely switch to FasTrak.
  • 18% are crossing less than 4 times per month; this audience will switch to a combination of FasTrak and Pay-By-Plate options
  • 2% are rental cars not currently in the License Plate database that is used today by Bay Area FasTrak Customer Service Center to assess tolls on rental cars.

Golden Gate Bridge traffic comes from outside California = about 2.5% (500,000) of the 20 million that cross are from outside of California.

All Electronic Tolling will Save Money

With all electronic tolling, we looked at the real cost per toll transaction. This best demonstrates that manual toll collection is the most expensive way to collect tolls. The fully load costs for each type of toll transaction is shown below and includes things such as banking fees, credit card fees, the fees we pay to the Customer Service Center (CSC) contractor to be there running the CSC and processing the transactions, cost of other onsite staff here such as electricians that have to keep the system up and running are projected as follows:

  • Cash - $0.83 per transaction
  • Invoice - $0.67 per transaction
  • Pay-By-Plate (tied to License Plate) - $0.39 per transaction
  • FasTrak - $0.25 per transaction

Golden Gate Bridge Toll Rates

Number of Axles
Cash Toll Rate
FasTrak Toll Rates are Discounted at the Golden Gate Bridge
Carpool and Qualifying Disabled Persons Toll Rate
2 Axles
$6
$5
$3
3 Axles
$18
$15
n/a
4 Axles
$24
$20
n/a
5 Axles
$30
$25
n/a
6 Axles
$36
$30
n/a
7 Axles +
$42
$35
n/a