Posted April 4, 2013

Golden Gate Bridge All Electronic Tolling Continues Operating Smoothly

Wednesday, March 27, 2013, marked the start of all electronic tolling on the Golden Gate Bridge. Toll-paying customers are doing what Golden Gate Bridge officials had anticipated – nearly all motorists are not stopping at the Toll Plaza.

Anecdotally, the Golden Gate Bridge officials are seeing a healthy increase in FasTrak usage on both weekdays and weekdays. Further, the new Pay-By-Plate toll payment options are also being utilized. All technical functionalities are also running smoothly at the Toll Plaza and at the Bay Area FasTrak Customer Service Center.

The preliminary data is anticipation to be available towards the end of April, or early May.

SUMMARY OF OPERATION ISSUES AND CURRENT STATUS

On the first day (March 27) of the new tolling system, three operational issues developed, and are subsequently being closely monitored, with resolutions in place or underway.

(1) Exceeding 25 MPH at Toll Plaza: Some motorists were exceeding the newly posted 25 MPH speed limit through the toll plaza. By day two, speeds were consistently lower and near or at the posted speed limit.

(2) Inappropriate Use of New Dedicate Carpool ONLY Toll Lane #2 at Toll Plaza: On weekdays, during carpool hours of 5 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 6 pm, some customers that are not eligible as a carpool are clearly using the new dedicated carpool only toll lane #2, and they should not be. Some of this use is likely due to confusion as to the carpool eligibility requirements here at the Golden Gate Bridge and the fact that is the first-ever dedicated carpool toll lane at the Bridge.

At the Golden Gate Bridge, three people are required, in a 2-axle vehicle, to be classified as a carpool, not two people as is the case in the HOV/Carpool lanes through Marin County. The use of a FasTrak toll tag is also a requirement. Buses and motorcycles are also eligible as using as they are using FasTrak.

Resolution tactics to reduce the number of vehicles using the carpool toll lane that should not be using that toll lanes include:

*  Reminding drivers that 3+ people are required in a 2-axle vehicle, plus a FasTrak, and motorcycles and buses are eligible too, with FasTrak. Vehicles with the WHITE DMV-ISSUED CLEAN AIR VEHICLES with FasTrak also qualify.

*  Reminding drivers that the use of a dedicate carpool toll lanes is against the law, can drivers can be ticketed, and that the cost of ticket is high, just as it is on Highway 101 for misuse of the HOV/Carpool lane.

(3) Small numbers of customers hesitating or stopping in toll lanes: This behavior was anticipated as these behaviors have been occurring in the FasTrak Only toll lanes since FasTrak was implemented in 2000. These behaviors are occurring in any of the 11 toll lanes now (not just in the FasTrak ONLY toll lanes) and therefore they are not behaviors that are more readily observable than prior to all electronic tolling.

On day one, staff assisted about 100 motorists either via the loud speaker system in the toll lanes or by direct contact with staff in an adjacent parking area.

By Monday, April 1, this figure was considerably lower, with loud speaker assistance down to less than 20 customers, and staff was no longer needed in the adjacent parking area for customer assistance.