Golden Gate Bridge district seeks $7 tolls

Staff from the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District are recommending increasing the bridge toll by $1 in April with smaller increases planned through 2018.

The district said it faces a $142 million budget shortfall over the next five years. The staff recommendation was one of four options on how the increases should be implemented during the next five years.

The toll increase will help maintain the district facilities and equipment for the 50 million annual drivers that use the bridge along with subsidizing the ferry and bus service.

Tolls would rise from $5 to $6 for FastTrak users and pay-by-plates from $6 to $7 starting in April. The staff-recommended option calls for no increases in 2015, but tolls would rise again by 25 cents in 2016 and 2017.

Eventually it will cost $7 to cross the bridge with FastTrak and $8 for pay-by-plates in 2018.

The toll increases are expected to generate $123 million over the next five years.

The finance committee is scheduled to vote on the staff recommendation at its Thursday meeting. If approved, the district’s Board of Directors would take a vote at its Friday morning meeting.